People stand in line at Katz's Delicatessen, the famous deli founded in 1888, in New York's lower East Side.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
There’s nothing quite like a sandwich piled high with corned beef, coleslaw, a dab of ketchup and topped with a pickle.
But such a classic Jewish creation is not that easy to come by in some parts of the world. That could all change soon, as the iconic Katz’s Delicatessen on New York’s Lower East Side is opening a factory focused on international shipping.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, owner Jake Dell will focus first on shipping to Mexico and Canada, before branching out to other countries.
The deli told The Jerusalem Post that shipping to Israel is expected to be available when the sale of its products to other countries is initiated.
While Israel forbids the import of non-kosher beef for commercial purposes, there don’t seem to be limitations on private purchases.
It is unclear if customs would allow personal meat imports.
The deli first opened on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1888, started by a pair of Jewish brothers named Iceland.
It then changed hands to the Katz family, and then the Dell family, who kept the name. And while it serves all the Ashkenazi classics – from pastrami to latkes, blintzes, matzo ball soup and chopped liver – it is neither kosher nor kosherstyle (note the cheeseburger on the menu).
The restaurant has been shipping its products – not the whole menu, but latkes, pastrami, corned beef, knishes, babka, pickles and more – domestically since the 1990s.
The Journal reported that, in order to facilitate the move, Katz’s will open a 30,000-square-foot factory in Hackensack, New Jersey.
While it has been located on the Lower East Side for 129 years, Katz’s is planning some more local moves as well. It is set to open an outpost at the Dekalb Market food hall in Brooklyn at some point this year (the market has suffered a series of opening delays).
More than just a restaurant, Katz’s has become a culinary icon as well as a popular tourist destination.
The eatery’s high profile got a boost from the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in When Harry Met Sally, as well as appearances in Across the Universe, Enchanted and more.