September 27th, 2011
So, finishing that book made me sit and think about my own experiences with deli.
Being Jewish, you'd think that it would be in my blood, but not so much. I didn't have the New York deli experience, as far as I can remember. My father was born and raised in New York, and as young children, we'd go and visit my grandparents in Jamaica, NY, near JFK Airport, but I really don't remember eating at a deli while there. My only remembered meals, aside from at my Grandma's, were at the automat.
Growing up in single digits years, we lived in small town Wisconsin. Again, I don't recall eating deli. When we'd visit my mother's family in Chicago, usually we'd eat at their homes, so again, no deli.
It was when we moved to Southern California that I began to have deli experiences. At least one of them is gone now, replaced by a large electronics store, on Ventura Blvd. However, I do have recollections from my dating years of eating at Art's Deli in Studio City, and standing in line behind men from the business end of the motion picture industry, discussing deals that were in negotiation, while behind me waited Ali McGraw.
Since forestcats and I moved to California in 1986, we haven't exactly lived in areas well-stocked with delis. We've eaten at Art's maybe twice in that time; Jerry's (not my favorite) twice, including once in Marina del Rey; Cantor's twice; Brent's twice. It surprised me to realize that I've eaten at Thai places more in a year, than Jewish places in the whole time I've been in SoCal since medical school.
The one place we've been to the most of that type would be Solly's in Van Nuys. We've eaten there about six times. The last time we ate there was four years ago. The night my father died, axelicious and themodeinliz took forestcats and I out there, to make sure I ate something, and oddly enough, that was what I needed at the time. It was comforting, and deeply appreciated.
So, having read the book mentioned in a previous post, I feel a bit...well, embarrassed. I do like a lot of the things that they offer at a Jewish delicatessen, though some of them my wife makes brilliantly (say, for example, matzoh ball soup!). Still, there's dishes that I've never tried, and dishes that I miss that I think I should pursue. I foresee a sea change in my attitude here!
I was taken to Cantor's for the first time over the weekend. They had the best blintzes I've ever had. Not sure how "deli" they are (though they have been on every deli menu I've seen) but yum. The blintzes at Billy's in Glendale are good, but Cantor's were better. I've never been impressed by Jerry's by anything I've ordered there.
For me delis are a tricky thing, because I'm not a big fan of sandwiches in general, so the whole "deli meats" aspect is kind of lost on me.
Does Chicago have much in the way of Jewish delis? I guess I really should ask pedropadrao
, who is from Chicago. (He says he's from a "mixed marriage," because one side of his family was Cubs fans and the other side rooted for the White Sox.)
In the DC area, the true kosher delis are in the Silver Spring/Wheaton part of Maryland, not so much in the city proper (at least not anymore). I have no idea about northern Virginia.
I'd forgotten about my years in Chicago: in the Hyde Park neighborhood where I went to medical school, I ate at Morry's Deli more than any other single deli, and probably more than all other delis combined. There's others, but I never experienced them.
I've always like Manny's in Chicago. Their pastrami is just how I like it. I much prefer theirs to the pastrami I have had in delis in New York. Although I must admit their serving sizes and prices could choke a horse. The Bagel (at either of their locations) is also very good too and I much prefer the noodle kugel there as opposed to Manny's version even though the latter was haled by Ted Allen on The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Network.
Nine years in Chicago, and I never ate at Manny's, though with Morry's nearby, why would I?
Cantor's is a deli, certainly, and if you had blintzes, then you've had one form of deli food. There's others. The meats/sandwiches, of course are part of it; then there's things like cholent, or gefilte fish, or pickles...
If you are ever in the Tarzana area there is a deli there that is always packed in the von's shopping center at Ventura and Reseda.
I think I remember seeing it (isn't it north along Reseda a bit back in the parking lot, not exactly on Ventura?). I may even have eaten there once, years and years ago. But since I don't live in the San Fernando Valley anymore, I don't get there all that much. Were I to go to the Valley for deli, my preference would be to go to Art's in Studio City, honestly, and that's miles closer to my home than is Tarzana.
|Date:||September 28th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)|| |
I like Fromin's, which is, or at least was, on Ventura Boulevard in Encino. I used Fromin's to cater the reception after my mother's funeral, nearly a decade ago, now.
IIRC, Andi worked there as a hostess, though I might be wrong.
Fromin's is still there, though I can't recall if I've ever eaten there.