Deciding where to eat when traveling can be overwhelming. Trying to do so when in New York City takes this feeling to a whole other level, but that's one of the great things about New York City - everything is on a whole other level. Take delis for example. Personally, I've never experienced anything that comes close to the delis on the island of Manhattan. From the sheer number of them, the quality of the food, the portion sizes, the variety, their settings and history, everything is just so much better than delis elsewhere. But with so many to choose from, how do you? Much like the pizza debate, everyone has their beloved favorite deli with ample reasons as to why. For me, my favorite is 2nd Ave. Deli, located at 162 East 33rd Street.
That's right, they're no longer located on 2nd Avenue, but they are still serving up amazing food, and have been since 1954. They claim to be serving the finest Jewish culinary creations in New York City and I wholeheartedly agree. I mean, I'm not Jewish nor do I have an exhaustive history with Kosher cuisine, but you don't have to to realize and appreciate just how good their food is.
Upon entering, I walk past the counter and my eyes zero in on the dozens of freshly made salads and cold cuts beautifully presented behind the glass. The colors, the textures, the variety, everything looks delicious. Not only do I get a good glimpse of their amazing selection, but I start to get a real sense of the authenticity that makes 2nd Ave. Deli so different from others. After being greeted by the guys behind the counter, you're welcomed to your table and the New York City Kosher deli experience starts to come alive. Without even asking, an impressive plate full of sour tomatoes, sour pickles, half sours and slaw appears, almost as a sign letting me know the deli festivities are about to commence...
At 2nd Ave. Deli I've yet to stray from one of their specialties, the Twin Double. It's hard not to as it offers the best of both worlds, two fresh junior rolls each with generous portions of hot corned beef and hot pastrami. What more could you ask for? The taste and flavor of the corned beef and pastrami is immense, and it's so incredibly tender it almost melts in your mouth. Honestly, it's the best corned beef and pastrami I've ever had.
To me, 2nd Ave. Deli is the epitome of what an authentic New York City deli should be. Their history, the people, the food and the overall quality of the experience makes it great. So when you find yourself in the middle of Manhattan and looking for "the best" deli, don't be overwhelmed and just head to one of 2nd Ave. Deli's two locations. You won't be disappointed!