Schmaltz

Peter and I sit in a booth at the Second Avenue Deli (off third avenue), picking at the half-sour pickles, cole slaw, and gribenes on the table. We order matzoball soup and corned beef sandwiches with fries and prepare for an onslaught. It’s our day off, but conversation eventually turns back to the magazine, to the industry, to colleagues. I make Peter try the kasha sinking on the bottom of my chicken consumé. I show him the best way to dip challah in the soup to get it good and soggy. He’s never had deli with a real Jew before, he admits, and I dole out the basics of kosher. No dairy with meat. No shellfish. No pork. Lot’s of rich, heavy, bland food. No, matter, it is delicious. We dip the lean corned beef on rye in a tiny dab of spicy mustard and finish off the meal with a sip of chocolate soda. That’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Peter laughs afterward. I agree, but I’m not kidding. It’s 4pm and I’m done for the day.

second-ave-deli

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