Save the Deli

Caplansky’s 2.0 to open this Saturday (correction!)

Monday, August 31st, 2009

It’s been over a month since they left the Monarch, a year since Zane started selling his smoked meat, but the wait is almost over.

This Saturday (I know I said Friday, I was wrong), Caplansky’s Deli opens for previews at 356 College St. in Toronto.

What’ll he serve? Smoked meat of course, and knishes, but also matzo ball soup, lox eggs and onion, locally raised rib steaks, chopped liver, kishke (!), corned beef and pickled tongue. Think of it as a computer program. The Monarch was Beta. We’re now into full production.

This Saturday.


JTA says I’m a “Man on a mission to save the Jewish deli”

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Here’s a nice writeup of me and the book from Sue Fishkoff (herself an authority on kosher food) for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The JTA is a wire services that sends stories to Jewish newspapers, websites, and other outlets all over the Jewish world. So hopefully folks in Buenos Aires and Cape Town will be reading this story shortly.


Man on a mission to save the Jewish deli
by Sue Fishkoff

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Chicago and Cleveland have the best corned beef. Detroit is tops for rye bread. The best smoked meat is in Montreal, and for pastrami, you can’t touch New York and L.A.

When it comes to Jewish delicatessen, 30-year-old David Sax is the go-to guy. A longtime deli aficionado, the annoyingly trim Sax spent three years eating his way through more than 150 Jewish delis to research “Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen,” a wistful, riotously funny paean to this quintessential slice of American Jewish history.

The book, which will be published in October by Houghton Miflin Harcourt, is a delicious romp through a fast-disappearing world.

In 1931, Sax reports, there were 2,000 delis in New York City, three-quarters of them kosher. Today, Sax says, his research turns up 25 Jewish delis in the city, two-thirds of which are kosher. A similar pattern has followed across North America, with city after city sounding the death knell for its last traditional deli. Sax guesses there are just a few hundred left worldwide, most of them in the United States.

“The Jewish deli is dying,” Sax told JTA. “Each time I hear a deli closes, something inside me dies.”

Ziggy Chats with Houston Press

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Ziggy Gruber, the king of New York delis down in the Lone Star State, had a nice chat with the Houston Press. He happened to mention the book, the blog, and us. Thanks Ziggs:

Chef Chat: Ziggy Gruber of Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Deli Restaurant
By E. Ting in Chef Chat

Foodies generally acknowledge that one of the last authentic New York delicatessens in the world is located at 2327 Post Oak Blvd. Ziggy Gruber, owner/chef of Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen, recently spoke with Eating Our Words about how a third-generation deli man wound up living in the Lone Star State and loving it.

Baltimore’s Lenny’s to close and Attman’s to move

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Looks like change is coming to Baltimore’s Corned Beef Row

Reports Edward Gunts in the Baltimore Sun

Baltimore’s Corned Beef Row appears to be losing a deli and gaining a larger museum.

The Jewish Museum of Maryland announced Wednesday that the museum and its parent organization, The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, this week acquired Lenny’s Delicatessen at 1150 E. Lombard Street for $1.5 million so the museum can build a new wing and create additional visitor parking…..This is the second change announced this summer for Corned Beef Row, after the owners of Attman’s Deli disclosed that they were exploring plans to construct a new restaurant at 1101 E. Lombard St. to replace their current location at 1019 E. Lombard St. (more…)

The Jelvis Deli Tour

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

That’s right, Jelvis. As in the Jewish Elvis.

Aka Will Morgan, but please call him Jelvis.

The US Trailer is Here!

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Fresh off the old editing machine and onto YouTube. The new trailer for the US market is here and it wants to be watched.

And in case you didn’t see it, the Canadian trailer is below:

New Banner, New Review, and a discount at Stanley’s

Monday, August 17th, 2009

A quick roundup of things today.

First off, look up. No, not to your ceiling, but a few inches above these very words. See that great new banner? See how the sandwich is drawing you in, and then the picture of the books hold your attention? See how if you click now and pre-order you can save up to 37% on a copy of my book? That’s thirty seven percent folks! About the price of a sandwich. Which you’ll want after reading the book. Thanks to Francis Li of Random House Canada for designing this.

Save the Deli: The Book Trailer (Canada)

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Yes folks, like anyone who loves entertainment, there’s nothing more addictive that a great trailer. To be honest, I often prefer trailers to the movies themselves, because, let’s face it, they’re basically catnip.

Now, book trailers are all the rage. One of the best I’ve seen in ages is for Thomas Pynchon’s delightfully chaotic Lebowski mystery Inherent Vice, which I basically went out and bought hours after watching it.

Well, get ready folks, because here is the first of several trailers for Save the Deli. Today’s is for the sweet home market, for my Canadian publisher McClelland and Stewart. The US version should be ready shortly. But pass this around for a while.

Corned Beef Battle of the Midwest

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

So that whole West Coast v. East Coast pastrami war set off a nice little frenzy of commenting, including that monster from my younger brother. But the most apt one came from Danny Raskin, owner of Manny’s Delicatessen in Chicago, who wrote on my Facebook page “what about midwest??”

Indeed. So often on this site I’m pastrami focused, because that’s what the major deli eating areas (New York, Florida, LA) focus on. But let’s not forget the sweet center of this nation, the glorious Midwest and Great Lakes region, where corned beef is king.

East Coast VS West Coast Pastrami Showdown on DigLounge

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

So you might recall that a few weeks back there was a story in the LA Jewish Journal about my declaration, in the book, that LA could be America’s premier deli town.

I also responded to it on Save the Deli:

Take that New York? Not quite. LA deli is great, and New York (not to mention other cities) can learn a lot from it, but I’m never one for one upsmanship and “bests”. It’s different. In some ways much better. In other ways, not as much. But worth eating at, and checking out, and giving a fair shake. LA has a wealth of deli goodness, from the pastrami at Langer’s, to the kishke at Brent’s, to the corned beef at Nate n’ Al’s, to the hush puppy at Pico Kosher. If you live in LA, are going to LA, or have some air miles lying around, get out there and eat. Then write in and tell me what a putz I am.

Well, this is the story that just keeps on giving.

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