A nice item came in today from NY deli lover and journalist Steve Viuker.
One is a story he wrote in the New York Post during December, which sums up quickly the deli scene in New York:
The Jewish deli is still a city stalwart
FORK out $200 for dinner? $15 deserts? Tasting menus? Bah.
“Give me a Reuben at the Second Avenue Deli any time,” said hockey and deli maven Stan Fischler.
“My first deli was S & L on Marcy and DeKalb in Willamsburg,” he recalled.
With the demise of the Second Avenue Deli, a long-time New York tradition may be fading. Or not.
“The Carnegie (854 Seventh Avenue at 55th Street) lives up to the press clippings,” said long-time New York public relations guru, David Grant. “I think Woody Allen summed up the place perfectly — very little in the way of atmosphere, surly waiters but great food.”
Andrew Pittel, an independent broker who does food retail, reckons “Location is very important but also whether a deli owns or rents space.” (It is believed both Katz’s and the Carnegie own their building sites.)
“I did the deal that re-located Pastrami Queen from Lexington and 86th Street where a new a development was going up, to its present location at 1125 Lexington at 78th Street,” he said.
Changing tastes, diet and a changing demographic have all had an impact on the Jewish deli. But you still have people who grew up on this food and still enjoy it.
The boros can still hold their own. Queens has Ben’s Best, located at 96-40 Queens Boulevard in Rego Park for over 50 years.
Liebman’s Delicatessen at 552 W 235th Street has been a Riverdale, Bronx landmark since 1953, and they still make their own pastrami.
Staten Island Mall has Ray’s, while the Mill Basin Kosher Deli and Fine Art Gallery at 5823 Ave T in Brooklyn exhibits a collection of original works by Erté to view as you chow down.”
—All of those are great places, and well worth checking out. Steve’s a big fan of the site, and of deli in general, so I owe him a knish or two when I get back to the Big Apple.