Wow, this summer has gone by so fast. It is going to be hard to say goodbye to summer but I say it with arms wide open welcoming fall. As summer comes to a close, I find myself also saying goodbye to a place very dear to me, a place where my family has been living over the last few years, a place famously known as the Big Apple. Yes I’m talking about New York, New York–the city so nice, they named it twice. Over the summer, I got in my last trip to NYC and boy did I go to town on my favorite foods. I will certainly miss my last minute trips up there to see my family, but I’m not done with New York, I’ve still got a few friends’ couches to crash on–I’ll hit you all up real soon.
Let’s get to my favorite part, the food. Now what’s a Jew to do when she knows she about to be starved of Jewish deli??? Well this NJG had to go to 2nd Avenue Deli and get her fill of good food. Oh man, let me tell you I ate so much it made my tummy hurt but I don’t regret it for a second, heck, I’d do it again.
Of course 2nd Avenue Deli does an amazing hot pastrami, done. And a rich and flavorful chopped liver sandwich, sounds great. What about a of side potato pancakes with some applesauce? money. How would you like some half sours and full sour pickles to munch on while waiting for food? duh. Let’s quench that thirst with a Dr. Browns cream soda, now you’re talking. Last but not least, don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with a few Italian rainbow cookies, oh heck yeah.
Should I do it? Should I show you the pictures of this smorgasbord? Okay, fine. HIT IT!
Bam, Bam, Pow! Now that is a lot of food–you now know why I got a tummy ache.
Okay, now in case you aren’t familiar with the Dos and Don’ts of Jewish deli, let me quickly go over them.
Do- Pickles at the table to munch on when you sit at the table. You’ll be familiar with full sour pickles, just think of your run of the mill pickle, but half sours are exactly what they sound like, not quite sour and not quite a plain cucumber and finally pickled tomatoes, not necessarily commonplace but adventurous.
Do- Order your sandwich on rye bread, don’t even contemplate another type of bread and don’t you dare ask for the server to list the different types of bread they have on hand UNLESS you are looking for them to have a Challah roll OR you are getting breakfast, in which case, get a bialy (with cream cheese, tomato slices, capers, red onions and nova lox, you don’t want belly lox–too salty).
Don’t- Ask for mayonnaise. I’m not entirely sure why this is a don’t except for the fact that Jews have never really been huge fans of mayonnaise, it’s stone ground mustard all the way. As a matter of fact if you are ever unsure of what condiment to put on your food always have stone ground mustard as your default.
Do- Know what shape knish you like. There are two shapes: round and square. All you need to know is that square knishes have a bit more of a crispy outside and can be eaten like a stree food (if need be) and a rounc knish is a bit bigger, and needs to be eaten with a fork. BOTH must bee eaten with stone ground mustard.
Do- Get Dr. Browns soda and if you happen to be at a place that serves Cel-Ray soda try it–it’s a little different but the grandparents out there that you are trying to impress will respect you for the order.
Don’t- Order gefilte fish. You might want to because it sounds familiar but if you aren’t Jewish chances are you won’t like it. Besides that’s more of a holiday food.
Don’t- Get concerned if you see people putting coleslaw on their corned beef or pastrami sandwiches, it’s actually pretty good.
I’m sure there are a few Dos and Don’ts i’ve left out, feel free to ask me if you have any unanswered questions. Overall though, you can’t go wrong. If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my food adventures it’s that everyone has their own tastes and preferences. You might prefer a tuna melt with crinkly fries or a corned beef sandwich with a side of noodle kugel. Today I’ll share my meal choices with you, they don’t have to be your first choice but I hope you excited about deli anyway.
I went out with my dad and we decided to divide and conquer. We shared a hot pastrami sandwich piled a mile high.
We also shared a chopped liver sandwich. Now, some say that chopped liver is an acquired taste. If you like pate, you’ll like chopped liver. It is rich and savory and a favorite within the tribe.
We got a side of potato latkes/pancakes with applesauce. A childhood favorite.
And for dessert I picked up a box of Italian rainbow cookies. These guys are hard to come by outside of New York (and Delray Beach, Florida) so anytime I see them, I purchase a whole bunch.
Now these cake-like cookies are almond flavored, have a thin layer of jam in between the colored stripes and then covered in dark chocolate (maybe chocolate sprinkles too). These colorful treats are probably my favorite cookies of all time.
If you need to get your fix but don’t live in an area that has a Jewish delli, here are some stores that ship their products right to your house.
(Italian rainbow cookies) http://www.italianpantry.com/
(for those of you who live in DC, these guys ship overnight) http://chutzpahdeli.com/catalog.php?csID=cbdp1f3bjbdkcedc2atjgnlnf7
Hope this has got your mouth watering. Stay posted, next week I’ll fill you in on my Chicago style pizza experience.