The noise is almost enough to hurt the ears as my wife Lyn and I enter an overflowing Katz's Delicatessen in New York. It's one of a multitude of places to eat in the Big Apple, ranging from high-end restaurants to the ubiquitous hotdog stands on most street corners.
Katz's Delicatessen owes much of its international fame to the comedy When Harry Met Sally. The very funny fake orgasm scene in the movie, where a woman sitting next to Sally Albright and Harry Burns (Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal) utters the famous line, "I'll have what she's having", was filmed in Katz's.
However, much of the noise in Katz's comes from the staff behind the counter. From our observations, to them customers are merely sheep to be kept in line and herded along as quickly as possible with loud instructions. It is certainly entertaining.
When our order arrives we cannot believe the thickness of our corned beef on rye sandwich, with its obligatory pickle. Supersize does not do it justice. The next stop on our whirlwind tour of the north-east of the US is Boston and, like New York, there are restaurants everywhere.
The Little Italy neighbourhood is especially attractive. Known worldwide for its cobblestone streets and historic sights, it has the distinction of being Boston's oldest residential community and has been continuously inhabited since the area was settled in the early 1600s.
There are some absolute gems on its narrow streets. One is Mother Anna's, on the corner of Hanover and Salem streets. The service is excellent, the food is great and, best of all, cheap.
Another is Theo's Cosy Corner, a tiny eatery hidden away off the beaten track which we find only with the help of directions given by a friend. Run by an accommodating and enthusiastic owner, Theo's serves incredible Brazilian food. And if you do make a visit, be sure to ask to use the restaurant's toilet - it is a novel experience.
Boston's biggest claim to culinary fame, however, is its seafood. A local resident enthusiastically recommends Legal Sea Foods on Long Wharf. It is one of several restaurants the company has in the city and it isn't long before we are tucking into the famed clam chowder and the ridiculously cheap lobster. What tasty morsels you will find.