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Rent hike "temporarily" closes 2nd Ave Deli
January 6, 2006 6:41 AM   Subscribe

2nd Ave Deli closed; may not reopen. The half-century old 2nd Ave Deli in New York City's East Village has closed; its rent was hiked 37% to $33,000 per month. The closure is described as temporary, but the owner acknowledges that it might open next "to clear out." [MI]
posted by rkent (222 comments total)

 
Though most of "Yiddish Broadway" had packed its bags by the time the 2nd Ave Deli opened in 1954, it has stood as a Lower East Side cultural landmark ever since. Abe Lebewohl, the original owner, even started a "Yiddish Walk of Fame" out front. Gentrification in the East Village is nothing new (e.g., e.g.), but it's still breathtaking to see such an icon fall to the tide of Dunkin' Donuts and Bank of Americas.
posted by rkent at 6:42 AM on January 6, 2006


50 years isn't that historic.
posted by delmoi at 6:47 AM on January 6, 2006


An Indian restaurant around the corner from me also closed recently.
posted by driveler at 6:51 AM on January 6, 2006


Eh... Veselka's better anyway.
posted by psmealey at 6:52 AM on January 6, 2006


There's a sub shop over in the next village that closed down recently.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:52 AM on January 6, 2006


I still haven't gotten over the loss of Mike's Pizzaria (sic), which closed about five years ago. I've never found a better cheesesteak.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:54 AM on January 6, 2006


According to the article that rent hike was written into the contract. The landlord is willing to cut him a break to help him out. How is he hurting? 19.95 for a sandwich and the place is packed?
posted by Cool Alex at 6:55 AM on January 6, 2006


I can't say much about this being the best of the web, but fuck all. I used to live at that corner in NYC. And many an evening I'd go out for some Matzoh Ball Soup and a free chicken-liver on challa schmear from the 2nd Ave Deli. I miss you 2nd Ave deli. Vaselka is good, but it's a whole different thing. I

One thing rings very true in the article -- NYC is turning into the same corporate Disney World as every town in America. You'd think that NYC would be different, as it's got such a concentration of foodies and quirky ethnic eaters. But Dunkin Donuts, Papa John's (!!?), etc do well there too.
posted by zpousman at 7:03 AM on January 6, 2006


I, apparently, am struck speechless by the closing. Damn you, instant preview, damn you.
posted by zpousman at 7:03 AM on January 6, 2006


.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:07 AM on January 6, 2006


Don't be (a) dick(s). This is an important New York event. It will likely be on P1 on most local papers today or tomorrow.

This is very sad. I totally love that place. It's the last great kosher deli in Manhattan. Makes me want to say a prayer in shul tomorrow morning.

And, by the way, the ~$20 sandwiches can feed two or three.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:09 AM on January 6, 2006


Last year, he hired a down-and-out former pornographer, Al Goldstein, as a greeter.

"I have not eaten so well since I lived with my mom," said Mr. Goldstein, who was fired after he was found sleeping in the restaurant's basement. Mr. Goldstein, a noted gourmand until a recent stomach-stapling operation, declared the deli's shuttering "almost as sad as the closing of Chock Full O' Nuts," though he added, "I never thought Jack's pastrami was as good as Katz's. It's kosher. It was bland."


hah pwnt
posted by rxrfrx at 7:11 AM on January 6, 2006


My life is over.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:18 AM on January 6, 2006


My own saddest New York closing was Exterminator Chili in Tribeca.
posted by HTuttle at 7:19 AM on January 6, 2006


$33,000 / month!? Holy Crap!
posted by JeffK at 7:22 AM on January 6, 2006


I know it's capable of feeding two or three, but in practice are there three people sitting around the table sharing a cow between two crackers? if so, how do you work out bread distribution?

Mitch Hedberg had a funny line about those enormous sandwiches.
waiter: "can I get you anything else?"
Mitch: "yeah, how about a loaf of bread and eight other people"
posted by Cool Alex at 7:23 AM on January 6, 2006


If he's smart he'll sell the concept to Disney and they will re-open as Disney Presents The 2nd Ave Deli with animatronic jewish sandwhich makers and a Pastrami rollercoaster and a Matzoh ferris wheel and they can merchandise all kinds of little fluffy corned beef plush toys and t-shirts and crap and then Al Goldstein can sleep in the basement again as part of the attraction.
posted by spicynuts at 7:24 AM on January 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


So can I create a post about a sandwitch shop closing in my city that no one else has ever heard of? Flagged.
posted by octothorpe at 7:25 AM on January 6, 2006


I can feel my arteries opening up already.
posted by caddis at 7:25 AM on January 6, 2006


This is an important New York event. It will likely be on P1 on most local papers today or tomorrow.

So not only is it Newsfilter, it's Newsfilter that is relevant to only a fraction of the people most NF posts are. Great.

This is a ridiculous FPP. Great/famous/landmark restaurants close all over the world all the time.
posted by Manhasset at 7:26 AM on January 6, 2006


My favourite bar closed down a few weeks ago. My life will never be the same again.
posted by sebas at 7:28 AM on January 6, 2006


NewYorkFilter
posted by smcniven at 7:34 AM on January 6, 2006


I saw a red car on the drive in today.
posted by parallax7d at 7:34 AM on January 6, 2006


Hey Suckers, Hate it!

Kush meer in tokhes!
They should name someone after you already!

Not only is it famous and personally relevant to some of us, but it is a cultural landmark lost and a great place. (although since it was Kosher you had to have non-dairy creamer in the coffee, blurrrgh)


The fact that Al Goldstein slept in the basement alone makes it FPP worthy you tedious bumpkins.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:35 AM on January 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Shit, that's sad news. Knock it off with the "some little place somewhere closed" jokes—the 2nd Ave. Deli is a genuine institution. And Abe Lebewohl personally gave me an entire salami in 1987. (It's a long story, having to do with the Mets.) If it's gone for good, alevasholem.
posted by languagehat at 7:35 AM on January 6, 2006


.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:38 AM on January 6, 2006


Not quite as tragic as when Abe was murdered a few years back, but still sad.

Hang in there Yonah Shimmel and Katz's.

And, if they've been there for 50 years why didn't they buy the building for $33,000 in the 70's?
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:40 AM on January 6, 2006


if any of you shmegeggys got a historic restaurant that's loved by the neighborhood and is closing, i'd love to hear about it.

it's pretty much the best deli I'd ever been to and a sign of the dissapearance of old Jewish culture in Manhattan.
posted by destro at 7:41 AM on January 6, 2006


Knock it off with the "some little place somewhere closed" jokes—the 2nd Ave.

Or at least, if you must continue with this tedious line of joking, come up with something freakin more original than 'my favorite bar closed last week'. Lame.
posted by spicynuts at 7:42 AM on January 6, 2006


Not only is it famous and personally relevant to some of us, but it is a cultural landmark lost and a great place. (although since it was Kosher you had to have non-dairy creamer in the coffee, blurrrgh)


The fact that Al Goldstein slept in the basement alone makes it FPP worthy you tedious bumpkins.


Well, ol' Shirley Burney is awfully famous down in Brashear, Tx - and now she's retiring after 35 years of service!-
posted by bradth27 at 7:43 AM on January 6, 2006


ParisParamus telling people not to be dicks is hilarious.

It's like Shaquille O'Neal telling Charles Barkley not to be tall.
posted by wakko at 7:45 AM on January 6, 2006


.
posted by rottytooth at 7:45 AM on January 6, 2006


DId she ever spend 2 hours discussing the finer points of cunnilingus with Tiny Tim on television?

Did she ever curse Davids Cookies into bankrupcy over a perceived slight in cookie service?

None the less I wish her the best.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:47 AM on January 6, 2006


New Yorkcentric? Yes.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:48 AM on January 6, 2006


Oh, this is depressing. Carnegie has better pastrami, but the 2nd Avenue Deli was the last of the true kosher delis. I really hope it reopens. Jackie Mason's quote " "A sandwich to a Jew is just as important as a country to a Gentile," was worth reading as well.

And, for the record, I don't live in NYC, but this is definitely FPP material for me, so thanks, rkent, and nuts to all the deli-haters out there.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:51 AM on January 6, 2006


so? lots of people live in new york.
posted by wakko at 7:51 AM on January 6, 2006


It's like Shaquille O'Neal telling Charles Barkley not to be tall.

Charles Barkley isn't that tall. In fact, he's only about 6'5", which is like 8 inches shorter than Shaquille O'Neal.
posted by billysumday at 7:51 AM on January 6, 2006


I went there a lot with my girlfriend (now wife), loved the matzoh ball soup (although, yes, the pastrami is bland-ish). I hope they work something out.

