Smoked Meat Sandwich is synonymous with Montreal and Pastrami Sandwich is synonymous with New York City. From the eye both these sandwiches share a lot of similarities; they were introduced to the public by Jewish immigrants, usually made with Beef Brisket, served on Rye Bread with Mustard and are eaten with Cucumber Pickle on the side. In fact many people actually find it to be similar tasting.
However ask most Montrealers or New Yorkers if they are the same sandwich with different names and many will say “No” they are not the same and “Yes” their sandwich taste better than the other. And since we have tried Montreal’s Smoked Meat Sandwich, Pastrami Sandwich was next!
In Montreal it was undoubtedly clear Schwartz’s serves up the best Smoked Meat Sandwich but in New York we were recommended two delis, Katz and Carnegie. We decided on Katz after watching it on “No Reservations” Manhattan Episode.
Arriving at Katz one could definitely tell this place has not changed for years and if you think the queue at Schwartz was long Katz was longer and bigger.
Ordering was a little complicated at first because it seemed everyone was just crowding around the counter. However we soon realized that the counters were split between sections for Sandwiches, Burgers, Fries and Drinks and you would have to queue on the section that you would like to place your order.
The restaurant was so packed we decided to split our roles with Zhao Kun ordering the food while I scouted for a table to make sure we had a seat when the food came.
Pastrami Sandwich with Extra Pastrami
At Katz the meat wasn’t piled as high as Schwartz but the deli guy was really nice to give us extra meat for free when Zhao Kun requested for more. The sandwiches in my opinion tasted similar in flavor except Schwartz had a much stronger flavor and spicier mustard. However the meat at Katz was juicier than Schwartz and melted in your mouth. I prefer the texture of Katz and the flavor of Schwartz
Hands down Katz wins this category. The fries we had at Schwartz were soggy and flavorless. Here they were thick-cut fries that was crispy but fluffy on the inside. It was also well seasoned!
I actually like Pickles and the one's at Katz had a nice crunch and was definitely sour
Brown’s Cream Soda
I remembered Anthony Bourdain having one of these at Katz and we ordered one to try as well. I guess the gassiness of the drink helps make you feel less fat from all the food we had
After trying both Smoked Meat Sandwich and Pastrami Sandwich the seasoning of the Beef tasted similar with Schwartz having a much stronger flavored Brisket and Katz the juicier Brisket. Therefore I would give them both a tie because my ultimate Beef Brisket sandwich would be one that has the juiciness of Katz’s Pastrami Sandwich and the Flavor of Schwartz’s Smoked Meat Sandwich!
Food: 4.5/5 (Sandwich was a tie for me but the Fries were much better at Katz!)
Price: $$ (Under USD $20 per person)
Address:205 E Houston St, New York, 10002, United States
Tel: +1 (212) 254-2246
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