Save the Deli

Mayogate Not As Bad As I Thought

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Yesterday I reported that President Obama ordered a deli sandwich with mayo, assuming it was for him. I was wrong, and shouldn’t have assumed that. A Save the Deli source in the White House corrected the error. I’m quoting his email here:

“Fear not! I was also horrified when I first learned about this, and checked, turns out it was actually Kendrick Meek who ordered corned beef with mayo. The President ordered his with mustard (Axelrod’s influence, no doubt!). The confusion happened because technically the President ordered both, since he paid.”

My apologies to the President, his family, and America for the error. Allowing Congressman Meek to order his sandwich with mayo is still a minor sin (a time for leadership, if there ever was one), but my presumption blew mayogate way out of proportion.

I suppose this is a good time to announce that I’ll be leaving New York and moving back to Canada at the end of the month. No, I haven’t been exiled for dragging the President’s name through the mud. Just married to a lovely woman from the homeland. I’ll miss you NY, and your delis, of course.

Oy, Obama (see correction in next post)

Friday, August 20th, 2010

***I got this wrong. The President ordered the mayo sandwich for his companion. Please see next post for correction***

Despite the fact that President Obama has been seen eating corned beef, on rye, with mustard at Manny’s Deli in Chicago, despite the fact that I actually visited the White House, and saw a signed photograph of Manny’s in Obama’s chief advisor’s office, despite the fact that this advisor, Lower East Side deli maven David Axelrod, runs much of the show inside the administration…the President of the United States made that cardinal sin of all American politicians…

He ordered his corned beef sandwich with mayonaise. Oy.

Reports the Miami New Times:

It has been widely reported that President Obama and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek stopped by Jerry’s Famous Deli on South Beach after their fundraiser at the Fontainebleau. Never mind that the Prez ordered one of two corned beef sandwiches with mayonnaise (oy!) — the biggest political sandwich blunder since presidential candidate Kerry went to Philly and asked for a cheesesteak sandwich with swiss cheese!

Like George McGovern and Bobby Kennedy before him, Obama made the mistake of asking for mayo, that technically kosher, but spiritually treyf condiment so abhorred by true deli lovers. But the New Times heaps further scorn for his choice of deli: Jerry’s Famous Deli, the big business deli that destroyed the Rascal House, Wolfie’s, and much of South Florida’s deli legacy.

I know it’s just a trivial matter of picking out a deli, but I’ll bet Bill Clinton’s aides would have seen to it that when he was going to make a comment about supporting small business, he’d do so in the confines of an actual small business, with real working class small business owners hugging him and glowing with appreciation (actually, he’d be hugging them, but you get the point).

Here at Save the Deli, we think the President still has a chance to regain our trust. I’ve just been informed that a new Jewish deli is opening in the DC area. The Uptown Deli is opening soon in Bethesda, MD, that military rich suburb outside DC, where the Prez surely goes to visit his doctor. Its owner, Howard Wasserman, is promising authentic Jewish deli fare, and he is doing something the President can surely support: opening a small business at the height of this recession. Pay Howard a visit Mr. Obama. For our sake and yours.

Uptown Deli
7905 Norfolk Ave
Bethesda MD 20814

This Sunday Night: The Foodstuff Show

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

I’ve been told I’m kind of funny, which is the best compliment for me to hear. As a kid, my greatest dream was being on Saturday Night Live, and I spent a lot of time in front of the mirror imitating Dana Carvey characters. All of this helps explain my late exit from virginity.

But this Sunday I take to the esteemed stage of the People’s Improv Theatre (the PIT) in New York, as a guest on the Foodstuff Show with Brett and Ben, the funniest comedy duo focusing on food in the world (and yes, the only one). The Foodstuff Show came about this summer because actors, comedians, and budding diabetics Brett Wean and Ben Masten wanted to drain the seriousness out of food, and inject it with a big dose of laughter. They’ve got musical guests and comedy guests, and each show one food guest. That’s me this Sunday night. We’re going to be talking deli, and I’m told that I have to make the audience laugh or they’ll go on Amazon and bombard my book’s rating with one star reviews.

The guests this week include the Ninja Sex Party

And a special musical guest. I’m not allowed to say who he is, but if you’re a fan of this band, you will certainly know him (or her).

And me, talking and joking about deli. Or maybe being dead serious and pulling an Andy Kaufman. Either way, should be fun.
It’s already being hyped in the Village Voice as “laughs for a slightly more refined palate”.

8pm on Sunday, August 22nd
Tickets $5 BUY THEM HERE
The People’s Improv Theater,
located at 154 West 29th Street, between 6th & 7th Avenue

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The Shiksa: It’s Cool, She’s Kosher

Friday, August 13th, 2010

When my fiancee and I met with our rabbi months before the wedding, he explained why the ceremony to sign the engagement contract (bedeking) and the actual marriage take place so close together. See, once they were separated by a year, but if something happened to the man during that year, the woman would never be able to marry. He could be drafted into the Tzar’s army, murdered by anti-Semites, or, in the words of the rabbi, “run off with a Polish milk maid”.

Basically, it’s been made Shiksa proof.

Yes, Shiksas, those tempting and beautiful women of the non-Jewish faith and lineage. Though other ethnic women (black, Asian, Latin American) technically count as Shiksas, what we’re really talking about here is white chicks. Think Betty Draper, or at least Annie Hall. Jewish men fall for Shiksas for many reasons, and often, these lovely women throw themselves into Jewish life with aplomb.

Such is the case with Tori, who blogs by the name The Shiksa in the Kitchen. Her husband is Israeli, keeps kosher, and so Tori has committed herself to delving into the world of Jewish food and cooking as completely as possible. There’s a cookbook on its way, and her blog is filled with photos, recipes, videos, and adventures in Jewish eating around the world.

Here she is at Katz’s…so her deli cred is bona fide:

Now, if we could only find her male equivalent. The Shaygets Garmento?

Treyf Delicatessen Coming to SF

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010


Considering San Francisco doesn’t have a kosher delicatessen, in theory, all its delis are treyf. But that doesn’t seem to be clear enough for Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman, who will soon open Treyf Delicatessen in San Francisco.

Now before you call the local rabbi and start protesting, know that the name is tongue in cheek only. While not kosher, Treyf is going to be a classic Jewish deli in every sense, with nary a slice of pork in sight. The project’s evolution is outlined on the duo’s blog, which includes the following mission statement:

It is our belief that San Francisco (and the Bay Area), home to some of the finest food and restaurants in the world, needs some good pastrami, pickles, and Babka (among other things). While we appreciate the Deli that exists here, we long for steaming hot, housemade pastrami cut by hand; would plotz for some earthy, shmaltz laden Kasha Varnishkas; would die for a decent black and white cookie.

There’s even photos detailing the home curing and smoking of their pastrami:

This looks promising. There’s been so much potential for a great roots delicatessen in San Francisco, though many have failed in recent years (the California Street Deli in the JCC, or the SF-NY Kosher Deli coming to mind). Could this be the one that hits it big? The actual opening is still months away, as Bloom and Beckerman seek out investors for the deli. If you’ve got some cash kicking around (and who doesn’t these days), perhaps this is a safer bet than those CDOs you’ve been eyeing.

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