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Carnegie Deli

854 7th Ave, New York, NY - (212) 757-2245
Posted By Patricia Beninato on 4/13/2007 6:31:00 PM
Even though midtown Manhattan now seems to be a mess of mediocre chain restaurants among the neon signs advertising Broadway shows based on Disney movies, the red canopy of the Carnegie Deli is still a beacon for those who crave the authentic New York deli experience. It had been over a decade since my last visit, but walking in felt cozy and familiar, with the scents of cured meats and pickles hanging in the air and the black and white-clad waitstaff swapping quiet gossip on an early Saturday morning--which is one of the few times the place isn't packed.

Although I have nothing against their justifiably legendary sandwiches and their matzoh ball soup is amazing, my favorite meal at Carnegie Deli has always been breakfast, which thankfully they serve all day. A mixed deli omelet (shreds of delectable pastrami and corned beef), pumpernickel toast, and incredible home fries which are actually brown and crispy... nothing better. Oh--and don't forget the cheese blintzes with applesauce! I normally don't like fish, but the novie at Carnegie Deli is one of my few exceptions. Like everything you get here portions are huge; if you ask for cream cheese or butter they bring you globs big enough to choke the proverbial horse. And if you want a piece of their famous cheesecake to top off your breakfast--that is, if you have room and/or are not planning to eat for the rest of the day--the staff is more than obliging. This is one of those places where if you leave hungry, it's your own fault!

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Thinking of ordering the combination corned beef and pastrami sandwich known as the Woody Allen?  Bring friends.  Lots of them!
"Thinking of ordering the combination corned beef and pastrami sandwich known as the Woody Allen? Bring friends. Lots of them!"
Cliff Strutz





While The Woody Allen is incredibly delicious I foolishly thought I could tackle this whole sandwich single-handedly at the table.  Woody had me beat early on in the game.
"While The Woody Allen is incredibly delicious I foolishly thought I could tackle this whole sandwich single-handedly at the table. Woody had me beat early on in the game."
Bill Homan


A bevy of cured meat sandwiches waiting to be devoured by eager aficionados.
"A bevy of cured meat sandwiches waiting to be devoured by eager aficionados."
Bill Homan


Given its astronomical price, the Carnegie's pastrami sandwich ought to be tall. But this is ridiculous. There is enough meat here for three sandwiches. In fact, it is possible to get extra bread, but the management will charge extra if you share a sandwich with your tablemate. Price and logistics aside, this is one great pastrami sandwich.
"Given its astronomical price, the Carnegie's pastrami sandwich ought to be tall. But this is ridiculous. There is enough meat here for three sandwiches. In fact, it is possible to get extra bread, but the management will charge extra if you share a sandwich with your tablemate. Price and logistics aside, this is one great pastrami sandwich."
Michael Stern


The Carnegie's good corned beef and pastrami goes into the mixed deli omelet.  We wish the bagels were better, though.
"The Carnegie's good corned beef and pastrami goes into the mixed deli omelet. We wish the bagels were better, though."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Soup is served the traditional deli way. A bowl is set down, then the waiter decants the soup from a silver pitcher into the bowl. This is the best matzoh ball soup we've ever had in a restaurant: robust, salty broth and matzoh balls as tender as a sigh.
"Soup is served the traditional deli way. A bowl is set down, then the waiter decants the soup from a silver pitcher into the bowl. This is the best matzoh ball soup we've ever had in a restaurant: robust, salty broth and matzoh balls as tender as a sigh."
Michael Stern


Blintzes are available filled with cheese, strawberry, blueberry, or cherry. These are plain cheese, served with sour cream. Apple sauce is the other available condiment.
"Blintzes are available filled with cheese, strawberry, blueberry, or cherry. These are plain cheese, served with sour cream. Apple sauce is the other available condiment."
Michael Stern


Served pancake-style, the kosher salami is nicely-browned before getting mixed with the eggs.  The potatoes on the side are actually pretty good, too.
"Served pancake-style, the kosher salami is nicely-browned before getting mixed with the eggs. The potatoes on the side are actually pretty good, too."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Pastrami piled high on rye - extra bread is a must for this sandwich.
"Pastrami piled high on rye - extra bread is a must for this sandwich."
Jack Barry


Nova, eggs, and onions is a brilliant combination of sweet, salty, and mellow, and is commonly found on Jewish-style deli/smoked fish menus.
"Nova, eggs, and onions is a brilliant combination of sweet, salty, and mellow, and is commonly found on Jewish-style deli/smoked fish menus."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


A curtain of drying salamis hangs in front of the deli counter.  If you've never tried a sandwich made from dried Kosher salami, we highly recommend that you try one.  Very different from Italian-style Genoa and hard salamis.
"A curtain of drying salamis hangs in front of the deli counter. If you've never tried a sandwich made from dried Kosher salami, we highly recommend that you try one. Very different from Italian-style Genoa and hard salamis."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Sour pickles in the foreground, half-sours in the back.
"Sour pickles in the foreground, half-sours in the back."
Jack Barry


74 years and still going.
"74 years and still going."
Bill Homan


No matter where you sit in the Carnegie Deli, you will be surrounded by pictures of celebrities. Above our table, NBC's Al Roker was looking down with a big smile.
"No matter where you sit in the Carnegie Deli, you will be surrounded by pictures of celebrities. Above our table, NBC's Al Roker was looking down with a big smile."
Michael Stern


A sea of people and who's who pictures on the walls in the back room.
"A sea of people and who's who pictures on the walls in the back room."
Bill Homan


There are many delis in this neighborhood, but the Carnegie is the daddy of 'em all.
"There are many delis in this neighborhood, but the Carnegie is the daddy of 'em all."
Michael Stern



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