Our visit to Katzinger's Delicatessen started with a debate about whether the sandwich named after former President Bill Clinton existed prior to his visit and was renamed after he tried it or if he invented the sandwich.
The answer, we learned after reading the small print on the hanging menu board, is that Clinton created "President Bill's Day at the Deli" ($10.50 for a half-sandwich) during a visit to the German Village eatery years ago.
At Katzinger's, the sandwiches are so huge that a half-sandwich is stuffed with enough meat, cheese and toppings to make a full meal. Any half-sandwich can be upgraded to a whole sandwich for $3.
My husband, who sees eye-to-eye with Bill when it comes to corned beef, ordered the sandwich with Swiss cheese and hot mustard on pumpernickel bread just as the former leader of the free world crafted it. The sandwich earned high praise from my husband, who routinely creates inventive "daddy sandwiches," using leftovers or unexpected pantry items for the kids' weekend lunches.
Even though I'm always tempted to sample something new from the deli's vast menu of more than 50 sandwiches, I usually end up ordering the same thing: Be's Bustling Birdwich, a grilled sandwich of oven-roasted turkey, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing. It's usually served on rye bread, but I always ask for sourdough. I ordered a whole sandwich ($13.95) so I could take some home for lunch the next day. It didn't disappoint. The creamy coleslaw paired with the tangy Russian dressing perfectly complemented the turkey.
If your kids have trouble making decisions, you may want to peruse the menu ahead of time because the number of choices is a bit overwhelming. We visited during the week when the restaurant is less busy. It can get extremely crowded on the weekends, and you may have a line of people waiting for you to order.
The deli also has a kids' menu with typical options. Nick went with a grilled cheese sandwich, to which he added tomato ($4.45), and Alex had a turkey sandwich with cheese and lettuce ($4.95). The restaurant also serves hot dogs ($4.50) and PB and preserves ($3.95).
The boys enjoyed their sandwiches but went crazy over the matzo ball soup ($1.95 a cup). They loved the big matzo balls and the flavorful broth. The soup is just one of the traditional Jewish specialties the New York-style deli makes. Katzinger's also serves latkes, noodle kugel and potato knish.
They also gobbled up a side of fruit ($4.95) that was clearly fresh-cut and not canned.
The restaurant, which also sells gourmet groceries, is a bustling place where kids can talk and be noisy without disrupting other diners. The restrooms are functional but not fancy. One of the unisex stalls has a changing station.
-Melissa Kossler Dutton
My brother and I call Katzinger's "the pickle place" because the restaurant has two giant pickle barrels. The pickles are free and you can eat as many as you want. They're really big so I recommend only taking one at a time. They come in two flavors: garlic and dill. I like dill the best.
I like the sandwiches at Katzinger's, and I'm very picky about sandwiches. In fact, I won't let my mom put them in my lunchbox because I only like grilled sandwiches. I ordered a grilled cheese to which I added tomato. It was really cheesy. They serve the kids' sandwiches on challah bread, which got nice and crunchy when it was grilled.
They have all different kinds of bread there. Usually, there are samples that can be dipped in olive oil, which is fun and gives you something to do while you wait in line to order your food.
My brother and I also split soup and fruit. I wasn't sure what to think about the matzo ball because it looked strange. My mom and dad told me to try the soup - that it would taste like chicken noodle soup. The matzo ball tasted like a fluffy noodle and was great. I also really liked the broth because it was really flavorful and not greasy. We also ordered a cup of broccoli soup ($2.70). It's normally one of my favorites but I liked the matzo ball better.
My parents let us order three different desserts to share. We tried the lemon bar ($2.50), the key lime pie ($4.75) and chocolate cake ($4.75). The cake was my favorite. I liked that it had whipped cream and a strawberry on it. I also really liked the lemon bar. I was worried that it might be very sour but it was very sweet.
The other cool thing about Katzinger's is they carry a lot of different flavors of potato chips. I tried Sweet Maui Onion flavor. I thought maybe they would taste like onion rings but they were much different. The onion flavor was very subtle. They had a sweet, tangy flavor.
I like to go here because of the pickles, but my mom always complains about how expensive it is. Luckily, it's one of my uncle's favorite restaurants of all time. He sometimes suggests we go there when he comes to town to visit us. I'm hoping he pays a visit soon because I'm craving a dill pickle.
The bathrooms were fine even though boys and girls have to share, which is a little weird.