2nd Avenue Deli
People were lining up for the arrival of the new 2nd Avenue Deli. This latest edition is located on the corner of First Avenue and 75th Street. Jack Lebewohl handing over the reins to his son, Joshua, as crowds lined up for takeout and tables. One woman declaring, "I'm only here for chopped liver." I, on the other hand, was here to check out the scene. The space is bright and cheery with its trademark white, brown and blue tiles, and tin ceilings. There are also lots of window seats. But folks here seemed more interested in what is emerging from the kitchen. There are sandwiches piled high with corned beef ($15.50) and hot pastrami ($15.95) along with roast beef, meatloaf and yes, chopped liver ($13.95). The menu also featuring soups; mushroom barley, borscht and matzoh ball (Jewish penicillin), as well as daily specials like split pea, yankee bean and turkey gumbo. And what would a Jewish deli be without knishes, franks (grilled or broled) and blintzes served with applesauce. You'll also find "triple decker" sandwiches in combinations like roast turkey, tongue and Russian dressing ($25.95); even one dubbed the "Instant Heart Attack" made with two large potato pancakes and your choice of corned beef, pastrami, turkey or salami ($24.95). If it sounds like too much food you can always opt for a half sandwich with soup. If you still have room, there are traditional desserts like rugalech, chocolate babka and baked apple. But judging by the size of the sandwiches I'm betting you don't get very far. What an excellent excuse for a return visit.
- Thomas Rafael