829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Monday, December 20, 2010

NYC for the holidays

For years, my family and I have been going to NYC on a
Sunday, a week or two before Christmas.  Pictures in
front of the tree, lunch, and a show is usually the itinerary. 
Today was no different, but in some ways more
satisfying than the usual. 

Virtually on the steps of St. Patrick's, the Christmas spirit shined
through.  "Keep it moving, Buster.  Huh?  I mean don't walk.
There's no bus service here in December!  Happy Holidays!".

For many years, we would have lunch in the Sea Grill, right on
the edge of the skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza, and often at
a window table.  Great martinis, fish, and $22 for half a dozen
oysters.  This year we opted for something more blue-collar.
The line around the corner was a bit intimidating, but it moved
pretty quickly, and before we knew it we were inside and
enveloped in the controlled mayhem otherwise known as
Katz's delicatessen.  I am sooooo glad we went.  

Most restaurants bring bread and butter.  Here you get a plate of
pickles.  Don't fill up on the half-sours, Liv.  Leave room for the
chicken noodle soup. I had the green tomato pickles all to myself. 

Evidently, I didn't know from great pastrami until we came to the
birthplace.   Close to 3/4 of a pound of perfectly cooked, juicy,
somewhat smoky and peppery pastrami on Pechter's rye.
That's it.  My daughter saw someone else's sandwich being served
and quickly asked the waiter if she too could have, (cringe),
American cheese on hers as well.  Mustard is the only suggested
condiment for pastrami.  Katz's says you can ask for mayonnaise,
at your own peril. The matzo ball soup was obscene.  They claim:
"If the soup weren’t surrounding it, this matzo ball would float
away".  Huge ball of matzo and light as a feather.  Great broth too.  

Huge place.  Celebrity pictures on the wall.  I immediately felt at
home when I saw Soupy Sales.  Bill Clinton was here.  Who knew?
Harry met Sally here, and I met the best pastrami on earth.

This is the reason you don't have dessert at Katz's.  Il laboratorio
de gelato is right across the street.  Owned by the guy who started
Ciao Bella, this stuff is a notch or two better.  Coming from me,
that's saying alot.  I'm not so much a dessert person; I'd rather
have some more oysters while others are having Valhrona chocolate.
The yuzu sorbet was mind-blowing and I could taste it all the way
to the Orpheum Theatre.

I was at first skeptical when I heard we were going to see Stomp.
Wrong again.  Second row.....  Second row!   We could feel their
breaths, they were so close to us.  It was loud, raucous, and totally
captivating from start to finish.  Unlike productions we've seen
before, the theater was not hot and stuffy, the knee-room was
downright luxurious, and after an hour and three quarters with no
break, I didn't want the show to be over.  How's that for a review?

I'm already over the embarrassment in the swamps this afternoon.
This day was way too good to be ruined by a silly game.


  1. I guess so. If you were where Harry met Sally, I guess so. Trumps any game in my book!

  2. Pastrami on rye at Katz's?

    Oy, such a Christmas!

  3. Between you and Bonnie, I'm now in a NYC Christmas state of mind -- you by day, and she by night!