On my way across the Upper West Side today, I passed by the 100 year old institution, Schatzie’s Prime Meats. I’ve meant to go in many times, as the sign in the window bragging about Schatzie’s Famous Dirty Brisket has long intrigued me. There’s also a tag line in the window that is pure gold: “My name is Schatzie. I’m a butcher, I’m not a chef and I don’t speak French. But I do know a beautiful piece of meat when I see it.” Today I was very hungry and I had time, so I popped inside.
It looked just like I hoped it would look! It’s a family business, and Schatzie’s son Richwas behind the counter. I asked, “Why is it called ‘the dirty brisket?’” Says Rich, “Because it’s got barbecue sauce on it.” Good enough for me. He then told me it was definitely his favorite sandwich (I was wavering about the pastrami) so I decided to go with his recommendation. He’s a butcher with a face you can trust. I walked to the park, and unwrapped it.
It’s not the most elegant looking sandwich ever, all wrapped up in brown butcher paper, but damn. A pound of the most melt-in-your-mouth thin sliced beef brisket slathered in ‘cue sauce on unseeded rye. Nothing else. Nothing else needed! Good old Schatzies! Fun to say the name. And a perfect New York sandwich. (If only they’d remembered to include napkins…)