Save the Deli

Big Friday Roundup

Friday, July 31st, 2009

It’s Friday, I’m heading home to Toronto for two weeks, and that means it’s time for a big assed summer roundup. Get ready!

1. Langer’s Deli will be on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” next Tuesday at 9.30 PM.
Be sure to check it out. It’s about pastrami (duh).

2. Evan’s New York Style Deli is reported open in Marblehead, MA. That’s near Salem, or north of Boston, for you landlubbers.


Deli Masters closes in Queens

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Oy. First the pickle folks are leaving Manhattan, and now this. I just heard that Deli Masters, one of four remaining kosher delis in Queens, NY, has closed. Open since 1948, it made it just past six decades before succumbing to the economy and the change of the neighborhood. Owner Jonathan Kalan did his best to keep the business alive, after he bought it several years back, but the perfect storm of recession, kosher food costs, and a dwindling client base proved too much.

Guss’ Pickles Leaving LES for Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Well folks, it’s a sad day for pickle loving Manhattanites. Guss’ Pickles, the Lower East Side pickle shop where you can pluck the full sours right from the garlicky barrels on the sidewalk, is leaving the city for Brooklyn. Reports the blog Lo-Down:

We just received word from owner Patricia Fairhurst that she will be moving the famed Guss’ Pickles to Brooklyn. Guss’ is often included as a site of interest in tours of the Lower East Side and has been in the neighborhood since 1920. Patricia says she’s running out of room and can’t afford rent for a bigger space in the neighborhood since it’s changed so much. When the city put a Muni Meter directly in front of her pickle barrels, blocking customers’ access, it was the last straw. We will have more on this sad “sign of the times” shortly.

LA Jewish Journal says I says “Los Angeles: Best Deli Town”

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Even though the Los Angeles Jewish Journal will be reviewing my book come its release in October, they’re apparently so excited about what I wrote on LA’s deli scene, that they’ve written it up right now. Makes sense, because I essentially say that LA could be the best deli city in America. Hold onto your hats, and read the article:


Posted by Rob Eshman

I just got a peek inside David Sax’s new book, “Save the Deli,“ due out Oct. 19, and can report that it is official: L.A. is the best deli city in America.

Bite that, New York. (more…)

The Friday Feedbag

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. We’re working hard to make even better before the book’s release, and we hit a few hiccups along the way. Up and running now though.

So it’s Friday, erev Shabbos, and that means the roundup of random stuff.

1. Famous Deli and Restaurant in Bucks County, PA has supposedly closed. I don’t know this deli personally, but a recent fan said it was quite good. Owned by Stuart Thomas and Troy Garr since 1986, apparently they recently remodeled, and undoubtedly fell victim of these tough economic times. We’ll say a prayer for the deli’s fans.

Caplansky’s eating its way out of the Monarch

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

As I told you before, Caplansky’s in Toronto is leaving the Monarch Tavern to open up its own space down College. Zane’s decided to make this transition in the way he’s done everything: by allowing the flow of sandwich eating to dictate his schedule. So when the meat runs out, the doors close.

Says Caplansky on his blog today:

I decided not to order more meat to the Monarch last week so we’re going to keep going until its all gone and once its gone, we’re done. I don’t expect the meat supply to last until the end of the month. The new place should be open in late August so that’ll give us a month to figure everything out. There’s a pretty big “to do” list when you open a restaurant.


Me and Perlow down by Pastrami Queen

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet up with a longtime virtual friend in this deli crazy world, and have a nosh. Jason Perlow is an extremely well known food blogger from New Jersey, and was an early supporter of Save the Deli. His blog, Off the Broiler, is massive, and the man can eat!

We met at Pastrami Queen, an excellent little kosher deli on the Upper East Side, so that Jason could interview me for his site about the book. You’ll see the interview (actually podcast) come October, but I want to share with you the joys of our meal, as written by Jason himself in Off the Broiler. (more…)

Broadway Blintz Legend Harry Edelstein Dies

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

There are the legends of Broadway who dance, sing, and act into our souls, and then there are the legends who do so with a smile, a kind word, and a hot bowl of matzo ball soup.

If you’ve ever been to New York, and gone to see a play, the chances are good that you have eaten at the Cafe Edison, aka the Polish Tea Room, or as we’ll call it today, the House that Harry Built. You see, Harry Edelstein, who founded the legendary Jewish coffee shop of golden dreams, has passed, at the ripe age of 91.


Save the Deli in Esquire’s “Fall Preview of Minor Happenings”

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009


That’s right folks. We are a minor happening. Like an underage flash mob.

Just out, Save the Deli gets a nice mention in Esquire magazine’s Fall Preview of Minor Happenings, which lists a few dozen things to look forward to once the leaves turn. It includes events, like National Sausage Month, “Women in flannel shirts”, performances by Robert Duvall and a kid named Max in “The Road” and “Where the Wild Things Are”, and the book you’ve all been waiting for.

Here’s what it says:

First Review: Publisher’s Weekly

Monday, July 13th, 2009

The first review for the book is out!

Publisher’s Weekly
is the industry bible, and they publish reviews well before anyone else, mostly for insiders and buyers in the industry, but also for readers like you.


It sounds as though they liked it. Read on, and be the judge yourself:

Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen David Sax. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24 (336p) ISBN 978-0-15-101384-5

“This is a book about Jewish food,” Sax’s prologue reminds, “and it would be a shame to read it on an empty stomach.” It’s true; just a few chapters in, and you’ll find yourself hungry for hot pastrami sandwiches, matzo ball soup, maybe even ready to try some gribenes (chicken skin fried in chicken fat). As freelance writer Sax explains, however, it’s getting harder and harder for even the best delicatessens to stay open; the profit margins on sandwiches are atrocious, and young Jewish families tend not to embrace the food the way their ancestors did. (more…)

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