To those who don't live in New York : why?
posted by ny_scotsman at 7:51 AM on January 6, 2006


It's the last great kosher deli in Manhattan.

Huh?
posted by Afroblanco at 7:53 AM on January 6, 2006


To those who don't live in New York : why?

Why don't we live in NY? I'd rather have a raging case of herpes than live in that rat infested over priced shithole of a city.

That's why.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:55 AM on January 6, 2006


I like what they did for Goldstein when he was a pariah, but it really wasn't that great a place.

how's this for an offensive headline tho?-- appalling--Landlords try to out-jew the 2nd Ave Deli
posted by amberglow at 7:56 AM on January 6, 2006


Well, the weather, the food, the culture and the diversity all blow away Minneapolis, but hey, to each his own.
posted by caddis at 7:57 AM on January 6, 2006


Afroblanco, like the great Carnegie (and the sucky Stage) Katz's is kosher-style, not kosher. Which is find for lovers of Reuben sandwiches, like myself, but 2nd Avenue was the last of the great true kosher delis.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:57 AM on January 6, 2006


So here we have the decidedly 21st century occurrence of the young, rich, and over-privileged twenty-somethings of New York who moved there from a little town in the Midwest or along the East Coast, kids who are renting a two-bedroom apartment for $2,300 (with mom and dad's money), trying to get an internship at a film production company or at a magazine or with a fashion designer, complaining about how their city is turning into Disney World and everybody's rent is going up.

Big fucking shocker.
posted by billysumday at 7:58 AM on January 6, 2006


Well then may you have be diagnosed with a raging case of herpes the day they start handing out free zovirax on Houston street sweetie.


It's all good that you don't want to live here, we got plenty like you, but what the fuck is up with all the people here who define themselves by what they hate and resent? Culture of Whinging in full effect, yo!
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:59 AM on January 6, 2006


I'd rather have a raging case of herpes than live in that rat infested over priced shithole of a city.

. . . and then there's the Yankees.
posted by JeffK at 8:00 AM on January 6, 2006


To those who don't live in New York : why?

Because we believe our restaurant rents should be reasonable.
posted by drezdn at 8:00 AM on January 6, 2006


Er, please don't flag this post.

I'd heard of the Second Avenue Deli before I ever came to New York -- when I arrived here, in fact, there was still a Yiddish theatre there if I remember correctly (long since replaced with a generic movie n-plex). It's one of the last vestiges of a time when you'd be as likely to hear Yiddish as English spoken in that area. Now as they say it's all Starbucks and Quisnos. For shame.

I had the privilege of hanging out with Abe Lebewohl for a half an hour once. He showed up with the catering and they'd forgotten to leave him a check so he stayed and waited. He was very nice about it -- as he said, "They're getting married, they have more important things to think about!" What a gentleman.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:01 AM on January 6, 2006


The fact that Al Goldstein slept in the basement alone makes it FPP worthy you tedious bumpkins.

Yeah, except it already was an FPP when that happened you tedious hipster.
posted by Manhasset at 8:01 AM on January 6, 2006


I was born on 14th street billysumday, I've lived here all my life and I've always paid my own rent, despite the best efforts of Bloomberg and Rudy, natives still live here, regardless of the fact that we can't afford it and yuppie shits make it boring.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:01 AM on January 6, 2006


renting a two-bedroom apartment for $2,300

You have absolutely NO idea what you're talking about.

R.I.P. 2nd Ave. Deli
posted by hummus at 8:05 AM on January 6, 2006


So here we have the decidedly 21st century occurrence of the young, rich, and over-privileged twenty-somethings of New York who moved there from a little town in the Midwest or along the East Coast, kids who are renting a two-bedroom apartment for $2,300 (with mom and dad's money), trying to get an internship at a film production company or at a magazine or with a fashion designer, complaining about how their city is turning into Disney World and everybody's rent is going up.

Big fucking shocker.


Now that's some real intelligence displayed there. Yes sir. EVERYONE who doesn't like NYC turning into Epcot Center must be a twenty-something Mid Western aspiring filmmaker living off dad's money. If you have the magic wand that can hook me up with some of that 20-something-ness and score me daddy's money, tell me where to sign up. I think I have a bunch of 30-something, Brooklyn born, self made friends that might want to sign up too, so the sooner you can get me a link for the wait list, the better. Let's go!
posted by spicynuts at 8:06 AM on January 6, 2006


Fuck you manhasset, how's that for hip? What, I'm supposed to fucking keep a running total of all the Al Goldstein fpps before I make a joke? Spare me your knownothing assumptions and ability to google you cold cuntful of piss. This place really is more or less given over to the one-uppers and the bitter little blog babies, jesus.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:07 AM on January 6, 2006


Even though it happens all over, and this is just one place, I still think it's sad. Chalk one up for yuppification, I guess.

50 years isn't that historic.

In the US, it's practically antediluvian.
posted by carter at 8:07 AM on January 6, 2006


If it's New York, it's news, baby!

Look at me! New York! Wheeee! I live there too! 8 million people, look at me!
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:08 AM on January 6, 2006


I've got to side with the people who don't think this is FPP worthy... the Berghoff, recently closed down and had it been posted on metafilter I am sure that would have caught a lot of hell... and it is/was the oldest restaurant in chicago... sorry, this is a bad post.
posted by cusack at 8:08 AM on January 6, 2006


.

It was one of the places I'd hit when I had a sore throat and needed Jewish penicillin.

Katz's isn't kosher, Afroblanco.
posted by brujita at 8:10 AM on January 6, 2006


This kind of thing is endemic over the last couple of years... the Howard Johnson's in Times Square, Blind Tiger Ale House in the West Village and the other relatively recently closed kosher deli, Ratner's, all speak to the overwhelming tide of gentrification in NYC. While no one bleeds for the days of riots in Tomkins Square Park, it's sad to see many of the vestiges of old New York getting pushed out by the tides of Ronald McDonald, The Noid, and that fucking "time to make the donuts!" guy from Dunkin' all marching in lockstep to bring a comfortable sameness to the city.
posted by fet at 8:10 AM on January 6, 2006


Fuck you manhasset, how's that for hip?

Wow, talk about dishing it out without being able to take it in. Pathetic.
posted by Manhasset at 8:12 AM on January 6, 2006


This $2300 2 bedroom... it vibrates?

Haha, yeah, it does, since it's in a basement apartment 5' from an express subway!
posted by fet at 8:12 AM on January 6, 2006


I just cannot wrap my head around NYC real estate. 33k a month?! hell, 24k is making my brain hurt. How many fucking knishes is that?
posted by glenwood at 8:13 AM on January 6, 2006


It's always too bad when cultural mainstays have to shut down due to rent or declining sales from competitors. In my city a grocery that had been down the street from my home for 81 years just closed. Pretty sad.

They even had a little banner on the window that said "Klein's, proudly serving Lincoln for 80+ years!" I guess the little German grocery store died when all the Germans in the neighborhood moved out.
posted by dead_ at 8:13 AM on January 6, 2006


Sure, it's only important to those people who think it's important, what a shocking fucking concept. Metafilter: 26434 members and your FPP better be germane to all of us, look at me, I can whine and complain.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:13 AM on January 6, 2006


This is pretty sad actually , hello there ny scotsman !
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:13 AM on January 6, 2006



So can I create a post about a sandwitch shop closing in my city that no one else has ever heard of? Flagged.


Did you flag yourself while you were at it?
posted by jon_kill at 8:16 AM on January 6, 2006


I can take it and now I am giving it back manhasset, that's how it works (also anyone who knows me at all knows I was absolutely making a joke about bumpkins, but you go ahead and snap before you know what you're talking about chief, that's the way it's done, you'll be superstar in no time, getting tables at all the best resturants, giftbags, blowjobs. All the best babes, you've earned it.)
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:17 AM on January 6, 2006


if any of you shmegeggys got a historic restaurant that's loved by the neighborhood and is closing, i'd love to hear about it...

posted by destro at 10:41 AM EST on January 6 [!]

I don't know what a shmegeggy is, and I don't have a historic restaurant near me that is closing, but there is an ongoing saga of a historic hotel near me that you may be interested in:

The Heart of Columbia Motel is a roughly 40-year-old motel, which closed in 1994. It was damaged by fire in May 2004 and again recently. It is set to be demolished, but that has been held up by an asbestos issue.

