Tripping through the clouds

2005.Dec.23 Friday · 3 comments

in Food & Recipes, Life, Restaurants

SubmarinoBuenos Aires – Headed back to New York for a couple of weeks. Just a few random thoughts on the day of travel… While waiting for my flight in Ezeiza Airport, the major international airport in Buenos Aires, I thought I’d have a little sandwich and a Submarino. This is the local version of hot chocolate. You get a cup of steamed milk from the espresso machine, and a small bar of semi-sweet chocolate that you dissolve in the milk yourself. It’s admittedly not as good as a proper hot cocoa, but it’s better than, say, a cup of instant hot chocolate.

Santiago, Chile’s airportSantiago – On my trip into Buenos Aires three months ago I mentioned how much I liked the setting of Santiago’s airport. This time, unfortunately I didn’t have time to pop into the main airport restaurant (that really seems odd to me to say that, but I did like the place), but I took a moment as I sort of ran between flights to snap a photo of the airport in the twilight, looking off at the Andes.

New York City – Back in New York and staying at my friend Frank’s house. He’s been a mainstay and staunch supporter of my monthly dinners over the years. Now if only I can find a way to convince him to pop down to Buenos Aires once a month… Headed out to handle some first day back errands, found myself in the East Village, and decided on the need for a New York deli fix. I think it’s pretty hard to beat the 2nd Avenue Deli, 156 2nd Avenue. I don’t go out to delis a whole lot, it’s the kind of food that, much as I may love it, doesn’t love me – it has a tendency to add numbers to my weight, waist, and cholesterol, none of which makes me happy. So maybe once or twice a year, for now 24 years, I pop in for lunch to this place. I virtually always order the same thing – the plate of soup and half a sandwich combo – more than enough food to handle my fix. Well made, fresh matzoball soup, with a nice plump matzoball, not too light, not too heavy, and the size of a tennis ball; fresh carrots, small noodles, good broth, and fresh dill. The sandwich? This time a half-and-half pastrami and chopped liver on rye with russian dressing and red onions. Usually I’d get the corned beef, I think 2nd Avenue Deli has the best in the city, but I was just in the mood for pastrami. What can I say?

[Note: this restaurant has closed.]

2nd Avenue Deli - matzoball soup2nd Avenue Deli - pastrami & chopped liver


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dan January 7, 2006 at 10:52

Wow! I may have just had my last meal at this place! And for those of you who never made it here, it’s possible you never will. This just in from the New York Times:

Hold the Mustard, Maybe Forever

The Second Avenue Deli has survived turbulence and tragedy in its 51 years. The decline of the Jewish enclave on the Lower East Side did not kill it. The broad-daylight murder of its beloved founder, Abe Lebewohl, in a robbery in 1996 shut it down but briefly. Dietary fashion campaigns against artery-clogging fare like brick-thick pastrami sandwiches and fat-saturated potato latkes seemed only to make the lines of defiant fans longer.

But the deli seems to have met its match in that implacable beast, the real estate market.

On Sunday, facing a $9,000 increase in his $24,000-a-month base rent, the deli’s owner, Jack Lebewohl, Abe’s brother, pulled down the grates on the glimmering restaurant at East 10th Street and Second Avenue. The closing was described as temporary, but Mr. Lebewohl said yesterday that the next time the place opens it might very well be to clear out.

. . .

Now I wish I’d bought their cookbook while I was in town!

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