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just ate Katz's in NYC... how does it compare to Langers?

Mr. Taster | Jan 18, 2005 06:32 PM

This is an except from my full NYC report (see link below)

Mr. Taster


It sounds apocryphal. How could the New Yorker claim that Los Angeles had a jewish deli with better pastrami than New York? I decided to taste test for myself. I'd heard a lot about Katz's but had never been there. Walked in. Navigated the funny ordering system (for those familiar, it’s sort of like Philippes in downtown LA except at Katz’s they give you a ticket when you walk in the door that the counter man marks your orders on). I walk up to my own personal pastrami carver. I ask for a taste.

I’ve had Langers pastrami sandwich in LA enough times now that its memory is permanently ingrained in my head. It’s delicious stuff. So tender, and steamed for so long that if it were “on the bone” it would, in fact “fall off the bone.” Also, Langer’s does this unusual steam toasting of their sandwich rye so that you get a lovely crunchy rim around the edge of the sandwich, but the middle stays soft.

I asked my counter man at Katz’s for a sample. I see that he’s got on the counter in front of him a beautiful piece of meat. He carves off a generous sample for me. My first impression… it’s damn good. It has a unique, robust, peppery flavor – but not overpoweringly so. The texture—it’s definitely tender, though Langer’s definitely gives extra steam time to their cut. Though the texture and tenderness of Langer’s is better, I like the flavor of Katz’s pastrami more. I order a sandwich. He piles on a very generous portion of pastrami—easily double the amount that Langer’s puts on theirs. Unfortunately, this is put on rye bread out of the bad—no steaming, no toasting, etc. It makes a damn good sandwich, but Langer’s edges ahead by a nose for the extra dimension their super crispy rye crust brings to the sandwich.

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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