Beth Bernstein remembers her family simply referring to their beloved building as the motel, "I do have fond memories of this place. We had a ice storm in the late 1970's. I was in the 4th grade. We stayed at the motel because we didn't have electricity for a week. We have nice memories of the hotel."

A picture of the motel appeared in the liner notes of the Hootie and the Blowfish album Crack Rear View.
posted by ND¢ at 8:21 AM on January 6, 2006


renting a two-bedroom apartment for $2,300

A two-bedroom apartment for $2,300? That sounds great! Is there a fee?

Meanwhile, while I'm not a regular patron of the 2nd Ave. Deli by any means, I will be sad if it goes. It seems like every day another piece of New York is gone.

Quick story: when my girlfriend was at NYU in the 1980s, she went to the 2nd Ave. Deli with friends and ordered a "turkey and cheese" sandwich.

Her turkey and cheese of course arrived on separate plates, so she (not being familiar with the kosher situation) immediately but them together and made a sandwich.

Immediate hysteria ensued.
posted by notclosed at 8:23 AM on January 6, 2006


Her turkey and cheese of course arrived on separate plates

Just out of curiosity, what's not kosher about that? Unless the cheese was crafted from turkey milk, that should have been ok, no?
posted by psmealey at 8:27 AM on January 6, 2006


Rat-infested shithole of a city...
Wow, is it 1985 again?
It took me a while to respond to that because I've been laughing too hard over the "$2300 for a two-bedroom" comment. Although that would make sense if by New York you meant "Queens".

Move to Brooklyn! Real neighborhoods and delis where you can get a kosher pastrami on rye for 7 bucks. Yes, 7 American dollars.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 8:32 AM on January 6, 2006


notclosed : "Her turkey and cheese of course arrived on separate plates, so she (not being familiar with the kosher situation)"

Neither am I. Please explain.
posted by Gyan at 8:32 AM on January 6, 2006


Sorry about the $2300 number. Guess things have changed in just a few years. So you're saying it's more than that? A lot more? Ok, well, point further justified. And obviously I'm not criticizing people who have lived and grown up in New York (touchy subject, huh?), nor am I really criticizing the rich kids who move there. I'd do it too if my daddy was a Warbucks. But this is what happens (or at least, it seems like this is what is happening) when you inject a shitload of money into a city and push out all of the poor people.
posted by billysumday at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2006


Psmealey- no, doesn't matter- if you keep strict kosher you can't mix any dairy with any meat.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2006


I'd rather have a raging case of herpes than live in that rat infested over priced shithole of a city.

There's really no reason you can't have both.
posted by HTuttle at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


This kind of thing is endemic over the last couple of years... the Howard Johnson's in Times Square, Blind Tiger Ale House in the West Village and the other relatively recently closed kosher deli, Ratner's, all speak to the overwhelming tide of gentrification in NYC.

Blind Tiger is, thank god, moving to a new location on Hudson Street. (Hopefully on the corner of 10th, where my beloved Kim's Video was forced out by a massive rent hike three years ago, even though no other tenant was ever found).

But there's also Joe's Pizza, the Bottom Line, McHale's, CBGB's, etc. It's a sad trend.
posted by Epenthesis at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2006


(Blind Tiger could always make the rent, incidentally--it was forced out in favor of a Marc Jacobs outlet because of noise issues with the apartments above.)
posted by Epenthesis at 8:35 AM on January 6, 2006


I am really sorry your favorite deli closed. That's too bad. My sympathies. What's the world coming to? It's certainly good that you have other resources to fall back on, even if they are of lower quality. We all share your grief, and our prayers are with you. If only FEMA weren't such a mess.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:35 AM on January 6, 2006


And Ratner's dairy restaurant became a Sleepy's. I guess it's inevitable. You can't find good Dutch food here anymore either, and all the streets are named by them.

My mom'll be crushed about the Berghoff.
posted by Marnie at 8:40 AM on January 6, 2006


Move to Brooklyn! Real neighborhoods and delis where you can get a kosher pastrami on rye for 7 bucks. Yes, 7 American dollars.

That's no shit. On my way to bring a rental van over to pick up my band's gear at our practice space on Hope Street in Wmsburg, I made a wrong turn and I swear I ended up in a neighborhood where the street signs were in Hebrew (well, if not the street signs, then all the other signs were). Now that was a real neighborhood. That level of ethnic authenticity is gone daddy gone from Manhattan for at least 10 years.

SoHo is indistinguishable from the Galleria Mall (pick one, Houson, White Plains, etc.) and Ludlowe Street is pretty much the equivalent of Rush Street, Bourbon Street, Lansdowne Street and dozen or so more college party streets in a dozen or so large American cities.

I never wanted to be one of those people to dis Manhattan, just because I have loved it since getting into trouble in my teens on Bleecker street, but it's just kind of lost it for me. If I want a fun night out, I'm more frequently heading into Brooklyn, Queens, or what the hell, Jersey City.
posted by psmealey at 8:41 AM on January 6, 2006


Non-New Yorkers discover sarcasm, film at eleven.


(sorry to everyone but manhasset, I'm obviously cranky and pissed, including that I am more or less always on the verge of being priced out of my native heath, you are correct about that Billysumday. I do wish people who complain about NY centered stuff or the tyranny of geography in general would either post things about where they live OR just not care, the constant this is what a good post isn't, and it is CONSTANT, really actually is what is making mefi particularly lame these days. Has anyone noticed the volume of FPPS has gone down quite a bit these days?)

Manhasset you can give me head till I'm dead.

Off to Gray's Papaya, I'll see you shikkers later.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:47 AM on January 6, 2006


I went to high school a few blocks from the Second Avenue Deli and enjoyed a few lunches there. And I now work a few blocks from the Berghoff. I am the walking doom of eating establishments.
posted by horsewithnoname at 8:50 AM on January 6, 2006


Anti-hipsters are the new hipsters. Off to have brain asplode.

2nd Ave. was nice, but c'mon--there are much better places to eat.
posted by bardic at 8:51 AM on January 6, 2006


Dormant Gorilla writes 'Move to Brooklyn! Real neighborhoods and delis where you can get a kosher pastrami on rye for 7 bucks. Yes, 7 American dollars.'

I need names, DG. Give me a deli name and address and I will be there before you're done typing it. Also: are you talking about legitimate Kosher deli or just, deli?

Oh, and seriously... people hating on this as an FPP? What the "F" for? this IS a big story, whether you're in NYC or not. And if you could pull your heads out of your asses long enough to realise that this is a microcosm of a larger, less esoterically endemic problem. To quote Walter: This affects all of us, man!

Oh and Divine Wino (who i like to call Divino), its nice to say "hi" again.
posted by indiebass at 8:52 AM on January 6, 2006


I honestly didn't have a problem with New Yorkers until I started interacting with them on the Internet. You guys really do think you're the only goddamn city on the planet.

If I posted about a failing business in Denison, Iowa, you guys would flag that post to hell and back.
posted by keswick at 8:58 AM on January 6, 2006


I've been a regular my whole life and take visiting friends whenever they come to town. Somehow I think it will work out, but if not, this is a major passing. The thought of turning elsewhere (where??) for kishka is wildly depressing.

Also: hate on, haters. There's a lot more going on with NY gentrification than rich kids moving to the city and driving up rents. But that's complicated, and not easily chewed up into rancorous acid balls to spit in our faces.

on preview: Her turkey and cheese of course arrived on separate plates

Not that I think it's totally out of the realm of possibility, but I'm 99% sure that they never had cheese at the 2nd Avenue deli and would never serve it. Even though 2nd Avenue is not a strictly kosher restaurant (it is open on Saturday), it is a meat restaurant. This means that in order to maintain kashrut, there can never be any dairy in the restaurant at all because not only is it forbidden to mix meat and dairy in the same sandwich, it's forbidden to mix them in the same meal (or for several hours after the consumption of meat) or to serve them on the same dishes.

further on preview: Give me a deli name and address

OK. Mill Basin Kosher Deli is truly excellent.
posted by kosem at 8:59 AM on January 6, 2006


this IS a big story, whether you're in NYC or not. And if you could pull your heads out of your asses long enough to realise that this is a microcosm of a larger, less esoterically endemic problem. To quote Walter: This affects all of us, man!

