Canter’s Deli 75th Anniversary Special
6 bits. It won’t buy you much today. It might get you one laundromat spin cycle (not including detergent or fabric softener) or 90 minutes on a parking meter on Fairfax, but for today, and today only, folks, those same 3 quarters bought throngs a full-sized corned beef sandwich on rye, complete with pickle, potato salad and cookie at Canter’s Deli in a one-day promotion in celebration of their 75th Anniversary. Crazy, I know–but I’m not making this up, I swear! Lines exteneded up and down Fairfax, one for take out, the other dine in. Arriving right at noon, I got right in there in my own booth and the room was quickly filled to capacity. My hipsterish waiter was jovial and quick, clearly not pacing himself for 12 grueling hours of the put-a-fork-in-your-eye insanity that awaited him. Local TV “crews” worked the room, hovering over the oldest/youngest diners to grab a soundbite and shoot some B-roll. (I swear I heard one video guy say “Hey that guy over there looks pretty old.”) My food arrived promptly. The beef was well corned, satisfyingly fatty, but never gristly. The rye, dilly and spectacular, with crustly edges and a soft inner–not unlike our better poets. The pickle, I am sorry to report, was a slight disappointment, it was limp, lacking the crunch I desired. The potato salad, however, made up for the let down of the pickle–creamy, mustardy, perfectly textured, it joined up with the dill from the rye in my mouth and they slid hand-in-hand down my esophagus, on their way to my contented stomach. I would tell you about the cookie here, but I forgot it. See, I wrapped it up on a napkin to take it to go, then went to the wallet for the tip but I didn’t have any ones and so I went up to pay and make change, but I couldn’t make that U-turn back to my table so fast because they thought I was going in for another $0.75 deal, but I explained I was going back to drop the tip, and so he waived me through, but the busboy was already clearing the table. It wasn’t until I was in my car until the harsh realization set in: I had left my chocolate rugula on the table. At least I have this picture of it.
Note: As you see, if you add a bowl of matzo and a coffee, you will totally throw off your meal’s cost basis, rendering the deal not nearly as sweet.