Midtown West, NYC — It is now common sad news that iconic New York City restaurant and famous famous shop Carnegie Deli is ending its very successful, near 80-year run on December 31, 2016.
And although I had already acquiesced to a hot water street vendor hot dog near Times Square by the time I realized I was within walking distance to the pastrami mecca, I knew I had no idea when I'd be back in the area, so made the quick trip to already find line of dine-in customers standing out under the easily recognizable "throwback" marquee. They were eager not just for the storied delicious sandwiches, but for the old school decor, given character by the almost wall-to-wall pictures of celebrities who have visited over the last several decades.
My simple plan was to order a sandwich (at a table), snap a few photos of it, then take the whole thing whole to enjoy over at least two separate meals. I had asked my friends on Facebook which of the classic sandwiches I should order.
As I was heeding opinions, I was lucky to have other diners offer their sandwiches for me take pictures of. At a table across the room stood —nearly falling over — a "Woody Allen" sandwich heaped with pastrami and house-cured and smoked corned beef, while my lady at the table next to me ordered the straight classic Carnegie Deli pastrami sandwich.
Having pictures of those two sandwiches, I finally decided to order the Carnegie Classic brisket sandwich, which I did take home, but not before I removed a slice from between the soft seeded rye slices and placed it in my mouth. The lean meat having the recognizable earthy sweetness of the briskets made by many of my friends' families in my youth, and the meat's flavorful fat deliciously disintegrating from the heat of my tongue and coating my whole mouth.
Unfortunately, due to a SIM card error as I was transferring the photos from my camera to my computer, I lost the pictures of the I took of my brisket sandwich, mostly because I wasn't paying attention.
And if you fine folks don't pay attention, Carnegie Deli will cease to be available for your enjoyment if you don't take advantage of the very little last bit of time it has here in the belly of old NYC.
If you're lucky, your have the lingering evidence of your visit like I did once I got home — as I did devouring the whole sandwich in one sitting — a happy, if distended, belly yourself.
Carnegie Deli | 854 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019 | (212) 757-2245 | carnegiedeli.com