4/12/2012 11:32:00 AM

Is It Worth It? A $24.95 Reuben From Carnegie Deli

Many folks may be flush once their tax returns come through on April 15. To help them decide where to spend their chunk of change, we’re trying some of the city’s most (absurdly) expensive dishes to see if the hefty prices tags are worth it. Now it's time for a totally expensive sandwich: 

Around since 1937, the Carnegie Deli is a NYC legend/tourist attraction best known for its mile-high sandwiches – with mile-high tabs to match. We decided to brave the crowds and see whether one of its classic sammies lived up to the hype (and price tag).

The Dish: The more than 25 sandwich offerings gave us a brief existential crisis, but we eventually bypassed the Woody Allen (pastrami, corned beef) and new “Jet Bow” (corned beef, pastrami, roast beef and American cheese on white) and chose the Reuben (corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss).

We knew to expect a lot of corned beef but whoa Nelson, the amount of meat and cheese in the platter was the definition of gluttony. Labeling it a sandwich is a complete misnomer; it’s a total KFJ (knife-and-fork job). We had to dig to even make sure there was bread.


Wanting to experience it as a sandwich, we fashioned our own and it was beyond – the corned beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender, plus it was warm, making it that much more incredible. The cheese and sauerkraut were perfectly tasty, yes, but almost beside the point. We tried not to think about the health ramifications as we scarfed.

Why the Price?: The sheer size. There must have been two pounds of meat and we don’t even want to know how much cheese. It’s a family-sized meal, not a sandwich, further evidenced by the fact that it came with three forks.

Is It Worth It?: If you share it with at least three hungry other people and they throw in some free extra bread, then yes. Just keep in mind, that will cost you EVEN MORE, since there is a $3 sharing fee at this joint. Still, the plain old corned beef sandwich is a mere $16.95, so we’d stick with that in the future (once our cholesterol levels stabilize).

More Is it Worth It?: 
$25 Shrimp Toast at Hakkasan
A $20.75 Bagel at Russ & Daughters 
$37 Salad at Bergdorf Goodman

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