Here I sit in Chicago, rainy as anything, but pleased to be here. Last night we had a great turnout at Manny’s, with the Raskin family on hand, and the Dworkins representing Kaufman’s. Then we had a nice nosh and drinks at 11 City Diner. God bless Chicago.
For those of you who missed the Langer’s event in LA, here’s a little taste, courtesy of Ed Fuentes at Blog Downtown.
There’s also a great report from my good amiga Sara Wilson, at LA Magazine.
Meat and Greet
“The gangs are waiting for me back in New York!” joked David Sax, author of the new book Save the Deli, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) before a crowd of about 50 who’d gathered to fress and hear him speak at Langer’s Delicatessen yesterday afternoon in what has to be the most unorthodox Vroman’s Bookstore reading of all time. Sax was referring to the scornful reaction from New York’s deli-going denizens incited by perhaps the ballsiest assertion in his new book: that L.A. is the best deli town in the country. Sax, who is from Toronto (full disclosure: we’re old friends from that city; he now lives in Brooklyn), refuses to take sides. “I’m not even from New York! I’m a neutral third party, like all Canadians!” CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF SARA’S REPORT FROM BOTH THE NATE N’ AL EVENT IN LA AND LANGER’S
The sun has set over the Hollywood hills and I’m getting ready for an early dinner and an even earlier flight (6:00 in the AM!!) to Chicago. Then to Manny’s tomorrow night, where I’ll talk corned beef and latkes with the Raskin family and croon again with Jelvis. We’ve had two great events here in LA. Last night Rona and Bev rocked the house at Nate n’ Al, with guests that included Monty Hall and The Joel Stein. Then today Jelvis and I hit up Langer’s, for some amazing pastrami, and of course a whole lot of talking.
Anyway, I’m barely awake, so I’ll add in a few press highlights here.
It’s a firing line of deli lovers as I take on Caplansky in the National Post
Good old Bill Brownstein gives me the Montreal seal of approval in the Gazette.
And the KCRW show Good Food gets down to business with me over deli.
Ok, so here’s a sweet treat leftover from the Toronto launch party, courtesy of the University of Toronto’s Varsity Jews. Yes folks, they’re available for parties, simchas, and other book launches.
Many thanks to Rachel Malach and the rest of the VJ’s for this. An instant classic.
The Save the Deli story begins at 4:40 in the video. Many thanks to Margi Rauchut at The Jewish Channel.
So here we are in San Fran. Beautiful day. Just went for a jog. Had a great event at Saul’s last night. Doing something fun at Miller’s tonight. And then tomorrow night at Bookpassage. Then LA, then Chicago, then Miami, Philly, Montreal…and on and on.
First off, some incredible news. Jelvis, the Jewish Elvis, had so much fun at the big launch in NYC, that he’s grabbing the guitar and jumpsuit and heading on the road to meet me. He’ll be performing at my talk at Langer’s in Los Angeles this Wednesday at 2:20, and then at Manny’s Delicatessen, in Chicago on Thursday at 6pm. Should be awesome. Jelvis lives!!!
Just want to share a few things from the past few days.
Here’s a quick video interview that I did with the business channel BNN before the Toronto launch party.
And here’s a little snippet from the night at Caplansky’s. Waiting for photos soon. And the Varsity Jews.
After an amazing Canadian launch party duo at Caplansky’s last night, I’m now getting my first morning to sit and relax a bit, taking phone calls and working from my fiance’s couch. Zane Caplansky has a great report on the Toronto party on his blog, and he’ll have photos and vids posted soon, which I’ll write about here. But in a few hours I head out west to San Francisco, and hopefully sunny California. Sweet. There’s still tickets available for the Saul’s event tomorrow, and make sure to stop by Bookspassage on Monday night in the Ferry Marketplace.
So before I do, let’s round up some of the press that’s happening. (more…)
photo credit (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Today seems to be a big LA press day, with my visit there under a week away. I couldn’t be happier. For those of you who’ve read the book, you know it was a highlight to fress in the city of angels.
