I don’t remember the first time I ate at the Second Avenue Deli. I’d have to guess and say it was probably around 1976. For newcomers (or people living under a rock), I’m talking about the original Second Avenue Deli, when it was actually on Second Avenue. If you know me, you know I’m not much of a meat eater, but this place has always been my weak spot. Nothing has ever satisfied me quite as well as a hot pastrami on rye from Second Avenue. (Okay, maybe the pizza at Ray’s on 6th and 11th Street, the way they made it back in the 80s came close, but that’s another culinary relic — still good but not like the old days.) My mom and I both shed a tear when the Deli closed down due to ridiculous rent increases. And I think I shed a tear of joy when I heard it was reopening.
This is no review — I don’t have time to write mean things about bad and overrated restaurants in my blog. (cough, Chickpea… why do people eat there??? cough) It’s more of a thank you. Thank you to the Second Avenue Deli for reopening, even if the location is on 33rd Street between 3rd and Lex. Sure, that’s practically Curry Hill, but I don’t mind. I’d travel to the Bronx for this food.
You might think the pastrami sandwich looks a little bit smaller in the pic above. It’s just an optical illusion. It’s still a monster. So much extra meat piled onto my plate, I made another half sandwich with an extra piece of rye bread and still had half a sandwich to bring home to eat the next day. Yes, the prices have gone up a bit. Still a good value. And perhaps best of all… it’s open 24 hours now. That’s a stroke of genius, because frankly, the lines were pretty bad before, and it would be an even bigger problem at the new, smaller location. So just go late, really late when the tourists are gone, and enjoy.