There are certain institutions that for me define a particular dish or a food item — one of these is Katz’s Deli, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. For many of us that live in the NY area, there is currently no other pastrami being served that deserves the level of praises that Katz’s receives. It is also a deli of legend, dating back to the 19th century, and has survived 2 world wars and contributed to the American victory of the second, with its “Send a salami to your boy in the army” campaign and mail order business that that continues to survive this very day.
For many who visit New York City, a Katz Pastrami on Rye is the definitive food item which represents the very best the city has to offer. It is the embodiment of culinary pride in the foods of our Jewish heritage. In my opinion, once you’ve visited Katz, the city becomes a part of you, and you become a little bit Jewish and a little bit New Yorker, no matter where you’re from or how you grew up.
Katz’s storefront on Houston Street.
From the large window facing the street, you can watch the countermen practice their dying art.
Like its pastramis, Katz’s makes its own salamis, hot dogs and sausages.
Don’t read on unless you want to be very, very hungry. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more!
Pickles are something that I believe most people take for granted, and have difficulty invoking passionate thoughts or rabid cravings in anyone but the most hardcore worshiper of the briny arts. Sadly they are, for most Americans, a condiment that ends up (many times omitted by request) on fast food burgers or an insipidly sweet or cloyingly vinegary vegetable mass resembling a cooked to death kirby that is pulled out of a heat pasteurized jar originating from some big food conglomerate. And that’s a damn shame, because a real Kosher-style fresh Pickle is a marvelous, marvelous thing.
Pickelicious’s new retail location on Cedar Lane in Teaneck (2010)
Real Kosher pickles are facing extinction, and there are a scant few companies in the New York Metro area still making them. Even rarer than the jarred variety of fresh, refrigerated kosher pickle (like the Ba-Tampte brand made in NY) is the kind you used to be able to get out of a barrel on Delancey Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. But the mythical Lower East Side pickle barrel place doesn’t exist anymore — they’ve either moved out to Lawn Guyland, or in Picklelicious’ case, Jersey. Which is quite fortunate for us! And if you don’t live in Jersey, you can get them shipped to you.
Robyn Brown-Samra, Picklelicious‘ owner, comes from a long line of artisan pickle makers. She and her brother Jay, and her (late) husband Leo opened a popular pickle store on Amsterdam Avenue in New York City in the 1990’s. But after her husband passed away, she closed the store and moved to a house on River Road in Teaneck and opened a retail store. In 2007 she closed the River Road store and decided to focus on the wholesale/web business.
But in February of 2010, Robyn opened up a newer, smaller retail location on the main drag of Teaneck’s Cedar Lane business district. And now we’re sure she’s here to stay.
There’s more to pickles than meets the eye. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.