Tomorrow night is going to be a big one. That’s when I, and several hundred other Jewish authors (or authors with Jewish books), audition for the Jewish Book Network. The JBN, which is part of the Jewish Book Council, is like the American Idol for Jewish literature in America. It helps organize and facilitate book tours to Jewish communities around the country, bringing authors who normally wouldn’t stop in those places, to the likes of Cleveland, Portland, and Tampa.
But the JBN isn’t just a normal process. No no. It’s an audition. (more…)
It was exactly a year ago tomorrow that I first met Zane Caplansky. He’d recently changed his name from Zane Caplan, and was sitting at the bar in Toronto’s Monarch Tavern, eating a slice of pizza. He told me he’d been curing his own briskets and smoking them for the previous months, making a sort of hybrid smoked meat that was all his own. The bar had given him their small kitchen, and he planned to open a small deli in the Monarch, selling smoked meat sandwiches that he would cure, smoke, and slice himself. It was small scale deli, but it sure showed promise.
What a difference a year makes. (more…)
Allow me to start a long post by saying this: there are delis, and then there are delis.
The first meet our expectations, serving us the comforts we want, in the atmosphere we’re used to, keeping the tradition alive.
The second exceed our expectations. They take deli and bring it a notch higher, raising the standards on the food, on the packaging, on the whole damn idea of Jewish deli.
Portland, Oregon’s Kenny and Zuke’s Delicatessen is such a place (the latter). It is, simply put, in a class by itself.
Ready? Let’s do this! (more…)
image courtesy of Flickr
I’m here on assignment for Gourmet magazine, writing about Kenny and Zuke’s, one of the most ambitious and impressive delis to open in America in the past few years.
Had a taste of their pastrami today and it was amazing, but I’m jetlagged, beat, and a bit drunk. So I’ll update fully tomorrow or thurs with photos, text, and the whole shebang.
This means that the book is ready for stores to buy. Getting closer folks. Five months away until D-Day. Deli day.
Use the arrows on the top to check out Save the Deli’s pages on 27 and 28. There’s even a little preview of a few paragraphs.
Yes folks, what you see there is a real book version of Save the Deli. That’s my words, and images, on chopped up trees, arranged in a nicely packaged, handheld commodity. Mmmmm…analog.
Now comes a film about that final day. Thanks to comedian, performer, and magician Adam Steinfeld (Jewish?), I present “Hold the Schmaltz”.
I’m staring at an inbox filled with deli news, so I’m just going to get it all off my chest today. At once.
First, I have some great news from back home. Yesterday, Zane Caplansky was treated by a special visitor, the one and only Ruth Reichl, the editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, famed food author, and an early supporter of Save the Deli. Reichl knows her deli. She grew up in Manhattan, and she spent a few formative school years in Montreal, which she wrote about so beautifully in “Tender at the Bone”, her first memoir. She was in Toronto on tour for her new book, and was taken around to various interviews by Bonnie Stern, who is, in her own right, the Ruth Reichl of Canada (and the woman most responsible for what my mom puts on the table). So when Mrs. Stern took Reichl out for dinner, it was to Caplanskys. She Tweeted (I have myself for writing that), and awesome mini-review: “Caplansky’s smoked meat awesome. Along with the single most decadent knish ever made, involving smoked meat, puff pastry, schmaltz…” Zane’s all abuzz about it, and you can read more on his fantastic blog. (more…)
It’s Cinco de Mayo today, which means Mexicans everywhere are celebrating their independence with Margheritas, cerveza, and carnitas. So I’m taking a moment to acknowledge this awesome holiday (and can be found at Brooklyn’s Nuevo Mexico tonight), for several reasons. (more…)
This never gets easy, especially when I know the deli and the owner is such a mensch.
You may recall that when I was traveling across the US two years ago, at the very start of this blog, I visited the New York Bakery and Delicatessen in Kansas City, MO.