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In 125 Years, Much Has Changed, but the Pastrami Is the Same
New York Times ^ | MAY 14, 2013 | James Barron

Posted on 05/15/2013 11:45:06 AM PDT by nickcarraway

“I’m from out of town, and I like a good pastrami sandwich,” said Jeffrey A. Devore, a lawyer from West Palm Beach, Fla., who was sitting in Katz’s, the Lower East Side delicatessen that, like the neighborhood itself, has become a study in contrasts.

Mr. Devore had driven into Manhattan in his rental car after a court hearing in Newark and had taken a seat amid what a critic once described as the “terrazzo-and-Formica ambience, with a cafeteria counter along one side and signs instructing you, as of yore, to ‘Send a salami to your boy in the Army.’”

Beneath the long, bright fluorescents that illuminate that comfortably old-fashioned backdrop, Mr. Devore opened his iPad and began reading The Wall Street Journal.

It was enough to make one wonder how to say “plus ça change” in Yiddish.

But even Katz’s, at 205 East Houston Street, at Ludlow Street, has adapted as the landscape has been remade.

In the very next block is an apartment building with a Web site that says two-bedroom apartments start at $5,500 a month; a gelato store and a nail salon occupy the first-floor storefronts. Katz’s is now open 24 hours a day on weekends, in part to accommodate younger, hipper customers who are out later than late. In the old days, no one risked being on the street on the far side of midnight.

“It was a very tough neighborhood,” said Alan Dell, 65, one of the owners of Katz’s since 1988. “Drugs and that kind of thing. You felt nervous about coming.”

His son, Jake, 25, added: “You ran in from the car and ran out. This was a safe place, always, but not the neighborhood.”

Now, Alan Dell said, the neighborhood has multimillion-dollar condominiums.

“Who’d have thought?” Jake Dell said.

(Excerpt) Read more at cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Food; History; Local News
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/15/2013 11:45:06 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I love a good pastrami sandwich. You can get a decent sandwich here, but I have to admit there’s nothing like a N.Y. deli sandwich.


2 posted on 05/15/2013 12:00:57 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

A NY pastrami sandwich, s well as a NY corned beef sandwich has no equal.

Same with a Nathan’s hot dog.


3 posted on 05/15/2013 12:03:38 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The reason we own guns is to protect ourselves from those wanting to take our guns from us.)
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To: nickcarraway

...the most erotic of the salted, cured meats...


4 posted on 05/15/2013 12:14:01 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: nickcarraway
But even Katz’s, at 205 East Houston Street
My grandfather was born in the 400 block of E. Houston Street in the mid 1890s. He later moved to Brooklyn.
When I'd visit him as a little kid, he'd talk about the old neighborhood (LES) and Katz.
I could never understand how "cats" could have their own restaurant (hey, I was young).
5 posted on 05/15/2013 12:14:19 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: colorado tanker

This pastrami prank was played on Lindy’s Restaurant years ago: the prankster stopped off at a local deli & purchased a half pound of pastrami which he hid in his coat pocket. He then went to Lindy’s, ordered a pastrami sandwich, and surreptitiously slipped the palmed pastrami into the order, making it one huge sandwich indeed.

Lindy always made the rounds and when he came to the prankster’s table, the latter gestured expansively & exclaimed, “Lindy, what a wonderful sandwich!!”

The owner blanched and loped into the kitchen screaming and throwing plates. Moments later the prankster was fleeing the premises pursued by angry cooks wielding kitchen knives.

Attributed to the late Earl Wilson.


6 posted on 05/15/2013 12:15:51 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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Truth

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Support FR, Donate Monthly If You Can

7 posted on 05/15/2013 12:17:50 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Do you get flush when eating?


8 posted on 05/15/2013 12:18:44 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: EQAndyBuzz
The Woody Allen at the Carnegie Deli:

"Lotsa corned beef plus lotsa pastrami."

9 posted on 05/15/2013 12:18:50 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: nickcarraway
Pastrami is okay, but I still prefer corned beef. Just can't get a good deli sandwich around here.

When I visit my family in Jersey, I always insist on going out for deli food at least once. A big corned beef (or pastrami) on rye with mustard, a couple of huge sour Kosher pickles, maybe a knish, and a Dr. Brown's Cream Soda.

Oh, yeah... it's Jewish "soul food", baby.

10 posted on 05/15/2013 12:25:40 PM PDT by andy58-in-nh (Cogito, ergo armatum sum.)
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To: nickcarraway

The neighborhood is still a dump - if a hip dump. Hope they do a story on its neighbor Russ & Daughters.


11 posted on 05/15/2013 12:29:33 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: nickcarraway

Except for the many walls of cool memorabilia, the place is a ripoff

Good pastrami but a regular sized sandwich with no sides is close to $20

I think Harold’s in Edison, NJ is a much better deal. Better pastrami for half the price


12 posted on 05/15/2013 12:40:33 PM PDT by varyouga
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To: andy58-in-nh

Had dinner at Juniors in Brooklyn a week ago and they no longer serve Cel-Ray Soda. Outrage! Funny thing about today’s Juniors - no Jews, all black people. They were all complaining about the lack of celery soda!


13 posted on 05/15/2013 12:42:18 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Hebrew National! I also enjoy a dirty water hot dog made by Sabretts.


