Remember that scene from "When Harry Met Sally" where Meg Ryan expresses her love for the pastrami sandwich? That scene was shot in Katz's Delicatessen in New York and is (understandably) famous for it's pastrami sandwiches.
On our recent trip to New York my husband and I didn't get to Katz's as it was a bit far from where we were, but we still wanted to try a New York pastrami sandwich for the experience. Our tour guide recommended Carnegie Deli near Times Square famous for their "sky high" sandwiches and renowned cheesecakes. So off we went.
Situated on 854 7th Avenue at 55th Street, Carnegie Deli bustles with energy as it's always packed full of people. The waiters are so quick that you're seated and a menu is popped in front of you in a flash. Our waiter was very friendly and suggested a number of delicious menu items that were popular. When we asked for a hot pastrami sandwich for me and a corned beef one for my husband, he looked at me dubiously and then mentioned they offered take away. How big were these sandwiches going to be?
While we waited for our meals, we entertained ourselves by looking at the pictures crammed on the walls of famous celebrities, sports stars, and general customers. I watched in wonder as the staff moved fluidly around each other, seating people, taking orders, and delivering meals all while keeping up banter between each other and the customers.
After a 10 minute wait our orders arrived and to be honest I got full just looking at them. The sandwiches were on multi-grain bread with a huge amount of meat and cheese stuffed between the slices served with a plate of large pickles and some delicious mustard.
So began the task of figuring out how to eat it not only in a lady-like fashion but without it falling all over the table; meanwhile, my husband was not holding back and munching on the enormous sandwich in delight. I managed to get through a third of one of the halves before requesting a take away container which the waiter provided with a knowing smile.
After a five minute rest, I ordered a strawberry cheesecake which was delicious - after all they are famous for their sandwiches and cheesecake. Lucky I stopped at those two!
The service was amazing, the food was worth more than what you paid, and the staff were friendly and entertaining. If you are on a trip to NYC or live in NYC, stop in here if you haven't before as it's definitely worth it.
Now all I have to do is replicate Carnegie's here in Australia; I'll start off with their famous cheesecake recipe that is available on their website.