It seemed wrong to not write about my final day even though I was traveling, the flight time home was 2140, so this allowed a few more memories to be created before my travel neurosis kicked in which creates a desperate desire to get to the airport early.
( I has set my mind clock to arrive at airport for no later than 1830, now I know for seasoned travelers this sounds ridiculous but I really am a neurotic traveler and can’t stand the thought of being late , so arriving early allows me to get checked in, organized and settled prior to my flight wherever it maybe, plus I get the bonus time to write, read, review, ponder food and recipes and also people watch all silver linings for me)
So after a morning of writing up the blog diaries updated now, and sleeping for a solid 8 hours something that has surpassed me since I arrived in the US. We headed of to Katz famous deli ( from the movie When Harry Met Sally fame! ) and also their giant stacked pastrami sandwiches, and to visit the infamous and possibly oldest pub in NYC McSorleys which literally has sawdust in the floor- a real spit and sawdust pub.
We use the underground which is also an overground crossing the train Brooklyn Bridge a beautiful feat of engineering and we head into Manhattan, Katz delicatessen is a short walk from Grand Street underground station and gives us the opportunity to see some of the neighborhood, it’s history is of Jewish heritage, where a large community had formed , although as with most of the ethnic communities they are blending into each other as each decade passes but there are still some real long surviving delicatessens still going surpassing the high turnover over of new food ventures that seem to be in NYC.
Russell and Daughters which is famous for its Knishes ( a pastry stuffed with potato and filling )
Another one is the infamous Katzs Deli.It’s unique in so many ways, the disorganized ordering system, queues appear everywhere and people sometimes are not understanding why they are queuing for , or what they need to queue for, on entry every guest diner gets a pink ticket and if you lose your pink ticket you get charged $50!
You can get table service if you desire, getting it is a challenge either by getting in the right queue, or just sitting down and hoping you can get someone’s attention!
All of this though makes sense when you taste the product that they are creating, now it’s not cheap and I’m duly told has increased it prices at a phenomenal rate as it lives up to it’s tourist infamy. It’s $20 for a pastrami sandwich, and it is large, it is still stacked high in my view , ( we shared 2 sandwiches to 3 of us and it was filling), but my hosts Louise and Pete say that the price has gone up and the sandwich size has gone down, and some of vavvavoom has gone to which is a shame of course.
If you get in the right queue to order , your server cuts your meat in front of you and for each cut he puts a taster on top in a little saucer to tease your taste buds , you can order pickles, gherkins, cucumber, green tomato. We also ordered the matzo soup, another food cherry popping for me .
Matzo is very traditional Jewish dish ( chicken soup for the soul stuff), it’s a light but very deeply flavoured chicken broth which can only be from boiling whole chicken and bones to get the depth of flavour, served with a huge matzo ball in the middle. Now matzo isn’t the most attractive food stuff but with the chicken broth is intensely comforting , and a dish I’m going to make at home and replicate.
We also had a corned beef sandwich which real corned beef not the British version in a can! On The Taste On on of the challenges I tried to replicate the corned beef spices from tin corned beef for a take on corned beef hash, I liked it the judges didn’t, understandably it wouldn’t have been successful either for the traditional method as in 1 hour I couldn’t have braised the real beef even in a pressure cooker.
Katz’s is succulent , juicy and meltingly delicious with the fat running through the beef adding another texture and flavour, really I couldn’t decide which I preferred the pastrami or corned beef both on a par for me so happy to sit on the fence on this one. Visit yourself and you choose and let me know!
To match this culinary delight I had an American traditional cream soda, whilst Louise and Pete had a beer each to go with theirs.
As it was my last day ( have I mentioned that!) , we headed off to have a real beer in a really old pub and it so happened to be the oldest ( possibly ) pub in NYC at age of 160 years old it’s got some heritage, you enter the pub and see the sawdust on the floor, the beautiful carved bar and its interior walls decorated without any spaces of photos, pictures, newspaper cuttings, framed information about the history of McSorleys. Which itself was a very male institution until the 1970’s when they finally allowed women in to drink there! A storage cupboard made into a ladies toilet, although have to say did see many a women open the male toilet doors to expose men at the urinals ; interesting addition to the 2 glasses of beer you get when you order 1!
It’s part of their uniqueness you order your beer in light or dark ale and you get 2 half glasses. Makes it fun and fills the table very quickly.
Pete even sold a book while we were sat there after a Seattle couple visiting heard us talking about the event and intrigued asked more, Pete signed it and sold it! $30 richer he paid for the drinks!
We still had time even though I was in neurosis countdown, we visited another bar for 15 minutes, this is the bar where Louise does her NYC Eggs and Kegs events, we met the bar tender Michelle and Left Louise behind as she was collecting some stuff from the place in financial district she had been staying to stay at Pete’s for a while as Ryan ( Louise’s husband) was flying in that evening.
Farewells said and kind of loosely as it will not be long before we do more stuff together and also chat, Louise and I are going to be doing a monthly show called #Cross Pond Food Sessions incorporating both our styles into my weekly radio show on Bolton FM; more of that in another blog post.
I’ve had the most tremendous time, my unedited version of the adventure I will post soon, every recipe we created and cooked I will write up in the next week and post too.
Louise and I are lucky and we know it, we got on so well it could have been a complete disaster but it worked, we are polar opposites in some ways – aka Louise likes to party I like to chill, but in the kitchen and planning of food we are so similar, calm, direct and compliment each other so well. Our combined knowledge and spirit and passion is something else. I’m going to miss my cooking buddy and we have so many more #cross pond food session adventures to plan and deliver our future has just started.
The 2 weeks now they are drawing to a close have flown by, when I was living them they seemed to go on forever that is the funny thing about time it plays tricks on you.
Loved every second
Now I’m just so excited to see my husband, my children and my dog and my Bessie. Coming to get you’all.