And yet, as long as you know when not to go, Katz’s is for you, whether you’re the kind of superfamousperson who gets his picture on the wall, or just some regular dude that's not as handsome as Pee-wee Herman. Spin through those turnstiles, take your ticket, OH GOD DON’T LOSE YOUR TICKET, order your mountain of pastrami or corned beef, take that sample the kindly man wielding the knife offers you even though you definitely don’t need any additional meat, sit down, consume like mad, and pray to your preferred deity that you don’t lose your goddamn ticket.
I’ve gone to Katz’s with bucket-listing friends and relatives from out of town, with my roommate’s cousin that I barely know, and with my Mother, who only ever gets the Reuben. One night, for no reason at all, I spent maybe four hours at a back table with a couple of buddies, turning the place into our personal bar, drinking pitcher after pitcher, deconstructing sandwiches and picking off pieces of meat like they were bar peanuts, and, of course, panicking every 10 minutes that those tickets were gone. Katz’s was ours.