American Jewish cultural landmark Katz’s Delicatessen has served New Yorkers and tourists for 132 years, and now will pop up in Chicago for four days as part of its cross-country tour in partnership with Uber Eats. Uber will deliver Katz’s famous pastrami, as well as roast beef, from August 28 to 31 in the Chicago market.
Katz’s will use Publican Quality Meats in Fulton Market as its home base for the four-day delivery pop-up. Customers will have one menu option. For $25, they’ll get both the “Chief Beef” (roast beef, sweet corn aioli, charred cabbage, palm sugar vinaigrette, 1979 multigrain) and a home pastrami sandwich kit. The kit contains rye bread, a jar of Katz’s mustard, and pastrami.
“It’s about wanting people who can’t come to the restaurant to have the experience of having an actual Katz’s pastrami sandwich,” said David Manheim, a strategic partnership manager at Katz’s. “It’s a huge mouthful of incredibly tender meat...and if you treat the sandwich correctly — which usually involves mustard — you’ll get a perfect contrast between smokiness and saltiness of the meat contrasted with the sharpness of mustard.”
The Katz’s tour also includes stops in Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami. During his years at the deli, Manheim said he’s met “a ton of Chicagoans, and I know how much they appreciate our sandwiches so I’m really excited that we get to bring it to them like this.”
In the same manner that Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria ships deep dish and Vienna Beef ships hot dogs nationwide, customers can order Katz’s online. Katz’s is partnering with Uber to promote its online orders. The downtown Manhattan deli is constantly busy and is a pop-culture icon, appearing in the 1989 Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal film, When Harry Met Sally.
Though the number of Ashkenazi-style (Northern and Eastern European) Jewish delis in Chicago has waned in recent years, a number of local spots offer hearty pastrami sandwiches of their own. Local favorites include the ever-popular Manny’s in the South Loop and the Corned Beef Factory in West Loop. Other options include Kaufman’s Bagel & Delicatessen in Skokie, Andersonville’s JB’s Deli, and North Center modern deli Steingold’s of Chicago. Steingold’s also has a location in Fulton Market at Fulton Galley.
Katz’s joins popular New York restaurants like MilkBar and Roberta’s pizza, both of which have recently held Chicago pop-ups. What are the chances that Katz’s ends up with a permanent location in Chicago or outside of New York? Manheim isn’t sure. Any expansion would likely cause fervor back east.
“I’ve heard weird murmurs about possible expansion but nothing is concrete on the horizon,” he said.