Dinty Moore’s: Irish/Jewish and All Good

March 19th, 2014 § 0 comments

St, Patrick’s Day has come and gone and tons of nasty corned beef and cabbage have been consumed. Irish bacon and greens was the traditional holiday dish in Ireland. This got converted to corned beef and cabbage in the United States (HG doesn’t know when). Anyway, today’s inebriated Paddy’s Day revelers eat stringy corned beef (injected with lots of chemical tenderizer), limp cabbage and sadly overdone boiled potatoes. HG’s late Mom would comment: “Feh!!”. There was a time when corned beef and cabbage was a gourmand dish and it was served at Dinty Moore’s, an Irish restaurant on W. 46th Street in New York’s theater district. James “Dinty” Moore opened the restaurant in the 1920’s. Closed in the early 70’s. If Lindy’s and the Stork Club were identified with Walter Winchell, the powerful columnist and radio personality, Dinty Moore’s was identified with Louis Sobol of the Journal-American, the kindest and gentlest of the Broadway columnists. James Moore was the favorite restaurateur of the theatrical and sporting gentry because he defied Prohibition. He ignored it. It was always business as usual at Dinty Moore’s. Moore was often hauled into court but he paid his fines with a smile and kept serving good strong spirits. As the years rolled by, Moore recognized the fact that many of his customers were Jewish. He added gefilte fish (much better than HG’s Mom’s version) to the menu and the Irish lamb stew, beef stew and liver and onions were always made with kosher products. (The rasher of bacon that accompanied the liver and onions was decidedly non-kosher). Prices were high but were paid uncomplainingly because everything served was of the highest quality, plainly cooked and not disguised by intricate sauces. The signature dessert was rice pudding. It was sublime. It was a favorite of Jimmy Cannon, the eloquent sports columnist. A number of generations have grown up seeing Dinty Moore’s Beef Stew on supermarket shelves. No connection with the restaurant and HG doubts if it tastes anything like the wonderful New York food HG consumed at Dinty’s.

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