(That has some potential doesn’t it? Any takers?)
Steven is right; going to 2nd Ave Deli twice in one week is a formidable undertaking, but I made out alright. My first and last visit to their old location was unremarkable, and I remember thinking that I much preferred Katz’s. I still prefer Katz’s pastrami (though 2nd Ave slices better, Jeremy points out), but there’s something special about 2nd Ave, even if it’s now closer to the Garment District than to Shmatte Central. I think it’s the Jewish-grandmother service: if you’re waiting for a table or just hanging around and not yet seated, someone is bound to come by and offer you some chopped liver spread on rye. Or on your way out they might make sure you put some rugelach in your pocket. It’s this instinct to feed that I love.
Also, the matzo ball soup is solid. I love that the pour-soup-at-the-table service was always standard practice here, long before it became such a ritualized flourish at haute places all over. Lovely, light matzo balls.
The one food I’ve always claimed to dislike is nervetti, an Italian dish of boiled calf’s foot that’s served as a cold, stiff, onion-flavored jelly with meat bits, but I think I’ll have to take that back; ptcha is the Jewish equivalent, and I couldn’t stop eating it. Especially with the red horseradish.
I also had kreplach for the first time. And I don’t think I’ll be having it again here any time soon.
But the chopped liver? Their chopped liver is the best. I’ll eat it any time.