Save the Deli

Nora Ephron’s last meal? A hot dog from Nate n’ Al

Journalist, author, screenwriter, and director Nora Ephron is doing the rounds to promote her new film Julie and Julia, about the book by the blogger who replicated Julia Child’s recipes over a year, and stole her soul ;)

In last weekend’s New York Times, everyone’s favorite cougar, Maureen Dowd, interviewed Ephron about food in twenty questions or so. But the last is the best:

Q: What would your last meal be, if you got executed for killing a moody actor?

A: A hot dog from Nate ín Alís delicatessen in Beverly Hills.

We shouldn’t be surprised. After all, it was Ephron who wrote the famous Katz’s orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally, not to mention the rest of the film.

It was also Ephron, who wrote of Langer’s Delicatessen, in the New Yorker:

The hot pastrami sandwich served at Langerís Delicatessen in downtown Los Angeles is the finest hot pastrami sandwich in the world….The rye bread, faintly sour, perfumed with caraway seeds, lightly dusted with cornmeal, is as good as any rye bread on the planet, and Langerís puts about seven ounces of pastrami on it, the proper proportion of meat to bread. The resulting sandwich, slathered with Guldenís mustard, is an exquisite combination of textures and tastes. Itís soft but crispy, tender but chewy, peppery but sour, smoky but tangy. Itís a symphony orchestra, different instruments brought together to play one perfect chord. It costs eight-fifty and is, in short, a work of art.

In short, Mrs. Ephron knows her deli and she loves it well and true. So when Save the Deli comes out, why not send her a copy? Maybe then Tom Hanks can star as me in the film version. Or Colin Hanks. Either will do.

7 Responses to “Nora Ephron’s last meal? A hot dog from Nate n’ Al”

  1. Joan E. Ginsberg Says:

    Nora Ephron didn’t write the scene the way it was eventually filmed. She wrote the dialog about women faking orgasms, but Meg Ryan suggested the idea of her character, Sally, actually faking the orgasm at the table. And the line “I’ll have what she’s having” was suggested by Billy Crystal (and spoken, in the movie, by Rob Reiner’s mother).

    Sally’s food ordering habits were inserted into the movie by Rob Reiner after he watched Nora Ephron order food this way. The line “I just like it the way I like it” was inserted by Rob Reiner after he heard Nora Ephron actually say this in response to a comment by him.

    One of my all-time favorite movies.

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