I just came back from a trip to NYC. I grew up on LI so this isn't anything new. For those of you that don't know, NYC is famous for a few different foods.
I've had all of these foods at each of their consensus "Best place for _____" in NYC. Now, there is another things that NYC is famous for. Delis. I never realized that other parts of the country don't have what I would call a Deli. I moved to NC after college and was left without a place to go get a sandwich and a pickle. Now, there is one thing on the menu that NYC is particularly famous for.
Pastrami. I've had Pastrami from a Deli in NYC a whole bunch of times. Always great. This weekend though, I realized what I was missing. I had never had it from the "Best place for Pastrami". Basically Saturday night was spent drinking copious amounts of over-priced alcohol in trendy Lower-East Side bars. 4 am rolled around and the bars closed. We walked (stumbled) out of the bar and made our way down the street. Someone suggested going to Katz which was only a block or two away. I had heard of Katz. Just like I had heard of Carnegies. Both are considered the best Delis in NYC but I just had never gone.
Here is how I assume things went: We get in a massive and crowded deli. Loud NY-ers screaming behind the counter to hurry up. Pastrami sandwich and a pickle was 80% of the orders. We got food and drink, sat down, and looked greedily at my sandwich in my drunken stupor. Now, when I said "assume" it's because I had too much to drink. I barely remember ordering. I don't remember leaving or paying my tab. I don't remember walking the streets. But, what I do remember, with unbelievable accuracy, was my first and last bite of that heavenly sandwich. That meat was so good, it made me sober for the 20 minutes it took to eat. Salty, smoky, tender, spicy, and every other good thing meat should be.
I have a list of the top 5 food I've ever eaten.
#1 Charbroiled Oysters. Acme Oyster House (New Orleans)
#2 Pastrami Sandwich. Katz deli (NYC)
#3 Veal Parmesan. Il Vagabondo (NYC)
#4 Linguini with Clam Sauce. Dad (My father's kitchen)
#5 Fat Tsunami. Jimmy's Grill (Rutgers University)
As you can see. I have a new entry.
So, this week I'll be buying a brisket, cure it, rub it, smoke it, and then steam it. Now this will take some time. But if I can achieve 75% the amount of deliciousness as Katz, I might just quit my job and open up the best Deli in FL.