854 7th Ave. at 55th, New York City, USA
There are two things that the Carnegie Deli is famous for-homemade pickles and New York cheesecake. The pickles come complimentary. As soon as you’re seated a large menu is placed before you with a bowl of crunchy pickles. I personally don’t like pickles but my fellow diners can vouch for these pickles as being pretty exceptional. I can definitely vouch for the cheesecake as extraordinarily exceptional. I still have dreams about this cheesecake. It’s rich, creamy, dense and smooth. And the best part is the amazing shortbread crust- soft, moist and a perfect outer shell to hold the cake’s luscious cheese filling. I much prefer shortbread crust to the more popular graham cracker crumb crust. In my opinion, only a buttery shortbread crust does a classic New York cheesecake justice- the soft, delicate shortbread enhances the creamy sweetness of the cheesecake. Texture-wise, the shortbread also melts on your tongue along with the cheesecake filling as opposed to the gritty aftertaste that graham cracker crumb crusts leaves. The slight hint of lemon in the cheesecake rounds out the flavour and leaves a refreshing aftertaste.
Not only is the Carnegie Deli opened late (until 4 am), upon reading the entire menu, I realized I can eat all three meals there and dessert. The Carnegie Deli serves all-day breakfast, along with monster-sized deli sandwiches and dinner entree dishes too. This place is a night owl’s fantasy and also a breakfast-lover’s dream too! Hanging in the window of the deli are scrumptious rounds of beef salami- made in-house and also available for order online. So needless to say their salami sandwiches are to-die-for. But it’s hard to visit the Carnegie Deli and not order their famous Reuben sandwich-piled high with corned beef and covered in melted mozzarella cheese with a side of Thousand Island dressing. The sandwich is hearty enough to feed a small family. The only complaint that I have about the Carnegie Deli though, is that there is a strict ‘no sharing’ rule unless $3 is added to your tab, which I never understood. The restaurant already has a policy stating that each customer must spend a minimum of $12.50. I suppose the ginormous servings make up for the additional cost.
I would definitely visit the Carnegie Deli over and over again, if not for the food, then for the decor alone. The walls are literally covered entirely by autographed photos of celebrities, famous athletes, and politicians who have dined at the restaurant. Each menu item comes with a famous story-whether it be the Woody Allen sandwich or the Broadway Danny Rose. The Carnegie Deli definitely gets 5-stars from me as a fun, low-key restaurant with a delicious menu and outstanding service.