“Will you miss the Carnegie Deli?” friends have asked me ever since it was announced that this delicious New York institution will close at the end of the year. How will I miss it? Let me count the ways.
First, of course, I will miss the food. Despite an off-moment now and then, I was never disappointed by the matzo ball soup, peppery pastrami, bay-scented corned beef, good caraway rye bread, full-sour pickles and green tomatoes, crisp and creamy cheese blintzes, and a tongue-and-egg pancake omelet made, as ordered, with center-cut slices.
For all meats the only seasoning needed was brassy bright yellow mustard—Dijon and whole grain need not apply. Hot tea with lemon was for me the best accompaniment to cut through the lusciously fat fare, especially if served in a glass, on request. (“What then, in a pail?” a wise-guy waitress once asked me.)