Everything that happens in New York affects everyone else, of course. NY is like a cosmic butterfly - the fluttering of its wings causes earthquakes around the globe.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:00 AM on January 6, 2006


Call me whatever you like friend, just don't call me late for Popes Noses and Dr. Browns.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:01 AM on January 6, 2006


MetaFilter: Spare me your knownothing assumptions and ability to google you cold cuntful of piss.
posted by Duncan at 9:01 AM on January 6, 2006


Is the chicken that plays tic-tac-toe still there in Chinatown? That's all I really care about.
posted by bardic at 9:01 AM on January 6, 2006


Jesus H. Fucking Christ. For one thing, thanks for the FPP -- this is disastrous news, even if the 2nd Ave. Deli has been going downhill for several years. But still. I have lived in San Francisco for 26 years, but I still make a pilgrimage to the place at least once almost every time I go to NYC. There was nothing else even remotely like it left in the entire country, though I can't speak for whatever delis there might be in Israel or whatever.

Katz's? Please. I love it to, but let's face it: the place is a glorious toilet. It's nowhere you could bring your grandmother, which is the bottom line. Veselka's? Decent food, a great vibe and clientele, and fantastic hours, but if you can't tell the difference between a kosher deli and a cossack diner, you might as well start praising the tandoori joints on 6th Street as "great Memphis BBQ." And a post about the formerly best deli in the country is too New York-centric? You might as well start bitching that a post about the Louvre is too Paris-centric.

The matzo ball soup at the 2nd Ave Deli was a masterpiece, as was the "chicken in the pot," which you goyim don't even know from. The pastrami sandwiches were up and down of late, but when they were good, they were still the classic of their type. The Roumanian steak, mouth-melting skirt steak with a crown of browned onions, was astonishing. The stuffed cabbage was the best I've ever tasted, the stuffed derma (don't ask!) was a culinary landmark, and the free pickles sitting on the table were some of the last real pickles you could get in NY. As a former restaurant critic, I spent years trying to find other delis that were this good. I never did.
posted by digaman at 9:03 AM on January 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


And, for the record, I don't live in NYC, but this is definitely FPP material for me

Yeah. I live 5000 miles and a continent away, but I wanna read about this stuff on the Front Page as well.

It's not just about a sandwich shop closing. As others have said, it's about the death of a cultural institution in a city that is renowned for the wonderful ethnic diversity of it's cuisine, and poses important questions about how sustainable the small business is under the relentless onslaught of mediocre fast food chains whose goal is to maximize profit at the expense of the pursuit of quality.

How could a topic like that that *ever* not warrant a FPP, or ever not be of interest to intelligent people everywhere? Are these protests engendered by some sort of parochial inferiority complex, or what?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:03 AM on January 6, 2006


Denison, Iowa?? I'd rather have a raging case of herpes than live in that rat infested under priced shithole of a town.
posted by psmealey at 9:03 AM on January 6, 2006


Those pickles, my friends, they will be missed!
posted by dov3 at 9:04 AM on January 6, 2006


I miss the Bendix Diner on 8th Ave in Chelsea. Can we bring that back, please? We didn't really need another Bloomie's nail salon.
posted by etoile at 9:04 AM on January 6, 2006


indiebass... that is all find and good, but if it is endemic of a larger problem of landmark establishments closing, then the post could have included links to situations like that occuring on other cities across the country. Then we might all be able to relate a little bit more... as it stands, this is just NY-filter... er, or is it deli-filter? i am not sure anymore.
posted by cusack at 9:06 AM on January 6, 2006


You might as well start bitching that a post about the Louvre is too Paris-centric.


*



posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:06 AM on January 6, 2006


I am bummed that Manhattan isn't what is was. So I guess this news is sad. Still, if this incident happened in Topeka, no one would post about it. 'Cause NYC is the center of the world, ya know.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 9:10 AM on January 6, 2006


Is the chicken that plays tic-tac-toe still there in Chinatown? That's all I really care about.

Long gone buddy, that chicken (I am ashamed to admit) took me for 75 cents about once a week for several months before I realized that despite the fact that the sign said Win Large Bag of Fortune Cookie, there was no place for the large bag of fortune cookie to come out of the machine, once you were about to beat the chicken at Tic Tac Toe your set of the controls would freeze and the game would time out, that chicken was a fucking CHEATER!
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:11 AM on January 6, 2006


Katz's is far better, anyway.
posted by jonmc at 9:12 AM on January 6, 2006


I used the ATM at Katz's once... fantastic!
posted by cusack at 9:13 AM on January 6, 2006


kosem writes 'OK. Mill Basin Kosher Deli is truly excellent.'

Thanks Kosem! I've been partial to Ben's Best for some time, but due to geographic stresses, its become a little more of a schlep. Can't just pop in and around. But THEY have some GREAT tongue! And I'm not a 60-year old man! And i still stand by it!
posted by indiebass at 9:16 AM on January 6, 2006


'Cause NYC is the center of the world, ya know.

Really only for the people who move here from elsewhere and then talk it up and the haters who resent that, I find most natives (myself totally included) to be endlessly fascinated with other places and localness in general. Personally, if someone posted that a favorite resturant closed in Topeka I would either find something to say or ask about that or say nothing, I really don't know why that is so hard or so touchy for people, did New York steal your girlfriend or pants you in front of the cheerleaders once?
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:16 AM on January 6, 2006


I'm willing to buy that this place has substantial cultural/historical significance in the biggest city in the US, so cut the poster some slack on the NY bias.

What makes it a marginal post isn't the regional nature of it, it's that it's just the news item. If it were put in the context of a more thematic post about gentrification, or the loss of New York landmarks, or the struggle of non-chain eateries, or even Jewish culture in New York, it would be a lot cooler.
posted by TunnelArmr at 9:17 AM on January 6, 2006


you want I should fuck this mamaluke up, Wino?

*puts on knuckle dusters*
posted by jonmc at 9:18 AM on January 6, 2006


Denison, Iowa?

Send a salami to your boy in Denison, Iowa...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:19 AM on January 6, 2006


Not at all, I actually think the post was kind of thin, I already knew, I'm just quick to defend the things that I care about, it's the hipster in me.

Plus Katz's isn't better, you just like it better.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:20 AM on January 6, 2006


I used to live on 10th Street between 1st & 2nd; this is terrible news, but what's even worse is hearing that Kims Video closed! That sucks, but then I liked living in the East Village when it was a rat infested shithole, and as I watch where I live now (Asheville, NC) get completely overbuilt with half a million dollar "residential lofts" that the vast majority of locals can never possibly afford, I find that this kind of news resonates all 770 miles.

Also, Kims Video was really nice to me about the time that I returned a homemade collaged monster movie in the box for Wild At Heart and didn't notice it for several months.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:20 AM on January 6, 2006


This thread was going so well til someone had to play the goyim card.
posted by horsewithnoname at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2006


The matzo ball soup at the 2nd Ave Deli was a masterpiece, as was the "chicken in the pot," which you goyim don't even know from.

Who you callin goyim?
posted by TunnelArmr at 9:23 AM on January 6, 2006


Plus Katz's isn't better, you just like it better.

Good point. The one time I went into 2nd ave, I was ignored for 20 minutes and walked out, so I have a bad impression of the place.
posted by jonmc at 9:25 AM on January 6, 2006


I never thought Jack's pastrami was as good as Katz's. It's kosher. It was bland.

And I though Katz's pastrami was bland.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:27 AM on January 6, 2006


Your favorite deli sucks.
posted by Otis at 9:27 AM on January 6, 2006


horsewithnoname writes 'This thread was going so well til someone had to play the goyim card.'

I hereby bestow upon you the "Funny Award"!

"If its not a kosher deli
don't put it in your belly"
posted by indiebass at 9:27 AM on January 6, 2006


you didn't like Lombardi's Pizza either, eddy. I'm sending your name to the authorities as a possible communist.
posted by jonmc at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2006


Just another "fuck you" to all the non-NYC folks who felt the need to come in here and shit all over this thread.

And stay the fuck outta my city, ya nobs. Have another bologna on white while you're at it.
posted by mkultra at 9:29 AM on January 6, 2006


Indiebass:

Jay & Lloyd's on Avenue U and 27th street. And I think someone already mentioned Mill Basin...
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 9:33 AM on January 6, 2006


Katz's is far better, anyway.

Amen to that, brother. 2nd Ave will always hold a fond place in my heart, but 2nd Ave has kept up the quality of their food longer.

Little known factoid, though- 2nd Ave Deli hot dogs are (were?) the best on the planet.
posted by mkultra at 9:33 AM on January 6, 2006


if this incident happened in Topeka, no one would post about it

If the 2nd Avenue Deli had been in Topeka, I would have flown there.
posted by digaman at 9:34 AM on January 6, 2006


er, I mean Katz's has kept up the quality longer...
posted by mkultra at 9:35 AM on January 6, 2006


2nd Ave Deli hot dogs are (were?) the best on the planet.

