I’ll Have What She’s Having

When it comes down to it, people are more apt to connect with to a movie or television show when they recognize the setting or are able to visit afterwards. If it isn’t famous before Hollywood swoops in, it’s quite possible that it will be famous afterwards.

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Fenton’s Creamery in the last scene of Up

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Sideways brought in oodles of revenue for Santa Barbara and surrounding areas – people searching for the most authentic wineries and soaking up the perfect California sun

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Shows like Friends and Seinfeld were both based in the Big Apple.

My friend Laura and I have actually been watching the series from the start and there is oh so much more that I understand.  Sure it helps to be a bit older – most of the jokes and commentary went over my 7th grade self, but the fact that I’m navigating my adult years in such a mixed up city, also helps me relate to the characters at times. (On a random note…anyone want to indulge in a banana split with me?)

So, I’ve been on a hunt to find all the best spots in the city, making sure I’ve conquered all that NYC has to offer.  I’ve created my own big city bucket list, gathering tips from family, from Time Out New York and even the morning’s AM New York to find some hidden gems.  Not exactly the best for the world’s top stories, but it’s easy to read and fun to pass the time on my morning commute.

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So back to this funky little title – “I’ll Have What She’s Having”.  If you are all cultured in art of Hollywood, you would know exactly what I am talking about.  No?  Check out this clip (not exactly “G” just a warning)

The movie “When Harry Met Sally” and the part where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal argue about something that really doesn’t need to be included in this blog at the moment. Anyways, the movie itself is based in New York and this lovely scene occurs right in the heart of Manhattan in Katz’s Delicatessen.

IMG_4658For those of you who aren’t so familiar with Katz, it’s a kosher style deli located in the Lower East Side (LES).  Back when New York was just getting started, the LES was the central hub for hundreds of immigrants, all of whom brought their classic family recipes to the city for a new beginning.  It’s been satisfying locals and tourists alike since 1888 (yep, that long ago) with its pastrami and hot dogs.  Apparently they turn out 10,000 pounds of pastrami, 5,000 pounds of corned beef, 2,000 pounds of salami, and 12,000 hog dogs…PER WEEK.  Judging by the amount of meat they placed on our sandwich, I could very well believe these figures.

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I love the classic feeling this building has, the homey feeling you get when you walk in.  My friend Laura makes fun of me because every time I see such a building (namely diners), I’m bouncing about, dying to go in and eat.

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Their system is pretty simple – each person is handed a ticket when they enter and there is the option to seat yourself or wait to be seated.   The ticket serves as your food pass and you walk up to various counters to order the sandwiches, sides, and drinks.

IMG_4664Prices appear to be a bit on the steep side, so don’t assume because it’s old-fashioned, you’ll be walking out with a $5 sub.  No sir.  However, they are very generous with their portions.  Laura and I ended up splitting a sandwich and fries and still weren’t able to consume it all.  That’s saying something since we runners can pack it in.

IMG_4662 The interior reminded me of Philippe’s, a classic joint known for the French dip sandwich in Los Angeles – Not too uppity, plenty of space, photos adorning the walls, and old-fashioned advertisements.  I’m pretty sure I feel more comfortable in an environment like this than I do in a high-scale steak restaurant.  No judgement, just good food.

IMG_4663We opted for the seat-yourself option and wandered around the counters eyeing our options.  At first we weren’t sure what we wanted to order.  It’s known for its pastrami, but roast beef, and brisket were also viable options.  The guy behind the counter was a gem and sliced off a piece of each so we could take the flavors for a spin.  He also dished out some tips on the place and recommended with go with the pastrami.  After savoring each of the flavors, I had to agree.

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The sandwich was sliced up right in front of us and handed over on a cafeteria tray.  Not only were we presented with a heaping pile of meat, but also a few cucumbers and salty pickles.  It was almost as good as the jumbo pickle you can pick up at Disneyland.

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We used our ticket to check off the food items ordered and used it to pay when we exited the restaurant.  Of course it’s a cash only joint, so make sure to stop by an ATM on the way.  No worries if you forget because like many other NYC restaurants, there’s one located in the back.

IMG_4669Yes, we even managed to snag a spot at the famous location.  Ok, not sure if that is something to brag about but it made it oh so much more fun.

I was pretty surprised the place wasn’t more crowded for a Friday night.  Then again, it has been around since 1888 and “When Harry Met Sally” came out a solid number of years ago.  I’m sure the locals known when to arrive and when to stay away.  Plus, 9pm on a Friday would be prime bar-hopping hours rather than pastrami-eating hours.  Who cares, I like to go against the flow.

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Katz’s Delicatessen
205 East Houston StreetManhattan,New York City, 10002

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9 thoughts on “I’ll Have What She’s Having

  1. omg! i am completely jealous right now for so many reasons. but first because when harry met sally is one of my all time FAVORITE movies on the planet! and that scene..it’s hilarious every freaking time! next time i’m in nyc i need to go here!

  2. Thank you for reminding me that I need to watch the movie When Harry Met Sally.. I’ve never seen it ( terrible I know ). This is so cool though! And FRIENDS was definitely where my NYC obsession stems from. I can’t believe it’s been ten years since the finale!

  3. I’ll bring the ice cream if you’ve got a banana!! And how fun! Those sandwich’s do look huge so good call on the split. NYC is a bit too “big city” for me to live I think but I love exploring wherever I live and it’d def have me busy for years goin to new places lol…For now I’ll just live vicariously through you 🙂

  4. This is a great recap of a visit to Katz’s! I visited in Nov 2012 with my ex boyfriend after a trip to the Tenement Museum (def recommend if you haven’t been yet) and we had to split a sandwich and fries as well- those portion sizes are no joke!

  5. Pingback: Springtime at Lincoln Center | California Endless Summer

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