Today, Frank Bruni awards one star to Katz’s Delicatessen. This is Frank at his best, reviewing the casual, fatty-greasy food he likes:
Let’s do something we don’t do often enough. Let’s take the occasion of the most recent rumors, which swirled just a few weeks ago, to pause and appreciate Katz’s. To take its measure in a format that grants it the kind of recognition typically reserved for restaurants more proper but no more deserving.
To revel in its pastrami sandwich, one of the best in the land, with an eye-popping stack of brined beef that’s juicy, smoky, rapturous. To glory in the intricate ritual of the place: the taking of a ticket at the door; the lining-up in front of one of the servers who carves that beef by hand; the tasting of the thick, ridged slices the server gives us as the sandwich is being built; the nodding when we’re asked if we want pickles, because of course we want pickles.
There’s part of us that says Katz’s deserves its place in the pantheon of starred restaurants, and Frank was exactly the guy to do it. Another part of us wonders why Frank is so bored with the high-end restaurants he’s supposed to be reviewing. Today makes 3 out of the last 5 Bruni reviews that really should have been “$25 & Under” restaurants. But if Frank is going to slum it, Katz’s was at least a worthy subject.
We were nervous about disagreeing with Eater once again, given that we’ve been hammered the last three times we did it. But this week, virtue was rewarded. We win $4 on our imaginary $1 bet at 4–1 odds. Eater, who had predicted zero stars for Katz’s, loses $1.
Eater NYJ Bankroll $35.00 $31.67 Gain/Loss –$1.00 +$4.00 Total $34.00 $35.67 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Won–Lost 13–3 12–4