Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blast from the past

If you've lived in or visited NYC, you most likely have been to or heard of 2nd Avenue Deli. It's one of those iconic New York Delis...like Katz's or Carnegie. Sadly though, they were forced to close over a year ago because of an outrageous rent increase. Fortunately for all of us, they decided to re-open in a new location, and even better (at least for me), they opened in my neighborhood: good ol' Murray Hill! How can you go wrong with 2nd Avenue Deli being open 24/7 only 3 blocks away...even if it is on 3rd Avenue now?!

I went for dinner on its second day. I was prepared for a lengthy wait, but never thought it would have been as long as it was. While lined up on the sidewalk on E. 33rd St., the host came out to say that there was a private party taking up a large portion of the restaurant, and that the wait would be around an hour. Who could possibly be important enough to take over all these tables and force all of us to wait in the cold for hours? Tony Bennett...a New York icon himself. Seeing him walk in for his birthday, along with guests like Michael Stipe of REM made the wait slightly more bearable.

After 2 hours, we were finally seated, and the pickles and coleslaw quickly followed. OK, it was SO worth the wait now! I already knew what I was going to order, and could not wait for the matzah ball soup to arrive to help me thaw out. After a few more deli staples and a shot of chocolate egg cream on the house, I was definitely a happy camper.

So, a few suggestions:
- Go at off-peak hours. 2nd Ave Deli is open all day, every day, so instead of grabbing a slice at Pizza 33 at 4am, go for a pastrami on rye or a potato latke instead!
- Avoid the fried chicken skin they bring out. Despite the rule that anything fried is delicious, I am pretty sure the exception may be fried chicken skin that still has feathers on it. Yuck.
- The coleslaw they automatically bring out is vinegar-based. If you like it with more dressing, just ask. That's available too.
- The cheese blintzes (even though it's really tofu) are fantastic.

2nd Avenue Deli
162 East 33rd Street
b/t 3rd & Lexington Ave
Menu Pages listing

2 comments:

Sydney said...

holy cow--not only do you have a blog, but 2nd avenue deli re-opened! I don't know where to start but this all may be worthy of me finally getting my ass on a plane and sleeping on your sofa --now if that doesn't say 2nd. ave deli doesn't have good food, i don't know what does?!

HowFresh said...

Avoid the gribenes?? What?? They are an offering from the epicurean gods. Every Passover we got them on the table.

Haven't been to the revamped 2nd Ave. Deli but will make it soon, if only for the gribenes.