Christmas at Carnegie Deli


I know of only two things to do on Christmas day. Eat chinese food and go to the movies. This year I added one more to the list: have lunch at a deli.

The Carnegie Deli had been on my New York list for awhile and so I figured what better day than Christmas to test what they were made of. With a mission declared I headed uptown via the F-train with a good friend visiting from San Francisco. We stepped up to the line outside but didn't have long to wait before a short, chirpy asian lady in charge of the line beckoned us inside with her sharp voice.

The menus were giant, both in what was listed and in size but the small plate of new pickles made it all easy to wade through. I love new pickles and can pretty much eat my weight in them. I made a quick decision and suggested to my friend that we split the matzoh ball soup and the pastrami sandwich. If I could split every meal I would.

The dishes came quick and, as you can see in the photo above, the soup was a bright golden yellow, unlike any broth I had ever had. The matzoh ball was big and soft, the perfect size, and it was sprinkled with a dusting of parsley. Taking each bite I made sure to include both a small bit of the matzoh ball and a small bit of the yellow soup. Hearty and rich the broth was delicious. I sent my mom a photo because frankly I was stumped at how yellow it was. She guessed maybe it was from the chicken bouillon. Who knows. What I do know is it was good. No noodles which is the way I like it. All it needed was a few floating bits of carrots and celery and it would be (almost) like Mom made.