I’m sure you know by now that I’m a big fan of Katz, the famous deli which I aim to visit every time I travel to New York... Trying to find alternatives or different versions of my beloved Pastrami sandwich, I stopped by 2nd Avenue Deli, which has had much applause on the Internet. The experience is entirely different to Katz. The restaurant is dark, the staff are not welcoming, the waiters are a bit rude but who cares, they’ve been here for half a century; let's try the food!
The menu is different with a hundred choices or so and specialities reaching 55$ for a single plate. But since it was a first visit I decided to have a pastrami and a corned beef.
Lunch starts with a plate of cucumber pickles, a plate of coleslaw and dips of mustard and Russian sauce. I was so excited to try their sandwiches and wished to see that thick sandwich only seen on Instagram like the one at Katz. Sweet coleslaw and crunchy pickle; good enough but not exceptional.
Both are thick sandwiches loaded with a dozen layers of thinly cut meat - but indistinguishable from each other to look at. The pastrami is way tastier than the corned beef which is not worth ordering. Spread mustard abundantly and enjoy the slow cooked meat of the pastrami, juicy inside and out, on a fresh and light rye bread.
A good sandwich but the experience at Katz is another level to here - funkier and more enjoyable. The way you receive your sandwich, the flavors, the vibes and colors, indeed everything that makes Katz what it is and certainly the best Pastrami place in New York City.
Would I come back here... not anytime soon.