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Katz’s Caps Off 125th Anniversary Celebrations With Pastrami-Eating Contest

Lower East Side Institution Has Been Open Since 1888
Sandwiches lined up at Katz's Delicatessen - May 31, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Sandwiches lined up at Katz’s Delicatessen – May 31, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In honor of its 125th anniversary, Katz’s Delicatessen held a pastrami-eating contest.

As 1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reported, 10 professional eaters chowed down on the cured and pepper-crusted New York City Jewish deli staple.

Major Eating League’s top-ranked pro Joey Chestnut was the champion, eating 25 half-sandwiches. Chestnut has gained notoriety already for the Famous Nathan’s hot dog eating contests at Coney Island.

Tim “Eater X” Janus of New York City also dug in.

It was unclear if mustard helped or hindered the contestants.

The pastrami-eating contest capped off a weekend of events to mark the deli’s anniversary weekend.

The iconic deli held a charity Shabbat dinner Friday night featuring Katz’s signature dishes prepared by celebrity chefs including Little Owl’s Joey Campanaro, Mission Chinese’s Danny Bowien, Telepan’s Bill Telepan and noted pastry chef Sarabeth Levine.

All proceeds benefited the Henry Street Settlement.

Katz’s opened on the Lower East Side in 1888 and has been at its location on the corner of East Houston Street and Ludlow Street ever since.

Katz’s is world famous for its hand-carved pastrami and corned beef. The deli sells up to 20,000 pounds of meat a week.

The deli also made its mark in pop culture, making a famous appearance in a classic Billy Crystal movie.

A sign hangs over the table where the scene was filmed reads “Where Harry met Sally…hope you have what she had!”

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