First off is a great story by Elina Shatkin at the Los Angeles Times:
The deli capital? It’s L.A.
That’s the conclusion of ‘Save the Deli’ author David Sax. He explains why the City of Angels beats out New York and other contenders.
It was in rural Kansas, near the geographical center of America, that David Sax hit rock bottom in his search for the perfect deli sandwich. It happened innocently enough, in an Arby’s. He had ordered a Reuben.
“What I got was this horrible abomination of plasticized cheese that tasted like it had come from a napalm plant,” he says. “Meat that had been pressed and pumped and vacuumed and torn apart to increase its yield in water but had no flavor. Bread that was just white bread painted a dark rye color. It was horrendous. And it was microwaved. I had two bites and that was it.”
But if Sax found the nadir of the Reuben, he also found its zenith. And — perhaps surprisingly — he didn’t find it in New York, the birthplace of the Jewish deli; he found it here in Los Angeles. (more…)
*I wasn’t allowed a camera, so this is courtesy of the folks at Blackberry
A few months ago I told you that the book had made it to the inner sanctum of American democracy. Today, Save the Deli, and by that I mean me, went to the White House.
You see, with jobs still being lost, wars being waged, and health care nowhere near passing, the White House needed a stimulus, and pastrami was just what was called for. (more…)
photo courtesy of Jason Perlow
Oh what a crazy night. First off, just a quick reminder that the Canadian edition of the book came out today. So go hit up your bookstores Canucks, and get your copies today.
Now back to Ben’s. It was billed as a celebration of deli culture, but we forgot to add the terms “stampeding crowds”, “raging mobs”, and “unreasonable amounts of linked meats”. What can I say, it was a glorious shitshow that was hailed by one party blogger (who I randomly met) as “The Best Book Party I’ve Ever Seen”. People arrived early, clamored for tables, and started eating and drinking. Hundreds arrived within a short period of time. The line for the buffet snaked all around the deli. Someone estimated over 400 people coming and going throughout the night.
Well folks, here we are. It’s been over three years since I started writing this book, over two and a half since I launched Save the Deli, and now, 735 blog posts later, we’ve arrived at publication day.
I’m filled with a combination of excitement, trepidation, and fear. And, I must admit, a touch of pride. The reaction has been tremendous, and utterly surprising. People genuinely want to save the Jewish delicatessen, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got a big tour coming up that’ll take me into Thanksgiving, and my posts will slow down as I travel around talking at delis, synagogues, bookstores, and JCCs. So as the book hits stores, and as we prep for the big party tomorrow night at Ben’s, I just want to reprint below the mission statement from this site. Read it, buy the book, go out to your deli and eat. You’ll do your part. I’ll keep doing mine.
Save the Deli is a space dedicated to the preservation of the Jewish delicatessen, a hallowed temple of salted and cured meats. The past half century has seen the deli’s numbers decline greatly, in New York, across the USA, in Canada, and Europe. Those that remain are endangered and in need of our support. Though the challenge is arduous, and the deli’s foes are many, we will persevere.
Save the Deli stands for the family restaurant who refuses to modernize for the sake of greater profits, preferring to slave away tirelessly because that’s what the customers love, and because the food tastes better that way.
Save the Deli stands for classic Jewish food: sandwiches on rye with mustard…never on white or whole-grain or foccacia…never with vegetables…and god forbid never with mayonnaise.
Save the Deli stands for grease stained aprons, and worn cutting machines. For beat up tables, fading photos of B-list celebrities, and kids playing loudly while eating smoked turkey.
Save the Deli stands for deli education, deli pride, and a revival of deli culture across racial, cultural, and generational divides.
Save the Deli stands for saving that last bite of brisket…because there’s no finer treat at 3:00 AM than a bit of cold brisket.
Save the Deli stands for all things deli, because it’s about damn time someone stood up for the Jewish delicatessen!
See you Monday night at Ben’s. And thank you.