Deli-News: It Isn't Quite NYC's Katz's Deli, But It's Close Enough
Recently I saw a comment on a food blog post that made the assertion that Jason's Deli wasn't as good as Katz's Deli in New York. I was puzzled by this, for to me the comparison seems rather foolish. Jason's Deli is a chain, while Katz's Deli is renowned throughout the nation as a shrine to pastrami, corned beef and such. Of course, Jason's is not as good because their meat doesn't have that deliciously brined flavor and buttery texture that truly great deli meat displays. My comrade Stephen Doyle's Toque to Toque article awhile back left me hungry for the kind of sandwich that only an honest-to-Manhattan place like Deli-News can deliver, but on this occasion I was pressed for time, so I decided to take advantage of takeout, as many good New Yorkers with parking issues would.
Walking in, I saw immediately that I had made the right decision, as the place was packed and there was not a table available. I had phoned in my order, and while I was waiting, I noticed that Deli-News employees were quite cheerful and operated with New York efficiency. No wasted motion or action, yet all done with a smile.
One bite of Deli-News pastrami sandwich on New York rye told me that there are places that call themselves delis and then there are true Delis. This sandwich was ambrosial, a perfect blend of biting brine and buttery-smooth texture that only a true New York style pastrami can bring. Each bite of bliss was heavenly, and no cheese or condiments such as mustard were necessary. Similarly, the bacon cheddar chicken breast sandwich sported plenty of pure roasted chicken flavor, much more than any chain chicken. The matzo ball soup I had on the side was chicken comfort in a cup and would be better on a cold, cloudy day.
As I said, the service was excellent and I noticed the waitresses were nicely polite, a trait not often associated with service in the Big Apple. The only difficulty, and this was minor, was that when I phoned, I believe that my order was taken by someone who was not used to taking phone orders, as the lady seemed to not understand what I wanted, and I had to repeat myself several times to be understood. However, she finally got it right and I was presented with a correct order at checkout. In sum, while Deli-News may not be in the same league as Katz's or Carnegie in New York, it certainly delivers first-rate food far better than Jason's or any other chain.
17062 Preston Road