Sunday, September 16, 2012

Old Favorite Review: Katz's Deli and Bar

Katz's Never Kloses™ is a motto of a favourite late night hangout for some of the best New York Jewish Deli style food you can get here in Texas and is a place that I can go back to over and over, always find something I like and leave feeling satisfied.  Katz's Deli and Bar was founded in Austin, though it later relocated to Houston over in the Montrose area and has been running a strong brisk business for decades.

Someone recently reminded me that there are a number of favourite local places I have enjoyed for years that I had not reviewed or shown the appropriate props since I started this blog and I have been endeavoring to make amends for that.  Besides Star Pizza, another place that immediately came to mind is Katz's Deli and Bar.  I've been there many a time for lunch and late night-post bar fare.   This is a place that has been a Montrose area institution since the 1990s, branching out from Austin and the Original in New York City.  (New York City?!?!?!)
Katz's Piled High Reuben Sammyu

What I like best about Katz's are the sandwiches on its menu.  It has a piled high Reuben that is loaded with Corned Beef, Russian Dressing, Sauerkraut and Swiss Cheese.  It also has a Deli Burger and Kosher Knockwurst sausage that will knock your socks off.  They also serve pickles and sauerkraut as appetizers (the servers sometimes call them "Jewish chips and salsa"--gotta love the humour), and they have huge slices of New York style cheesecake.  Yikers!!!

This is a place that will ruin your diet, but you will have a good time during the ruination!

Broadway Breakfast--Texas Sized!  
When considering how to view Katz's from a fresh perspective, it hit me that I had never really had their breakfast at all.  I'd seen folks eating their breakfast and it looked quite awesome, but my typical habit was to get a Reuben, Corned Beef and Cabbage or a Bacon Cheeseburger with Beef Bacon instead of pork bacon.  However, their Broadway Breakfast is an especially good deal.  For $7.99, you get to choose any 4 items from different lists including From the Griddle (i.e. Buttermilk Pancakes or Cheese Blintzes), Meats (Beef Bacon, Corned Beef, etc.), Potatoes (such as potato pancakes or home fries), Fruits and Juices, or Fresh Baked goods like their Cinnamon roll.  Whew! Decisions, decisions, decisions and decisions.

On this fine early weekend morning, I decided to have Challah French Toast (just in time for Rosh Hashanah), Beef Bacon, a toasted bagel with cream cheese and Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice--served in a frosted beer mug no less!  I also sprung for a bottomless cup of coffee as well--Katz's roasts and blends their own coffee from select beans, FYI.  It's better than Folger's or Denny's, to be sure.

Broadway Breakfast like in New York City
Get a knife and fork....
This breakfast was delicious from start to finish.  The juice was fresh squeezed indeed--full of flavour.  The Challah French Toast was quite eggy,  with a nice hint of cinnamon and plenty of powdered sugar.  Big kudos for Katz's using real Maple Syrup (Corn syrup is NOT KOSHER, FYI).  The bagel was toasty outside, soft and chewy inside and had a generous glob of smooth cream cheese.  And Beef Bacon is a favourite of mine.  Very chewy, sweet, a little peppery and distinct from Pork Bacon.  I wish more stores in Houston would sell it for me to cook at home.  Overall a satisfying breakfast from start to finish.

Katz's has all the wood and brass accouterments expected in a New York Style Deli, along with lots of prints and photos from around the Big Apple.  The staff is friendly and attentive, but not overly so. I must especially say the staff kept my coffee cup full and warm and even packed me a generous cup to go when I was done.  What's not to like about that?

Challah French Toast!!!  
Report Card for Katz's Deli and Bar:

Broadway Breakfast: A
Coffee: A-
Atmosphere: (Faux New York Deli Kitsch) A-
     Speed: A-
     Friendliness: A+
     Dining Area: A
     Men's Room: Incomplete (did not visit this time)

Overall Grade:  A

Another quick note:  Barry Katz, the owner and son of Marc Katz, who owns the Austin location, shows up in the restaurant from time to time and is an affable guy with the gift of gab.  And he always puts up with my favourite joke that plays on his family's famous name:

Q: What has 4 legs and chases cats?

A:  Mrs. Katz and her attorney!!!

In closing, I want to wish all my Jewish readers blessings from the Lord G_d Creator of the Universe for a most Happy and Propserous New Year 5773! L’shana tova tikateyvu! Happy and healthy 5773!

And remember to Eat Happy, Y'all!!!
אוכלים בשמחה את כולכם!!!

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