14 posted on 05/15/2013 12:45:30 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: colorado tanker

I see by your name that you may be in Colorado.Where do you live?
Do you ever go to the Bagel Deli on Havana and Monaco in Denver?
If you have, you knowthey certainly rival any NY deli.


15 posted on 05/15/2013 12:51:09 PM PDT by gigster (Cogito, Ergo, Ronaldus Magnus Conservatus)
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To: elcid1970
Attributed to the late Earl Wilson.
"Earl's Pearls" - I remember.
16 posted on 05/15/2013 12:52:48 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: gigster

Unfortunately, I don’t live close enough to the Bagel Deli to go there often, but you are right, it’s pretty darn good!


17 posted on 05/15/2013 12:52:59 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: miss marmelstein
Had dinner at Juniors in Brooklyn a week ago and they no longer serve Cel-Ray Soda. Outrage! Funny thing about today’s Juniors - no Jews, all black people. They were all complaining about the lack of celery soda!

That's funny, and also a bit sad, I suppose. My grandmother loved that stuff (Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Tonic). I never really took a liking to it. To me, there was always something inexplicably sublime about the flavor of corned beef and cream soda together, as accompanied by a fresh Jewish rye bread. It just works. ;-)

18 posted on 05/15/2013 1:10:15 PM PDT by andy58-in-nh (Cogito, ergo armatum sum.)
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To: andy58-in-nh

I’m dieting and you’re making me crazy! Yes, it is sad that they are no longer serving it. But what I love about NYC is that Jewish culture and food are so overwhelming that all groups of Americans are drawn to it. I wonder, though, for the future...even the NY accent is changing...


19 posted on 05/15/2013 1:14:41 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: oh8eleven

You have to love a thread that remembers Earl Wilson. Do you think most freepers know what the hell we are talking about?!


20 posted on 05/15/2013 1:15:40 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: colorado tanker

But how’s the gabbagoo?


21 posted on 05/15/2013 1:18:22 PM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: nickcarraway; Clive; exg; Alberta's Child; albertabound; AntiKev; backhoe; Byron_the_Aussie; ...
When you talk pastrami and the like, ALL PALE in comparison to Montreal Smoked Meat! Unfortunately, Ben's closed in 2006, but Schwartz's is still around. Dunn's (not as tasty as Schwartz's, in my opinion) is available in certain Costcos, including Calgary, so I can still get my fix, when needed!

Schwartz’s_Deli,_ Montreal
"Schwartz’s Deli on 'The Main' (3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Montreal)"

Schwartz’s_Montreal_Smoked_Meat_Sandwich
"Schwartz’s Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich"

Schwartz’s_Whole_Schmear
"Schwartz’s Whole Schmear (not the 'official' name, they substituted coffee for black cherry cola and forgot the coleslaw)!"

Review of the Best Montreal Smoked Meat Eateries

Gotta go, wipe the drool off my chin and the keyboard and get to Costco! YUM!

22 posted on 05/15/2013 1:24:42 PM PDT by A Formerly Proud Canadian (I once was lost but now I'm found; blind but now I see.)
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To: miss marmelstein
Didn't he do a cameo in one of beach flicks in the early 60's? That's about the extent of my knowledge of the guy, if he's the one.

Must have been the interaction with the motorcycle gang that was memorable.

23 posted on 05/15/2013 1:47:03 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: oh8eleven

Actually it was in “Pikes Peek Or Bust”, 1946.

That’s Earl, brother.

;^)


24 posted on 05/15/2013 1:55:55 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: colorado tanker

A work of art.


25 posted on 05/15/2013 2:02:23 PM PDT by oldsicilian
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To: miss marmelstein

Add me to the count for remembering Earl Wilson...as much as I hate to admit it.


26 posted on 05/15/2013 2:11:33 PM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: T-Bird45

I know, I know. I also remember Leonard Lyons, Jack O’Brien and Joey Adams. My NY was the NY of “Sweet Smell of Success.”


27 posted on 05/15/2013 2:22:22 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Calvin Locke

I don’t know. My mother wouldn’t let me watch the beach movies and they’re rarely shown on tv anymore!


28 posted on 05/15/2013 2:24:54 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein

I remember Earl Wilson from his syndicated column, since I never was in NYC until I was in my 30s (mid- to late-80s). I think some of his stuff was also published in Reader’s Digest, too.


29 posted on 05/15/2013 2:49:28 PM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: miss marmelstein
Do you think most freepers know what the hell we are talking about?!
Sadly, no. I now live in Rochester where's there's one newspaper - a Gannett rag.
When I tell people that I grew up reading four, five, even six papers a day, they look at me like I'm from Mars.
I get the same look when I mention egg creams or 2 cent plains.
30 posted on 05/15/2013 4:07:35 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

We always had the Journal American, the Daily News & The Post. Plus the Brooklyn Tablet. Remember when the Post was a liberal paper? It wasn’t until the 70s that we began to take the Times. Grew up reading wonderful stuff in those papers.


31 posted on 05/15/2013 4:09:49 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein
We always had the Journal American, the Daily News & The Post.
I read online (try to) the NYDN and the Post but they're garbage - especially the NYDN - crapola!
In my youth I read the NYDN for sports and the World-Telegram & Sun, and Herald-Tribune for news.
I worked in a candy store (another unknown commodity up here) and had the pleasure of reading at my leisure - and for free too.
32 posted on 05/15/2013 4:23:34 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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