Saturday, July 16, 2016

Weekend Cooking- A Trip to the Lower East Side

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 Last Sunday, my husband and I took a long walk from our home on the Upper East Side of New York City to the Lower East Side. We ended up at the intersection of 1st Ave. and 1st Street, or what Kramer from Seinfeld calls it- 'the nexus of the universe'.

We've been in NYC for eight years and never eaten at the world-famous Katz's Deli, so we stopped in for lunch. The place was crowded, as always, filled with a mix of tourists and neighborhood people. When you walk in, you're given a blue ticket by a smiling big man working the door like a club bouncer.
Photo image provided

You can either put your name in for table service or join the multiple lines at the deli counter. We split up, I found us two seats at a four seat table, and my husband stood in Cutter Line #7 to place our order. Luckily, we had our cell phones, so he called me to coordinate our order.

We split a huge Reuben sandwich, along with an order of fries and two Pepsis. When you place your oder, you give the counter person your blue tickets, which they mark with your order for the cashier.
We split a Reuben sandwich

The sandwich was good, but I'm not as big a fan of corned beef as my husband. He actually prefers the corned beef at the 2nd Ave. Deli, which is right around the corner from our apartment.

The walls of the deli have hundreds of pictures of famous people who have eaten there- politicians (Bill Clinton, Rudy Guiliani), actors (Leo DiCaprio, Dan Ackroyd from his SNL days) and more (OJ Simpson). And for some reason, there seemed to be dozens of photos of Mike Bloomberg. Everywhere you looked was another photo of Mike Bloomberg, taken over many years, so it looked like a Mike Bloomberg scrapbook.

There are a few men wheeling big carts around to pick up the trays and trash, they just keep circling, which I found interesting. When you finish, you pay (cash only) at the register, giving the cashier your blue ticket. Our order came to $35 for what was essentially one person for lunch. So it's on the pricy end.
Inside Katz's Deli- photo provided

We popped in across the street at il laboratorio del gelato for a gelato treat. The place is all white and sterile looking, just like a lab (hence the name), and the staff were busy providing samples (two per person) to people at the counter.

I chose a small dish of salted caramel (their most popular) and vanilla gelato and it was so creamy and flavorful. My husband had a small mint chocolate chip (delicious) and peanut butter (bland).
Our gelato

We ate our gelato and wandered over to Tompkins Square Park where we found a musical group called The Meetles playing Beatles songs, and sat for a bit enjoying the music. We passed people with strollers and dogs, and apparently there is a street hockey league that plays some serious games on Sunday too.

After wandering about awhile, we decided that we needed to do this more often, just walk around parts of the city we don't spend much time in because it's a big city with a lot to see.


  1. I've been pass this deli but never into it. It is on my list for the next time.

  2. I've eaten there once years and years ago and I remember really enjoying it though was almost overwhelmed by the crowds and the noise. The Reuban looks amazing and those fries!

  3. Wow, sounds really expensive for a single sandwich meal. But fine, taken in context, with a fun stroll through the city.

  4. Wow, that does sound pricey for the meal you got. I found most restaurants in NYC were cheaper than I expected.

    I would love to live in NYC :)

  5. I ordered a Reuben once and was just astonished at how huge it was! Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  6. It's fun to play tourist in your own city and I imagine that you could do that quite a bit in NYC! We definitely don't make it to Dallas or Fort Worth often enough and it's always fun when we do. But WOW $35 for one meal. I would have skipped it and just gone for the salted caramel gelato. yum!

  7. Katz's Deli is on my list, but we haven't gotten there yet. Had no idea it was that pricey, but am not surprised. I suppose you could live in NYC for decades and never run out of areas to explore or things to do!

  8. What a fun day! I went to Katz's years ago with friends but I don't remember it being that expensive. I must not have paid! Hah! ;-) I'd love a scoop of that salted caramel gelato right now.

  9. @rhapsody in books and I ate at Katz's a few years ago -- it was fine, not necessarily the best deli I've ever eaten. I sure wish we had thought of or noticed the gelato! Sorry I was so late getting here this week -- we were off camping and had almost no internet connection.