Friday, October 23, 2009

New York Part 1 - Carnagie Delicatessen

New York is considered by many to be the culinary mecca of the United States and after my recent trip to this city I understand why. Over the next posts I will be discussing the amazing adventures I had with food in the week long trip I took. The first stop on my culinary adventure was the famed Carnagie Delicatessen, a place that you can't help but love as soon as you pass the window with the huge Strawberry covered cheese cakes.

As soon as you walk in the hustle and bustle of this famed deli hit you right in the face. Lots of yelling and and order calling fills the air and being from the back of the house, those sounds fell right at home. You are seated at family style tables where you don't know exactly who you are sitting to, but that always makes for interesting conversation, especially with the amount of tourists that come to New York. The first thing that you immediately taste upon sitting down are these great homemade pickles that are waiting on each table. There are two types and both with unique flavors that get your taste buds excited for what is in store ahead. After perusing what seems to be a very intricate menu, one sandwich stood out above the rest. When at Carnagie you have to get one of two things, pastrami or corned beef. So why not get them both in the mega sandwich known as the "Woody Allen", the one sandwich to rule them all.

As soon as our very entertaining server, Fergi from Egypt, set down this behemoth of a sandwich you quickly become intimidated. But as soon as you take the first bite, intimidation turns into an aggression to try to eat the entire sandwich. Both the corned beef and pastrami are amazing. You can taste every hour that those cooks put into each meat. The mix of spice and perfect tenderness of the two cuts give the sandwich an explosion of flavors in every bite. After making a valiant effort at the sandwich, I think I did pretty good.

Beside the food, the front of house is equally talented. The way the floor is worked in this place by the staff is impressive. For being such a small space they make use of every inch of it and I don't know how they keep it all straight. The way people simply come and go from the tables, there is no beginning or end to the meal but simply a revolving door that spins the entire time they are open. I can't say that I have been to many delicatessens but this one has definitely set the bar pretty high for the ones that I may venture to in the future.

Carnegie Deli on Urbanspoon

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