Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where Harry Met Sally and We Met Knoblewurst

Knoblewurst – Katz’s Deli
Katz's Deli

It has recently been established that we have a future in competitive eating.

The morning after nearly dying of massive food intake, we are each consuming food in our respective kitchens at rapid-fire pace.  One would never know that we had eaten half of downtown Manhattan the afternoon before.
Our Prey
And this is when we realize our flaw from our first day o’ eating: you need to pace yourself, and the only way to pace yourself is to eat constantly from the moment you wake up.  Lesson learned.

The following week, we embark on our second adventure in eating all of the Best Thing I Ever Ate dishes in Manhattan.  A snowstorm had hit the city a few days before, and unfortunately for us, Mayor Bloomberg has decided that downtown sidewalks don’t really have to be cleared because NYC is apparently a driving town (…).  This lack of sidewalk clearance is relevant only because it hindered our ability to get to our eating destinations as quickly as we would have preferred, and also because it nearly killed us.
Bloomberg's Idea of a Good Time
After trudging over mountainous snowbanks, forging through puddles, and sliding down an overarching rink of sidewalk ice, we make it to Katz’s Deli ready to abandon our tour and go protest outside Gracie Mansion.

Now, Katz’s Deli is what one calls a “New York Institution,” so naturally, neither of us, being New York Institution losers, had ever been there.  We were instantly confused.  In a process that still remains mildly unclear, upon entering Katz’s, you are given a ticket that you are to keep with you until you leave.  You pay at the door on your way out, or at least, this is what we manage to discern in the midst of our frazzledness.

Katz’s becomes unwittingly crowded and overwhelming quickly (as Vodka discovered at a later date when she arrived mid-day on a Sunday).  However, at 9:00am on this Saturday, crickets.  The place is nearly empty.

We walk up to the counter and confidently ask for a knoblewurst sandwich on rye.  The man behind the counter looks bemused.  Without saying anything, he slaps two pieces of red, juicy sliced sausage down on the counter in front of us.

“Try it,” he says.  Apparently, we don’t look like the knoblewurst types.

We do.  It is the Best Thing We Have Ever Eaten.

We nod and grunt incoherently at the man behind the counter, confirming that we didn’t order knoblewurst by mistake.  Wanting to make the most of our first trip to Katz’s Deli, we choose the seat “Where Harry Met Sally,” as the dangling sign above our heads indicates, for our breakfast of the best thing WITH GARLIC that Michael Psilakis has ever eaten.
We'll Have What She's Having... If It's Knoblewurst
Our sandwich is a three-inch tall stack of sliced sausage in between two mustard-slathered pieces of rye bread, with a side of complimentary pickles.  We dutifully split the sandwich and dig in.

We are in love.
Our Soul Mate
The knoblewurst is cooked so that portions of the “skin” are downright crunchy, while the middle remains moist and juicy.  As someone who has been forcefed kielbasi by her Polish mother and grandmother for most of her life, Vodka is one with garlic sausages, and this is one of the best.
Not Kielbasi, but It Will Do
Jamming the entire half sandwich in our mouths, we fear that we have just done ourselves in and failed the rest of our day before it even began.  Grabbing those wayward tickets, we head towards the door to pay for the greatest knoblewurst sandwich ever, before going back outside onto the ice rink that Mayor Bloomberg considers Manhattan.

Katz’s Deli Knoblewurst: 5 stars*

*Certifiable Best Thing We Ever Ate

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