The Shop Brings Katz’s Pastrami To Midtown (Sort of)

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I don’t know what made me stop in at newly opened restaurant The Shop (5th Avenue at 41st Street) in the swanky boutique hotel, Andaz. It was sure to not be a Midtown Lunch: there aren’t any bargains and obviously its regular clientele are tourists. But, I did check out the lunch menu out of idle curiosity and was shocked to see something I’ve wanted in Midtown for years: Pastrami by Katz’s.

Yes, really. According to someone on staff, the theme of the restaurant is locally produced food and drink. They want to give their guests a bit of a culinary tour of New York, so they stock local pickles and NY State beer and the menu is full of organic this and farm raised that. And when it came to our famed Jewish Delis, they decided to just go get the best in town. I can’t argue with that.

I’m always skeptical when new hands get into old favorites, but being able to get my hands on that luscious pastrami mere blocks from my office would be amazing.

See what I found after the jump.

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My high hopes allowed me to look past the $15 price tag, which is less than what I’d be paying if I took a trip down to the Lower East Side.

When I got the sandwich, I have to say I was disappointed by the reversal of the meat to bread ratio. Clearly, The Shop wasn’t going to be serving the monstrous, hand-cramping, jaw-breaking mountain of sliced meat between thin slices of rye, but I wasn’t expecting to find these rather thick slices of soft, fleshy rye bread taking up so much of the sandwich’s thickness. That’s not a bad thing. The bread is actually quite good, sprinkled with caraway seeds, it’s more than just a host for the filling.

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The meat or lack thereof was the real disappointment. The portion probably looks fine if you’ve never been served a mountain of smoked meat on a couple slices of bread that you could barely wrap your hands around. If you’ve never had an old man behind the counter hand you a couple meltingly tender chunks of pastrami while you wait, you’ll never know what’s missing. But I have, so it just wasn’t the same.

The meat was also on the lean side, as opposed to the extra fatty cuts I would usually request from the counter at the source. I suppose this just means a trip to the Lower East Side is in order.

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I’ve never been to New York before, so this is the best Pastrami I’ve ever had.
  • There’s no way I can make it to the LES during lunch, but I need some good Pastrami.
  • The rye bread is genuinely good.

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I’ve been to Katz’s.
  • I can go to 2nd Avenue Deli if I need a good Deli sandwich but can’t leave Midtown.
  • I need a sandwich bigger than my head.

The Shop @ Andaz 5th Avenue, 485 5th Ave. (on 41st) 212-601-1234


  • $15 for a bread sandwich. No thank you.

  • Sarge’s trumps 2nd Avenue Deli any day of the week and it is just a couple blocks up 3rd ave.

  • eh, pastrami tastes like hotdogs. Pass. The rye bread looks like a good foundation for a yummy peanut butter, banana, and nutella sandwich though : D

  • If that is Katz’s pastrami, I’ll eat white bread and mayonnaise every day for a month.

  • That’s a sad looking sandwich. I bet it tastes like failed dreams.

  • Unless the DOH give’s it a C, it’s not the same, lol

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    I was so excited by the headline, and so let down by that picture of the actual pastrami sandwich. I would jump on a subway and go down to Katz’s before I’d pay $15 for that lame-o stack of bread.

  • Its because of places and food like that, that we all come to Midtown Lunch website for real food and value.

  • just to chime in, that’s a fucking pathetic looking pastrami sandwich.

    in any case, imo, 2nd ave deli > katz > sarge’s.

  • Can’t beat Katz… even if the place looks sleek and sexy and the waiters probably look pretty hot too…

  • You got ripped off….that looks very sad to me. You should have thrown that back in your waiter’s face….

  • Anyone ever try the pastrami joint at 78th and lex? Best pastrami i’ve had (also most expensive), but I’ve never tried Katz’s.

    And serving that “sandwich” for $15 is a shankable offense.

  • THAT is supposed to be an interpretation of Katz’s pastrami sandwich?

    At Katz’s, my gf and I were both able to split one sandwich and be comfortably full. That wouldn’t even come close to making me feel satisfied. And for $15? What a joke.

  • Is that sammy really as small as it looks? It seems to be much smaller than even a regular slice of rye. And yes, charging $15 for that morsel is a crime. Or an idiot tax for those too stupid to hit up one of the real delis (and yes, by “those” I mean tourons).

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    Its actually not that unusual to find “Katz’s” brand pastrami in stores. I know that they used to carry it in Balducci’s on 14th street before they closed, although you could tell just by looking at it — as you can tell by looking at this sandwich — that the use of the Katz name is nothing but a marketing ploy, and has no similarity whatsoever to the real product. I have to say though, that the bread looks much nicer than what they serve at the real Katz.

  • Katz should take the money and open on that fucking mosque site @ WTC.

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    With apologies, this entire article should probably be deleted just in case someone who has never been to Katz’s opens it up, gets as far as the picture, and then thinks that their pastrami is clearly overrated and not worth the effort. Think of the children.

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    Just go to Ben’s Deli on 38th btw 7th and 8th.. the sandwiches aren’t nearly as big or as good as Katz, but at least it’s better than that BS and cheaper than $15

  • This theme of a restaurant failed miserably at Borough Food and Wine. Selling $1 chinatown dumplings for $5. That is a pathetic looking sandwich. Four slices of thinly, machine sliced “pastrami” on thick bread… that is not Katz’s.

  • Not only is it small, but that doesn’t look at all like Katz’s hand cut, thick, fatty slices. That looks machine cut.

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