Delicatessen. From a German word that translates as “Delicate Eating”.  Seriously ?


Katz Delicatessen, NYC


The classic Reuben.

As I sat in a famous New York deli on a recent visit, I witnessed this phenomenon; it was not my first time.

This particular time, I was tired from what was about a 4 hour walk through the massive Christmas crowds at all the tourist attractions. Rockefeller Center with the ice rink and Christmas tree, Saks light show, Macy’s at Herald Square, Washington Square, Radio City Music Hall, Bryant Park, the NY Library, Fifth Avenue window displays, Times Square and Broadway…no one does Christmas quite like New York City.

no bread

No bread. Saves calories ???

I had my NY slice (pizza) a few hours earlier, so I was only interested in light eating before the 3 hour trip home. I took a tiny box of grapes with about an ounce of cheese, and a small cannoli. It was just an excuse to come in out of the cold and rest.  Tab: $18.00.

What I observed around me was anything but “delicate” eating. Famous for their piled-high corned beef and  pastrami sandwiches, the NY deli always delivers. I have had these myself in the past; still not sure how one gets 3 to 4 inches of sliced meat into the mouth; very carefully, for sure.

Another translation of delicatessen, from the French, is eating “delicacies” or special foods that provide pleasure.  That’s more like it.

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8 Responses to Delicatessen

  1. Portions AND prices are huge. At least for my budget, that’s a lot to pay for a snack. But I had to smile when I read “cannoli.”

  2. Oscar Hokeah says:

    A trip to NYC sounds like an adventure, along with some good food, nice. I’ve never traveled anywhere east coast. West coast many times. I’ve always been curious about NYC, and I imagine myself visiting one day. It’s on my to-do list. Is it as crowded as they portray on the movies?

    Oscar Hokeah

    • Yes about the crowds. It’s all about timing. I would avoid weekends, especially during Christmas season. I’m not usually claustrophobic, but on a 50 degree sunny Saturday, 2 weeks before Christmas, it was like human bumper cars ! There are lines for everything, especially around the Rockefeller Center, Times Square, etc. I don’t even want to talk about the bathroom lines…ugh. My favorite places are the quiet ones..the public library, parks, historic churches. There is so much to see and do away from the crowds, if you have a navigator. I have family in Brooklyn. Good Luck…it’s worth the effort.

  3. Was that Katz delicatessen?

    • The pictures were from Katz and Carnegie. I’ve also used the Majestic Deli on 7th Ave. and 50th St. Even the worst deli food in NYC is better than any from someplace else. Except Philadelphia…great deli cuisine !

  4. Paul S says:

    Those piled high sandwiches look delicious, but how would you get in all in your mouth?

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