Actually, Gray's Papaya are the best in NYC.

This place makes the best hot dogs on the planet. I'm serious, NYC-lovin' aside.
posted by jonmc at 9:36 AM on January 6, 2006


you didn't like Lombardi's Pizza either, eddy. I'm sending your name to the authorities as a possible communist.

Nah, you got me all wrong. I was the victim of an underdone crust on my first visit, but I'm a convert now. Grimaldi and Patsy can go hang a salami, Lombardi's is the place.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:41 AM on January 6, 2006


jonmc- I was talking about packaged, not prepared for you. Though I'd still put 2nd Ave. above Papaya. I have friends who grew up in Fairfield, though, who still talk about the Super Duper...
posted by mkultra at 9:43 AM on January 6, 2006


Super Duper Weenie and Gray's Papaya are both overrated trash. Dry and undersalted. Gross buns. The "house relishes" at SDW are some half-finished recipe without any seasoning, and the fries are an abomination.

Now THIS is a hot dog (also in Boston)
posted by rxrfrx at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2006


Oh man, 2nd Avenue is an institution - or at least it was in the late 80's and early 90's when I was living in Alphabet city. Of course, this was also before the era of Pottery Barns on every corner and a Rainforest Cafe in Times Square. I do hope they make it. The service was always rude and as soon as you took your last bite they would practically shove you out the door . . ."we need the table!" It was part of the charm, much the way you could incur the wrath of the waiters if you asked for milk for your coffee if you were in a mischievous mood.
Does anyone know if The Kiev - the fantastic 24-hour Ukrainian place downtown - is still open?
posted by sixdifferentways at 9:45 AM on January 6, 2006


Afroblanco, like the great Carnegie (and the sucky Stage) Katz's is kosher-style, not kosher.

Wow, I had no idea. Still, their food is first-rate.

BTW, billysumday - not all of us who move here from the Midwest live off mommy and daddy's money. Some of us (ahem) borrowed our way through school, still owe about 1/2 a year's salary in student debt, and bust our asses every day at our jobs to be able to afford our cramped tenement apartments. Not that I'm complaining or anything- I'm far happier here then I was back when I lived in flyover country.

Also - I don't even WANT to make a movie. Yeah, you know what you can do with your stereotypes.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:46 AM on January 6, 2006


BTW, billysumday - not all of us who move here from the Midwest live off mommy and daddy's money

Stop it, Afroblanco! You're undermining his blog-persona.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2006


sdw- Kiev closed for a spell in the late 90's(?), then was bought by some Asian folks who re-opened it. Don't know if it's still 24 hours, but I haven't been able to bring myself to go back. I know it won't be the same.
posted by mkultra at 9:52 AM on January 6, 2006


Cities change. What you think is old New York was pretty new 50 years ago. Sure, there's regret over things that go away, but you can't cry about it forever. I visited Beijing in 1996, and already many old hands complained about it getting too modern -- and this was before the internet cafes showed up. The city changed radically, particularly in the last few years due to its bid for the 2004 (and getting for the 2008) Olympics. All my favorite places are gone except perhaps the Metro Cafe. I'll be sad, but I won't begrudge the city. Things change. Watch the old go, take off your hat and bow your head and mark its passing, but life goes on, and as long as New York continues to grow, it'll always be New York.

Of course, I'm in Los Angeles -- maybe I've gotten used to rapid change and accept it as part of the flow and ebb of the city's life cycle. Sure, it sucked when K-Town took over and all the Filipino restaurants along 6th street in the Mid-Wilshire district fled the scene. But now there's tons of places to get soondobu, kalbi, and neng myun. Sure, the Sherman Oaks Galleria, that infamous focal point of Valley culture was demolished, but it became a sucky mall (disputed if it never was one) and people like the new Galleria as an entertainment center sans shops.

So I don't have a problem with this post. Mark its potential passing. But in the meantime, find another deli. There's gonna be one, somewhere. And it won't be the same, but that doesn't mean it won't be fantastic.
posted by linux at 9:53 AM on January 6, 2006


I don't remember generalizing every single person that lived in NYC. I still believe there is a demographic of the people I described who live there (more than any other American city, besides perhaps LA) and it is ironic when and if they complain about the loss of such cultural icons that make their city great, due at least indirectly because of the incoming rush of their money. How did that get perverted into an accusation of all New Yorkers? New York is still America's greatest city.
posted by billysumday at 9:56 AM on January 6, 2006


Kiev closed for a spell in the late 90's(?),

Kiev is really good, but there's a place called The Stage Restuarant (not the Stage Deli) next door to stomp on 2nd ave, a little greasy spoon that makes the same stuff better and cheaper, and the staff argues loudly in Russian, which is always fun.
posted by jonmc at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2006


Oh boy. This is monumentally important sad news to Jews all around America, so you can stuff your New York filter. I've got cousins in Salt Lake City and Atlanta who'll be upset by this. Here in Los Angeles, I'll bet a bunch of people will go out for a Matzoh Ball Soup in 2nd Ave's honor in the next week or so.
posted by jann at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2006


By the way, people still claim Langers is the best deli in LA. But considering they open and close like an office and that they have no parking space (this is LA, this is important because we have no subways and the buses fight it out with the cars for on the streets), and their eating space is fairly small, and and and... I'm saying Langers is probably not long for this world, either, unless something happens to change the current trend.

But Canters is holding out.
posted by linux at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2006


Billy you have a very legit point, I think people got touchy because it seemed like you were saying all the people defending the thread where these trustarians from the mid-west. Personally I'm all for the more immigration to NYC the better, even if some people get all, I moved to the UWS in 2003 and I'm a Fuccckkkkinnnnnn NEW YAWKAAAAAAAA!

I don't think New York is America's greatest city anyway, you ever heard of a little place called.... Peoria?

I'm mighty partial to Chicago, Detroit, Old Miami, Boston, LA, SF, New Orleans, Pittsburg and many others.

Yankess Suck!
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:05 AM on January 6, 2006


And the Yankees too.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:06 AM on January 6, 2006


me, afloblanca and schyler all went to katz's after a meetup (btw, afro, I still think putting cole slaw on corned beef is an abomination), and schyler mentioned that it reminded him of Canter's. That place must be good.
posted by jonmc at 10:06 AM on January 6, 2006


Kiev closed for a spell in the late 90's(?), then was bought by some Asian folks who re-opened it. Don't know if it's still 24 hours, but I haven't been able to bring myself to go back. I know it won't be the same.

I beg of you, don't set foot in there again. I did, and I bitterly wish I hadn't. It was like seeing an old lover who'd been turned into a zombie. The food was awful and the service was pathetic. Man, I miss the old Kiev. It wasn't great food, but it was cheap and quite edible and the portions were generous and it was a wonderful place to hang out with friends.

This place really is more or less given over to the one-uppers and the bitter little blog babies, jesus.

Amen. The childish sniping in this thread is pathetic.
posted by languagehat at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2006


On non-preview: jonmc, please don't tell me you think the new Kiev is good. I'll lose all respect for you.
posted by languagehat at 10:08 AM on January 6, 2006


My favorite bar closed last week, too!
posted by nlindstrom at 10:08 AM on January 6, 2006


Kasha Varnishkas and Kielbasa and Eggs and they never ever made you leave at the old Kiev. fucking great great place.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:10 AM on January 6, 2006


I was being charitable, hat, and I never had a chance to eat at the old Kiev. It's edible, but not as good at the place I mentioned, or the Odessa, both of which are cheaper.
posted by jonmc at 10:12 AM on January 6, 2006


Canter's is overpriced and sometimes hit or miss, but they are always open, have pretty great pastrami and have had the same bad lighting and squishy seats since I was four. It is like Katz's, if Katz's was a place you drove up to at 3am, and where you could sit on a vinyl sofa, have coffee, knishes, a bowl of soup and a hamentashen with someone you need to discuss the world with...
posted by jann at 10:13 AM on January 6, 2006


...I'm 99% sure that they never had cheese at the 2nd Avenue deli and would never serve it....not only is it forbidden to mix meat and dairy in the same sandwich, it's forbidden to mix them in the same meal (or for several hours after the consumption of meat) or to serve them on the same dishes.

That's why the turkey and cheese arrived on separate plates. Since she's not Jewish, my girlfriend was not forbidden from eating them in the same meal. But she was (unbeknownst to her at the time) forbidden from eating them on the same plate. Hence the hysteria which ensued.
posted by notclosed at 10:16 AM on January 6, 2006


I wish I had told them I wasn't jewish so I could have gotten some milk for my coffee, there is nothing quite like polishing off half a chicken, two pounds of potatos and some boiled vegetables and reaching for the coffee cup to tamp it all down and those two little pods of chalky alien blood is all there was to cut it with.

