June 21, 2005
After visiting the Atwater Kent Museum, we were starving. We asked one of the employees there for a suggestion. We got two: Jones or Kibitz. It was cold and looking like rain, so we choose Kibitz because it was one street-crossing closer. In this case, being lazy really paid off.
I have to tell you that we haven’t got a clue how to eat in a New York deli. It is like an English pub--if you sit at a table and just wait, that is what you will do, wait. It only took us a minute to ditch our coats and go up to the counter. Our greeting was warm, and we were encouraged to look everything over. There was a lot to look at. Our indecision must have been quite evident. We were encouraged to sit and look over the menu before making our choice. So we sat down and looked it over.
Would we like an overstuffed deli sandwich, and if so, would a half or a whole be right? Did we want to turn it into a wrap? That was okay too. Get a half with a cup of soup, only .49 more, and with seven choices of soup. Would we like a Reuben or a hot open sandwich? Should we choose a salad with or without a salad scoop?
It really was overwhelming, especially since we don’t know what Kreplach or Kasha Varnishkas are. We pulled ourselves together and ordered half a hot pastrami on rye each. Halves are $7.50, and wholes are $10.50, so if you are having the same thing, you could just order one. We did ours separately because we both had different condiments. I had mine with spicy mustard and Swiss cheese with my one side as coleslaw, and Irene had grilled onions with a tossed salad. There is a cooler and coffee right behind where you order, so pick your drink before you pay, then just sit and wait for your feast.
"Gargantuan" is the best description I can come up with for this sandwich. I have never tasted pastrami as delicious and juicy as this one was. It was superb--even the fat, which I don’t like, couldn’t take away from the great taste. I ate every bite. Unless you have the appetite of a linebacker, don’t even consider getting a whole.
Now, they had two cases full of great-looking desserts. I ordered a piece of lemon coconut cake to take with me, and Irene got a Hammentash. I wish I could say the cake was the equal of the sandwich, but it was just okay--I had two bites and brought the rest home.
From journal Phlashing in Philly