205 E. Houston St., New York, NY, 10002
at Ludlow St.
By ThomasGoldstein on 3/18/2013
First, I noticed the overwhelming number of "out-of-towners". Maybe 66% the customers were ordering take-out. That means the quaint system of everyone jocking in line behind a particular sandwich maker has devolved into something unworkable. 35 minutes later when it was my turn I ordered a pastrami and the brisket had to be trimmed of three-quarters of its outer layer of fat and gristle. That still wasn't enough to tame the nasty slab...so I observed something I have never seen at a proper New York Deli...the slicer started building the sandwich with thin, very thin slices. This slight of hand still wasn't enough. Over at the soda counter I had to wait another 5 minutes for the soda man to appear. He'd morphed into a Barista, making the gentlemen in front of me a cappuccino. A freakin' cappuccino at Katz's deli? Are you kidding me! Finally, I sit down and taste. Under cured! Full of gristle! and sliced too thin to resemble fresh smoked brisket!!! I'm not squeamish about eating my pastrami lean but there was more fat than flavor. More bad corned beef taste than pastrami. Of course I complained. The manager was sorry I felt the way I did. So was I. Anyone who thinks Katz's Deli deserves a visit is a rube or is simply too young to know better. The day of the demanding New Yorker has given way to the the fawning visitor. Experience the rude service or the sub-par/over-priced food. The folks a Katz's Deli are all too happy to oblige.
By ZAFTIG180 on 3/6/2013
I had heard people rave about Katz, so on one of my trips to NYC, I went there. Perhaps we got the wrong waiter, but when I was there the service was extremely slow and the waiter didn't make any attempt to be welcoming or courteous. I love New York style deli, especially meat knishes and Romanian pastrami sandwiches served hot with dill pickles on the side. It's a real treat for me when I get it served properly. It wasn't served properly when I went to Katz. Both the knish and the pastrami sandwich were served cold. Anywhere else I would have asked the waiter to take them back to the kitchen and have them re-heated. I didn't do that at Katz, because I figured it would involve another long wait for my food. I had expected a whole lot more from Katz based on what I had heard, and I was disappointed. I'll choose another deli when I go back to New York City.
By kbrownhk on 7/30/2012
I had the same experience yesterday as some of the other reviewers. Excited to take my 3 teens there. It was a nightmare! I had no idea the protocol of standing in line, tickets, which line to order. Also some foods are ordered at different counters and seating was a nightmare. I asked someone if they could clear our table and he said NO. How am I supposed to know who clears what? Someone eventually came over and cleared the 3 trays from 2 other parties. After I finally got all the food we began to eat. When my 12 year old son had almost finished his burger he noticed the bottom of the bun was all moldy! They did wipe off that charge, but we won't be going back there EVER!!!
By stratfordbaby on 7/8/2012
I made a special trip to Katz' today by subway in 95F+ weather at 2pm, having researched them online, and gone to other delis in NYC. Security was very rude when I first got there. There is no signage whatsoever so that someone who is coming in for the first time would have no idea where to go or what to do. I walked in and was only given an entry ticket after I had already walked (slowly) passed the security guards that were sitting around doing much of nothing. Then, after getting the ticket I wasn't told where to go, or anything helpful, so that after moving off to the side to be courteous to others coming in, a different guard comes up and tells me that I either have to go to the counter or leave. I had no idea what counter to go to, or whether there was/not table service. Having made a special trip out of my way to visit Katz, I will not be returning. Since I wasn't told where to go, or what counter, I looked around at the sandwiches that were on some of the tables, and quite frankly, they were certainly NOT bigger than anything I had seen at other well-known delis in the city. The prices are atrocious for what was coming out; in this kind of business - portion-size is a factor when determining price.I felt very comfortable in turning around and leaving, knowing that my business is worth more than being treated in a hostile manner as soon as I walked in the door.
By noragib on 12/29/2011
If you been to Katz's years ago you would have known why Katz's was such a landmark & what good eating really was. My recent trip there showed me it has defintely changed with the times & was such a disappointment. Now it just HYPE and they are just relying on their old reputation. Instead of the heaping portions we so greedily expected, the sandwich size has been cut in half. Unless your a tourist with wide eyed expections & a local New Yorker who doesn't know any better, it's just your below average corner deli with an over priced menu. $16-17 per sandwich, are you kidding?
By mykir on 9/12/2011
I rarely saw such awfull service in NYC. Customers are treated as sh*t . People was from "unfriendly to insulting". I even heared an employe saying loud in spanish to an other employe : "kill the old b..." . He was talking about a charming old lady in a whilechair. My first and last time there... C'est un piege a touristes!
By nudnikjeff on 4/25/2011
I grew up in the city, but have lived "elsewhere" most of my adult life. So when we went on a street food vacation to NY, I knew we would have to include Katz's. Given the publicity, this is still AWESOME. What sandwiches! Our party had corned beef, pastrami, and brisket, all equally delicious. The extra slices of meat on the side enabled everyone to try samples. The place was teeming, ordering took a while, but seats were always available. My pastrami on rye with mustard was complimented with a Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray. GREAT NY EXPERIENCE!
By elbafeliciano on 3/30/2011
r u insane?? out of all the deli's ive been 2..by far the best!! i grew up in Hell's Kitchen area in NY so i can say this proudly...the fact that its still standing and ALWAYS busy has got 2 tell u SOMETHIN!! of course ur gonna get some fat with food...dont come here if ur vegan!!! unless ur havin a dill pickle n a cream soda!
By tmdpny on 8/20/2010
Yes, 15-20 years ago I'm sure this place was still holding onto the fact that it was a NYC institution, with decades of history and being proud. And surely the Long Islanders and B&Ts huddle in here like they do to Little Italy, even though Little Italy is almost fully Chinese. The ambiance, yes it's cool and I wish more places like this still survive (my lament over Chumley's goes here). I rated decor as average because it's a great place to see, but it's still rather grungy and dirty. If you think it's supposed to be grungy and dirty, then you've seen too many movies from the 70s and it is distorting your memories. Your grandfather would never walk into that place when he was younger if it looked like it does today. But the food? Completely gross. Sad. Insulting. They have some salvation in their pastrami, and if you notice how much it's mentioned in every single discussion about Katz's, you realize it's the only thing worth mentioning. And that means mentioning, not going out of your way for. The the corned beef is a slab of unsalted beef fat. Their sides are mounds of grease. They should be ashamed that this is how they treat traditional Jewish food.
By australianfoodlover on 7/7/2010
With Katz being as famed as it is, I had to order its signature dish, pastrami on rye, and boy was that a let down! For one, it was most definitely not a pound of pastrami, and secondly, I found the accompanying pickles more of a treat (and that's really saying something). While the pastrami itself wasn't bad, I've had far better pastrami in my life, and with a $15 price tag, the sandwich was not worth it by itself. I only paid that much because it was Katz, which is probably part of the problem - unfortunately, since Katz is so well known, it can charge ridiculous prices and deliver food that's below the belt. I don't think I'll be coming here again. The place has an old NYC charm, and that's its only redeeming feature.