Probably my most anti-semitic moment ever.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:23 AM on January 6, 2006


I mean I woulda taken a swig of milk and then a swig of coffee if it came to that. 2nd ave deli coffee is not to be taken black.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:24 AM on January 6, 2006


They should move to Brooklynn.

Man this place was Guhreat. Anytime I was sick or in a terrible mood I would order the matzoh ball soup. They got me into foods like liver I thought I would never eat.
posted by xammerboy at 10:28 AM on January 6, 2006


(btw, afro, I still think putting cole slaw on corned beef is an abomination)

In NYC, it may be an abomination, but in Philly, it's called a corned beef special.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:29 AM on January 6, 2006


Canter's is overpriced for LA, but damn cheap compared to New York. =)

In terms of disputed best deli in the LA metropolitan area, I think a lot of people name Brent's nowadays.
posted by linux at 10:30 AM on January 6, 2006


That's why the turkey and cheese arrived on separate plates. Since she's not Jewish, my girlfriend was not forbidden from eating them in the same meal. But she was (unbeknownst to her at the time) forbidden from eating them on the same plate.

Again, I'm sure they brought out the cheese, but the fact that your gf isn't jewish is utterly irrelevant. The serving of cheese in a kosher meat restaurant would jepoardize the kashrut of the restaurant itself. It would not be ok to serve the cheese on a separate plate, or even to have the cheese in the first place. And when I say "same dishes," I mean all the dishes in the restaurant that have had, or will ever have meat on them. In order to receive certification that a restaurant is kosher, its kitchen is certified "meat" or "dairy." That designation requires that no food from the other category every enter the kitchen. If they serve both, even on separate plates, even to non-jews, the restaurant is not kosher, even by lax standards.
posted by kosem at 10:35 AM on January 6, 2006


Yeah, clowning aside, I've always been pretty sure they kept very very kosher.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:36 AM on January 6, 2006


I never recall seeing cheese at the 2nd Avenue Deli. I remember when my shagetz of an old boyfriend asked for mayonnaise for his corned beef -- I thought the poor waitress was going to plotz. I was shvitzing.
posted by digaman at 10:40 AM on January 6, 2006


Oy. whatta shlemeil.
posted by jonmc at 10:42 AM on January 6, 2006


On the mixing meat and dairy thing... what about lox and bagels? it's ok to mix seafood with dairy?
posted by cusack at 10:43 AM on January 6, 2006


That's controversial. Note the prevalance of tofu-based cream cheese alternatives at many bagel shops (in NYC I mean, not out there in Leave-It-to-Beaverland).
posted by digaman at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2006


The 2nd Avenue Deli had both the absolute worst waiters in the entire United Federation of Planets -- those crusty old fucks with chronic piles, worn down from years of ferrying plates of "health salad" and diet-Cel-Ray TonicsTM to suburban JAPs with voices that could shatter glass -- and one of the best waitresses on Earth, that impossibly sweet old lady with a beehive hairdo the size of the Taj Mahal and enough pancake makeup to launch a string of IHOPs. Alas, I forget her name, but she called everyone "sweetheart." I hope she's OK.
posted by digaman at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2006


it's ok to mix seafood with dairy?

Yes, totally ok. Fish is pareve, neither meat nor dairy and therefore may be eaten with dairy.

But, on a semi related note, the byzantine laws of kashrut require (on a somewhat looser level of separation) that meat and fish not be served on the same plate (and not in the way I meant it above for meat and dairy) or in the same dish (dish, as in stew or soup or salad). For a very strict view on the kashrut of fish, see this.
posted by kosem at 10:55 AM on January 6, 2006


my friend brought a piece of pizza into chick pea once. They nearly shit (it's kosher).
posted by Cool Alex at 10:58 AM on January 6, 2006


eddydamascene writes 'Grimaldi and Patsy can go hang a salami'

BLASPHEMY! Grimaldi's is THE place for pizza in New York. One of the last coal fired ovens in the city! For shizzle!
posted by indiebass at 11:00 AM on January 6, 2006


Man, the snarkiness of some of this thread is sad. This is a major news item for many of us, but especially for native New Yorkers. It's like a death in the family.

2nd Ave. Deli was the best Jewish deli on the frikkin planet, bar none. I've been eating there since I was a child (43 yo), and the stories of the people I met there, the many, many pickles devoured, and that coleslaw (made with vinegar, NOT mayo, and the only cole slaw I've ever liked anywhere, ever) are very near and dear to me. I flew out to SF this last Wednesday, to attend the MacWorld Expo in town next week, and my cousin in Brooklyn sent me an email about this tragedy yesterday. Yes, TRAGEDY. I've told my girlfriend that if the 2nd Ave. Deli ever closes, I'd move away from NY. Maybe this is a sign (and mind you, I moved back to NY November 2001, from San Fran, so you can gauge my sanity accodrdingly).

I used to pick up my ex-wife, Hellene, at work, and walk home with her. The 2nd Ave. Deli was on the way, so we'd stop off and have the chicken cutlets (her favorite food in the world), the boiled carrots were fucking perfect (yeah, I know, how hard can it be to make boiled carrots? SHow me some other place where they taste like that, go on, I'm waiting), the kasha varnishkas were greasy but man, I can handle that kind of pain. That little old waitress gal who spouted the same silly sentences - she'd pour the chicked soup into your bowl, while proclaiming "I'll be the pourer, you'll be the richer". In fact, while folks here talk about the rude service, I was always treated well, smiles and acknowledgements and as many extra full sour pickles as I wanted (first thing after I sat down, I'd ask the waiter/waitress to replace the mixed pickles on the table with a stack of full sours, never even got a nasty look).

The chicken soup is the only one I've ever had that was like what my mother used to make, and my honey Susan emailed me yesterday to tell me she's already tracking down one of the 2nd Ave. Deli cookbooks so we can try to replicate the soup. Veselka is a fun place to eat pea soup at 3AM, but sorry, it's a different deal entirely, and not in the same league as the 2nd Ave. Deli.

A few years ago, I met up with Dan Margulis for lunch there (he made the trip in from New Jersey just for the pastrami), we sat there for over 4 hours until they had to start getting ready for the dinner crowd. I think Dan might have hatched the idea to do his Photoshop LAB color over that lunch, and the idea to do the original "Official Adobe Photoshop Handbook" came to me in mid-bite in 1989, so there's some Photoshop history that lives in those walls as well.

I fell in love in that joint, I tended to my wounded soul over a salami sandwich, I've taken friends and lovers there to celebrate and mourn, it's often been the place of my first and last meals when visiting NY, and my soul will haunt the place after I shuffle loose this mortal coil. So to those of you who share my sadness, Oy Gevalt, a little piece of NYC died this week, and to those of you who think this is not news, choke on your Big Macs and fucking Olive Gardens. You'll never know from food like this, and that's a sad loss for you, whether you realize it or not.
posted by dbiedny at 11:05 AM on January 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


That's why the turkey and cheese arrived on separate plates. Since she's not Jewish, my girlfriend was not forbidden from eating them in the same meal. But she was (unbeknownst to her at the time) forbidden from eating them on the same plate. Hence the hysteria which ensued.

Shit! So you buy a 20 dollar sandwich, and they force you to eat it on two seperate plates? Only in New York!
posted by glenwood at 11:10 AM on January 6, 2006


Amen, dbied.

And that vinegar "coleslaw" you mentioned is the "health salad" I was talking about. It was sublime.
posted by digaman at 11:12 AM on January 6, 2006


.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:12 AM on January 6, 2006


Crap, the dot was for "choke on your Olive Gardens".
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:13 AM on January 6, 2006


Lox and creamcheese together strikes me as pretty goyish (speaking as someone who is not a member of the tribe).
posted by bardic at 11:14 AM on January 6, 2006


dbiedny, could you please email me at digaman-at-sonic-dot-net? thanks.
posted by digaman at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2006


Lox and creamcheese together strikes me as pretty goyish (speaking as someone who is not a member of the tribe).

