Yankee Pot Roast Sandwich at Katz's Deli & Bar

When I went to Katz's this past weekend, I knew I would get the onion rings, not because they're particularly amazing but because I had been craving fried batter. The more challenging decision was whether to order the Reuben. I love Reubens and had been curious about Katz's version in spite of mixed online reviews and Robb Walsh's hearty endorsement of the one at Kenny & Ziggy's.

Then I spotted Sandwich #15, the Yankee Pot Roast, and forgot about the Reuben. I have fond memories of eating sandwiches made with leftover roast, ketchup, and mayonnaise in my maternal grandma's kitchen and wondered if I might replicate the experience.

Right after I ordered, I panicked. The waiter had assured me the pot roast was tender and I really hoped he was right, as there's really nothing worse than trying to gnaw your way through tough, stringy, juiceless chuck meat. My incisors just aren't up to the task.

In less than a quarter hour, I was brought a triple-decker (the "uptown" size) sandwich bursting with chunks of pot roast, Muenster, onions and tomatoes. One bite eliminated my uncertainties about the meat: It was tender to the point of falling into shreds, and juicy in its own right, though the generous serving of dark gravy provided welcome lubrication. The sandwich stayed intact thanks to the thick slices of toasted rye and melted cheese, whose creaminess also nicely tempered the savory roast. My only criticism of #15 was a minor excess of salt, probably an inevitable flaw when you combine large servings of meat, cheese, and beef gravy.

Blessed with an oversized stomach, I'm not easily overwhelmed by large sandwiches, but this monster necessitated a take-home box. Maybe the onion rings were over-kill, though they were also quite delicious.

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