Frank Bruni's review of the Second Avenue Deli in Wednesday's New York Times captured the emotional resonance of the new deli in an understated but undeniably powerful fashion. It was light on the obvious schmaltz and funny besides. My favorite line:
"On every table sits a free bowl of gribenes, chicken skin fried in chicken fat. In the past you had to ask for it. Now you just have to atone for it."
The new Second Avenue Deli is a special place, for reasons that way beyond the gribenes, pastrami, and french fries (though they're all pretty special in their own right).
It's one of these rare places where you can feel and even taste the underlying emotion, no matter what you order and where you sit. If you live in or near New York hit the Second Avenue Deli soon. Visitors to the city should also plan to have a meal there. Do order the pastrami, the mushroom barley soup, and the french fries. You will have a splendid meal. You'll also be really, really full.
And you'll feel good that you ate there.
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