Um, no.
posted by digaman at 11:16 AM on January 6, 2006


Lox and creamcheese together strikes me as pretty goyish (speaking as someone who is not a member of the tribe).

jeez
posted by rxrfrx at 11:19 AM on January 6, 2006


Lox, cream cheese, onion, capers and a tomato... all on a toasted bagel (partial to egg or sesame myself) and you have the perfect breakfast food. Nutritious AND delicious!
posted by indiebass at 11:24 AM on January 6, 2006


It's true. I vote for onion, poppy, or "everything."
posted by digaman at 11:25 AM on January 6, 2006


If those bagels are fresh indiebass, please leave mine untoasted. Mmmmm, that is breakfast.
posted by caddis at 11:38 AM on January 6, 2006


This post is irrelevant. I can't think of a restaurant that I have ever been to whereby its closing I would describe with any of the following words: tragedy, death of an institution, or monumental. So what! a place that was good to eat at might close, big deal.

The fact that New Yorkers take this so seriously only illuminates how caught up in the fact that they live in NYC and how spoiled they are... that they can't BEAR to lose some deli. Welcome to the rest of the world New York.
posted by gagglezoomer at 11:40 AM on January 6, 2006


destro writes "If any of you shmegeggys got a historic restaurant that's loved by the neighborhood and is closing, i'd love to hear about it. "

The Berghoff is closing, and it's 50 years more historic than the 2nd Ave Deli. Seeing this conversation, I was tempted to make an FPP about it, just to be an asshole. I'm not an asshole, but if one of you assholes wants to do it, go ahead....
posted by mr_roboto at 11:40 AM on January 6, 2006


mygothlaundry: Also, Kims Video was really nice to me about the time that I returned a homemade collaged monster movie in the box for Wild At Heart and didn't notice it for several months.

As the video manager of Kim's Mediapolis, I can assure you that not only would we not've returned your tape, we would've made a cover box for it and stuck it in the 'cult' section.
posted by item at 11:40 AM on January 6, 2006 [2 favorites]


Caddis: point taken. Unf, i mostly take mine out of the freezer, buying them a dozen at a time (at least i get them on 7th avenue- Brooklyn water makes the best bagels. Fact) And I know i know i know, about the freezing. But I'm with you: all the above on a FRESH egg bagel? *shudders with delight*
posted by indiebass at 11:41 AM on January 6, 2006


I'm with you New York:

I remember when patisserie Nooteboom at the Oudkerkhof closed. So many memories; my grand-grandparents went there to eat taartjes.

And I know some jiddisch words too: bajes, gabber, schlemiel, mazzel, ...
posted by jouke at 11:42 AM on January 6, 2006


The Knickerbocker, on University, does a nice lox bagel and they put a bissel of whitefish salad on the plate too which makes the perfect cement to hold the capers on. Now I gotta go get one!
posted by nicwolff at 11:46 AM on January 6, 2006


Here's an interesting contrast: the thread about the last Brown Derby in LA closing got none of this static. Are we seeing an anti-NYC effect here?
posted by mr_roboto at 11:47 AM on January 6, 2006


Welcome to the world of being a flagrant dick, gaggle. The fact that you can't comprehend that a great and singular restaurant representing a kind of cooking that is quickly fading into history could be regarded as an institution just shouts loudly how little you know about the evolution of human society. Shout away.
posted by digaman at 11:49 AM on January 6, 2006


So to those of you who share my sadness, Oy Gevalt, a little piece of NYC died this week, and to those of you who think this is not news, choke on your Big Macs and fucking Olive Gardens.

Hmm. I think it's this kind of 'tude that prompts the aforementioned backlash.
posted by glenwood at 11:50 AM on January 6, 2006


I'd agree with you, glen, but the first four posts in this thread (after rkent's) were immediately dismissive. Sets up a certain tension.
posted by digaman at 11:54 AM on January 6, 2006


Yes, we have Big Macs here. And our pannenkoeken are quickly fading as a result. So sad.
posted by jouke at 11:56 AM on January 6, 2006


The Berghoff is closing, and it's 50 years more historic than the 2nd Ave Deli.

The difference is that the Berghoff sucksdude. My manager at bank job I worked at Wabash and Monroe during my senior year in college used to take me there for "special" occasions (he need to throw on a buzz on Friday). It may have been "unique" and kitschy and all that, but it was uniformly fucking terrible.
posted by psmealey at 11:57 AM on January 6, 2006


"That's why the turkey and cheese arrived on separate plates. Since she's not Jewish, my girlfriend was not forbidden from eating them in the same meal. But she was (unbeknownst to her at the time) forbidden from eating them on the same plate. Hence the hysteria which ensued.
posted by notclosed at 1:16 PM EST on January 6 [!]"



Vous êtes horriblement ignorant.

There are no milk products within the confines of the 2nd Ave. Deli. That would never work in a kosher meat establishment.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2006


So I'm coming to New York in a week and a half, and culinary pilgrimage was on the agenda. Where should I go now that's on a plane with 2nd Ave Deli?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2006


Here's a pony, Matt. Let's open up a Metagefilte section that discusses nothing but delis in New York.
I kid. Because I love.
posted by horsewithnoname at 12:01 PM on January 6, 2006


ParisParamus writes "There are no milk products within the confines of the 2nd Ave. Deli. That would never work in a kosher meat establishment."

It says as much on their menu. This can't possibly be a recent establishment, can it? notclosed's story is set in the 80s.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:12 PM on January 6, 2006


So the old German restaurant in Chicago is closing... and the old Jewish restaurant in New York is closing... damn, there is a tasteless joke in there somewhere but I am failing to see it.
posted by cusack at 12:15 PM on January 6, 2006


Don't be (a) dick(s). This is an important New York event.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:09 AM PST on January 6


In other words, don't troll threads that are important to other posters? Oh, man. Oh, man.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:19 PM on January 6, 2006


No. Actually, have your brain reprogrammed so that you can distinguish wit from malevolence
posted by ParisParamus at 12:25 PM on January 6, 2006


i_am_joe's_spleen: If you don't want to leave the neighborhood and really just want a sandwich, go to Katz's, on Houston. Arguably best Pastrami in NY. If you want the atmosphere of 2nd Avenue Deli (and other delicacies), go to Jay & Lloyds or Mill Basin in Brooklyn. Barney Greengrass (to eat in-best latkes ever) or Russ & Daughters (better, but not a restaurant) for smoked fish/breakfasty stuff and Yona Schimmel's (on Houston) for knishes. That should get you started.
posted by kosem at 12:26 PM on January 6, 2006


"It says as much on their menu. This can't possibly be a recent establishment, can it? notclosed's story is set in the 80s.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:12 PM EST on January 6[!]"

No. I believe the entire story is a fake. Sorry if it's part of your love story, but it's a lie.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2006


I still haven't gotten over the loss of Mike's Pizzaria (sic), which closed about five years ago. I've never found a better cheesesteak.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:54 AM EST on January 6 [!]


Real Cheesesteaks

Whiz, with
posted by caddis at 12:35 PM on January 6, 2006


In other words, don't troll threads that are important to other posters?

No. Actually, have your brain reprogrammed so that you can distinguish wit from malevolence

When you display an inkling of the former, folks will stop assuming you're always making use of the latter.

Still waiting...
posted by wakko at 12:41 PM on January 6, 2006


ParisParamus,

As much as I tend to disagree with you on most of your political musings, you're spot-on right about this story. There was NO cheese to be had at the Second Ave. Deli, so I doubt the validity of this tale as well.
posted by dbiedny at 12:46 PM on January 6, 2006


kosem, those recommendations are spot-on.
posted by digaman at 1:02 PM on January 6, 2006


I'm bummed about the Berghoff closing! They have excellent wild game specials in winter. I so need to go before it closes!

At least we are lucky enough to have Manny's Deli here. They have the best matzoh ball soup, and it is incredibly filling.

And a quick meat and dairy story: way back in the day, I went to Israel with my Hebrew High School class. Our first night in Jerusalem, our group went to a pizza place. One of the guys on the trip looked up at the menu board, then went up to the counter guy and asked "Why don't you have sausage pizza?" The counter guy looked at him like he had just landed from Mars and the rest of us just cracked up.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:19 PM on January 6, 2006


I can't think of a restaurant that I have ever been to whereby its closing I would describe with any of the following words: tragedy, death of an institution, or monumental.

No snark: I genuinely pity you.

And I'm with Paris on questioning the cheese on a separate plate story. They don't have cheese there and wouldn't have made an exception. Maybe it was different joint?

