Chicken in The Pot. Cure For Chills.

January 17th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

An Arctic blast has the West in its frigid clutch. Last night the temp at HG’s New Mexico home was 3 degrees. Tonight it will get up to 7. Br-r-r!! The cure is chicken in the pot. And, lots of it. Back in the days when New York was filled with Jewish delicatessens this was a staple dish. One half a boiled chicken was served in a pot with a boiled onion, boiled carrots and a choice of noodles or a matzo ball. (HG’s favorite Bronx deli was the Tower Deli on Kingsbridge Road which added to the carbs by adding a big ladle of kasha). This was a dish that was served steaming hot. The effect was akin to leaping into a sauna. La Poule A Pot in Paris (1st Arondissement) serves a nice and expensive chicken in the pot and enriches it with a chunk of foie gras. If you dine there, precede the dish with a chicken liver salad or escargots. Yum! In New Mexico, HG eats in the neighborhood. In this cold weather his choice is Arroz con Pollo Caldo at Pojauque’s El Parasol. Big bowl of powerful, red chili flavored chicken broth with loads of white meat, onion and carrot bits; and green chile to ramp up the heat. HG adds chopped raw onion and Mexican oregano. Dynamite chill chaser. The neighboring Pojauque Super Market has a deli counter much favored by Latino locals. A stout gent touted their Arroz con Pollo. Looked good. Bought a pint and will heat it for lunch. Can’t be bad.

Another Heartburn Heaven Is Gone

January 5th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

The Stage Delicatessen (on Seventh Avenue in New York, a few blocks south of Carnegie Hall) has closed. Farewell to another heartburn heaven. Maybe it’s time to declare the Jewish delicatessen an endangered species. For many years, the Stage slid downhill, catering to tourists and the post-theater crowd. But, in its prime (during the 60’s and 70’s) it was a splendid place, a worthy successor to the Gaiety Delicatessen, the best of all Broadway area Jewish delis. The Stage was run by Max Asnas, a guy with a heavy Yiddish accent and an irreverent wit. Broadway columnists dubbed him “the Corned Beef Confucius .” A woman complained to Max: “I don’t like the looks of this whitefish.” Replied Max: “If you want pretty, order a goldfish.” Max once served lox and bagels to a rustic from Georgia. According to Max: “The Geogee boy esks: “Which is the lox and which is the bagel?'” The Stage’s rival on Seventh Avenue, the Carnegie Delicatessen, survives. Still selling overstuffed and overpriced pastrami sandwiches to tourists. Broadway Danny Rose would not feel at home.

Goodbye Jewish Deli

December 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

HG’s pal, Bill Schuck, sent him a copy of The Deli Man, a clip from a longer film. Nice nostalgic stuff about Jewish delis with cameos from Larry King, Alan Dershowitz and other pastrami fanatics. Shocking fact. There were once 1,550 Jewish delis in the five boroughs of New York. There are now only 150 in all of North America; that said many staples of the Jewish Deli (pastrami, chopped liver, etc.) have become part of the mainstream eating culture of the United States. According to informed opinion, the best Jewish deli in the United States is Langer’s, located in a gritty Los Angeles neighborhood. The proprietor of Langer’s is gloomy about the future of the deli. Jewish kids prefer hamburgers. Sad. They will never know the glory of a heartburn produced by a bowl of matzo ball soup followed by an overstuffed pastrami sandwich.

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