Tonight's episode is called "Disappearing Manhattan," where Anthony Bourdain will hit "some of Manhattan’s classic restaurants, such as Katz’s Deli, Russ & Daughters and Hop Kee.” He is not saying these spots will disappear anytime soon (or hopefully ever), but that the old-school uniquely New York institutions have survived "the brutal caprices of style and changing tastes" for a reason.
From his blog post on the episode:
Peter Luger? You can have it. Grand Central Oyster Bar? Good luck. The places featured on this show just happen to be institutions. They just happen to be old. Newer, more…pragmatic enterprises couldn’t or wouldn’t do what they’re doing. Most—if not all—of the places featured on this episode are dinosaurs, among the last of mostly extinct herds who, once long ago, ruled New York’s concrete jungle. But these remaining eateries, though perhaps no longer “culturally relevant,” and certainly not “hip”—and about as far from “trendy” or “hot” as anything could be, are in fact what make New York special. All are still great after all these years.
Snobs will no doubt carp that Katz's has been covered to death on TV and in films—and they will groan (accurately enough) that every damn lazy-ass food writer from elsewhere, looking to cover the "real" New York (in an afternoon) will write about their few bites of pastrami at this downtown institution, make a few oblique and obligatory "When Harry Met Sally" references and move on. But there's a reason Marco Pierre White, for instance, loves the place—and why so many people keep going back: not JUST because they "don't make 'em like that anymore"—but because it's damn good pastrami. Period.
Damn good pastrami will always be hip: the lesson here.
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