And I hadn't seen the paper. This is unbelievably depressing. Let's hope they at leat reopen a few blocks away as the story hints they could.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:55 PM on January 6, 2006


I've gotta say, this has to be one of the most hateful threads I've ever read on Metafilter, but like a car crash or a two headed baby, I just had to keep reading on.
posted by password at 2:01 PM on January 6, 2006


I've gotta say, this has to be one of the most hateful threads I've ever read on Metafilter

You must be new here.
posted by keswick at 2:03 PM on January 6, 2006


Are you sure you posted that into the right thread password?
posted by caddis at 2:09 PM on January 6, 2006


I'd like to thank dbiedny and digaman for their moving contributions to this thread. And while I share password's sorrow at the hatefulness, I also share keswick's surprise. If you're not new here (and your user number is lower than mine), you've sure been lucky in the threads you've read.

SisterHavana: Great story!
posted by languagehat at 2:15 PM on January 6, 2006


i_am_joe's_spleen, I will again push the Carnegie Deli on 7th avenue between 54th and 55th for the reubens and the pastrami, it is very touristy, but still excellent. Also, nobody yet mentioned bagel providers, I say go with H&H East (not H&H West, they have different owners). So much bagely goodness...

Darn it, this thread makes me want good deli, but the only places I will be in the next week will be Boston and Milwaukee, so I think I am out of luck.
posted by blahblahblah at 2:15 PM on January 6, 2006


blahblahblah, H&H has been charging a dollar a bagel. Since then I've quit that place like a bad habit. I am personally partial to La Bagel Delight on 7th Avenue in Park Slope.
posted by indiebass at 2:25 PM on January 6, 2006


Kim's Video closed? I used to get movies from there for the one year I was in NY, with my friend who went to NYU (I was at Hofstra, my freshman year, in 96-97). Man. Kim's was great.

NDCent- we always have Andy's Deli.
posted by Meredith at 2:30 PM on January 6, 2006


Sad, sad news over the 2nd Ave Deli closing. As a wee little punk rocker spending all his free time on the Lower East Side & the, err, "East Village", it was nice to have one place in the 'hood that could be neutral ground to eat with the (Very Jewish) family.

Katz's has ok food and is a bit of a dump... And the Stage? Carnegie? Both tourist traps where the shtick outweighs the food.

Noah's Deli on the LES is Nice. Also on Kings Highway in Brooklyn, Lou's Deli & Adelman's Deli.

A good pastrami on rye with spicy brown mustard & stuffed derma to start. can't beat it.

And curious about stuffed derma? it's jewish haggis, people.
posted by huskerdont at 2:32 PM on January 6, 2006


the 2nd ave deli had terrible kishka/derma. most places do nowadays, sadly.
posted by amberglow at 2:43 PM on January 6, 2006


"the 2nd ave deli had terrible kishka/derma."

Penicillin will clear that shit right up.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:53 PM on January 6, 2006


Katz's is alright I guess, but I get heartburn just walking by that place. The 2nd avenue Deli has some serious roots and cultural heft, along with a brutal murder right out of a Christie novel that came at the end I believe of a very long strike by the staff (who were attempting to unionize).

Anyhow, I was there recently and the food was amazing. The Matzoh ball soup was in a league of it's own. Sublime. Period. and the pastrami sandwich was a special and beautiful and satisfying as fuck eating experience. I don't buy this crap about the landlord raising the rent btw...the food may be amazing, but something doesn't seem very Kosher about the owners. My 2 cents plus tax...
posted by Skygazer at 3:10 PM on January 6, 2006


So I was watching TV a few weeks ago and they're showing this big, stupid Christmas tree being erected in New York! And I'm like, hey, we have a Christmas tree at my house in Arizona and it's indoors! Why is CNN so New York-centric? Jeez.
posted by mullacc at 3:37 PM on January 6, 2006


Darn it, this thread makes me want good deli, but the only places I will be in the next week will be Boston and Milwaukee, so I think I am out of luck.
posted by blahblahblah at 5:15 PM EST on January 6 [!]


OK, here we go...

Jewish Delis in Boston (none are superamazing, I guess, but these ones should be at least "good" most of the time):

Michael's, Brookline
Joan & Ed's, Natick
Barry's, Waban

This is not to mention the numerous Polish places.

Also, if you want a mind-blowing deli sandwich (especially the Reuben) in a non-deli setting, head to Sam LaGrassa's downtown.
posted by rxrfrx at 3:58 PM on January 6, 2006


Re rxrfrx -- I went from living 5 minutes walking distance of Spike's in Providence to living 5 minutes walking distance of Spike's in Allston. Hot dog? Nay, manna from heaven!

I've only been to New York for about 8 hours and I spent the entire time scrambling from museum to museum. I ate at Carnegie Deli, and judging from the comments here, I'm going to hell for doing so. But -- I think this is an interesting and worthy FPP... I like reading these deli stories, and I'm genuinely confused by the hostility.
posted by Marit at 5:23 PM on January 6, 2006


I just wanted you all to know that this thread made me hungry all day. So hungry, in fact, that I stopped by Katz's on the way home and picked up a big, juicy corned beef special. mmmmmmchompchompchomchompmmmmmm

Life is good.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:47 PM on January 6, 2006


I went to 2nd Ave Deli one time only, taken there during a dark time in my life by kind friends who knew the extraordinary consoling power of a true pastrami sandwich. Not a NYC resident, I didn't realize until reading this thread its importance in the context of New York delis. Someone above mentioned Canters in LA, one of the great feeding places in the world, and if these two restaurants are comparable in food and atmosphere and fond memories for any of you, then I am sad not just for you, but for all of us.
posted by soiled cowboy at 9:00 PM on January 6, 2006


All this reading about actual good food is making my current surroundings in Brunswick, Georgia all the more frustrating right now.

As for the suitability of this for the front page....

The way I see it, this is an axiom: If half the people think it's a great FPP, and half the people think it's an awful FPP, then it is definitely a great FPP.

There are lots of things that make the front page that I don't care for, indeed most of them never get a click from me. I don't complain about it though.
posted by JHarris at 2:56 AM on January 7, 2006


You must be new here. - User 14859

I guess 5 years reading and 4 years as a member isn't that long of a time for many here on Metafilter.

You're probably right though, back at the start of "Gulf War Episode II - Clone of The Attack", there were some pretty ugly threads happening. I guess recently, the quality of the posts & threads on Metafilter have gone down hill so much that I've found myself reading the comments less and less. I must have forgotten how much free time many of the readers here actually have.
posted by password at 6:45 AM on January 7, 2006


I must have forgotten how much free time many of the readers here actually have.

That's kind of an assholish thing to say for someone who claims to abhor ugly threads.
posted by languagehat at 7:07 AM on January 7, 2006


rxrfrx: This is not to mention the numerous Polish places.

Oh, please mention them! This former NYC dweller transplanted to Boston has had no luck finding decent pierogies in this city.
posted by hilatron at 10:17 AM on January 7, 2006


What about Theresa's?
posted by ParisParamus at 11:22 AM on January 7, 2006


*derails thread into e-dick measuring contest*
posted by keswick at 12:02 PM on January 7, 2006


Only one Kim's Video closed; there are 3 still open in Manhattan, and a new one opening in Jersey City.

If the Deli is closed for good, it would be a terrible loss to NYC, the country, and heck, the world. The 2nd Avenue Deli attracted people from all the world; almost every person who ever visited me in NY wanted to go there - for people interested n the city's culture, it was a far more important attraction than, say, the Empire State Building. Of course, the reaction to the closing is not really just about the deli; it's about the passing of a way of life. And people all over the country who don't even really care about the deli and Manhattan will react to this because it's a reminder of similar changes across the country as a result of genetrification. If there's a subject to debate, it's whether gentrification is a terrible thing or the natural way of the world (or both).

The people taking potshots at this post should be ashamed of themselves, and should go write "I am ashamed of myself for my behavior in the 2nd Avenue deli thread on Metafilter" 100 times on the blackboard.

And, by the way, if a restaurant in whereever, Iowa that has attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists closes, the topic absolutely deserves a metafilter thread. The closing of the Berghoff would certainly be a worthy topic for a post.
posted by spira at 12:39 PM on January 7, 2006


DieHipsterDie writes "'Cause NYC is the center of the world, ya know."

Only if you don't live in Toronto.
posted by Mitheral at 8:36 AM on January 9, 2006


This just in: They cleared out of the 10th Ave. Space: The article mentions that other Kosher deli operators expressed interest in the space--I believe that to be a total lie.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:04 PM on January 11, 2006


Oh, please mention them! This former NYC dweller transplanted to Boston has had no luck finding decent pierogies in this city.
posted by hilatron at 1:17 PM EST on January 7 [!]


In case anyone is still listening, the place to go is Cafe Polonia on Dorchester Av in South Boston.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:53 AM on January 12, 2006


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