Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Word “Deli” Has Many Meanings…

depending on what part of the country we are visiting.

Strictly speaking, “(d)elicatessen is a term meaning ‘delicacies’ or ‘fine foods.’ In English, ‘delicatessen’ originally meant only this specially prepared food. In time, the delicatessen store where this food was sold came to be called a delicatessen, and in this sense is often abbreviated to deli.

“Delicatessens can come from a variety of cultural traditions. In the United States, many are Jewish delicatessens, both kosher and ‘kosher style.’ As a result of this, Americans refer to those that specialize in Italian and German cuisine as ‘European Delicatessens.’ In Seattle, the term ‘deli’ is often used to indicate take-out restaurants mainly serving Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches, particularly in Little Saigon and the University District (wikipedia.org).

But to us, “deli” can only mean a Northeast-style Jewish deli with meats piled high on rye bread,
crisp pickles, and very good potato salad and cole slaw.
And having been deli-deprived for many months, we went in search of a good Northeast deli within reasonable driving distance from our RV park. And so we found Archie’s Deli in Surprise, AZ.

“Archie's Deli is owned and run by the Wright family from Detroit, who are not Jewish but grew up eating great deli food in the Midwest, where they were in the restaurant business for many years. A few years back, they moved to Phoenix and opened a deli at 59th Avenue and Thunderbird, which they closed when they moved to Surprise…
“If the grease and grunge of some ancient deli from your childhood make you nostalgic, I sympathize. But I'll take the clean, upscale-diner ambiance of Archie's over bad housekeeping any day. Picture windows…keep the open room bright and cheerful, while the display case near the front door offers enough tempting homemade desserts to make diners think twice about polishing off an entire sandwich (no small feat in the first place)” (Nikki Buchanan at azcentral.com).

“Archie's claims to have the 'best sandwich in town' and appears to live up to that motto. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the refrigerated deli cases are right up front displaying desserts, meats and cheeses. The menu has plenty of options for those seeking a traditional New York style deli creation.
There are six types of corned beef sandwiches, ten for pastrami, and eight types of beef sandwiches. Dozens more feature turkey, chicken, ham and fish, and there are seven vegetarian choices. You get a choice of sides: homemade potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, or chips….pickles…(and) pickled tomatoes are served while you wait for your meal” (examiner.com).

There is a separate menu heading for “Jewish Style Food” that included: Potato Latkes with applesauce and/or sour cream; Noodle Kugel—a traditional Jewish pudding of egg noodles, cream cheese, sour cream, and a hint of vanilla; Blintzes—two crepes filled with farm cheese that’s blended with honey, vanilla, and apricot preserves and served with sour cream and preserves; and the deli’s take on knishes made with puff pastry in potato, veggie, meat, and kasha varieties.
It’s too bad that Chuck isn’t a fan of deli-smoked fish or else we could have shared the Smoked Seafood Combo Platter with sliced smoked salmon (Nova), one piece of smoked white fish, and herring (creamed or in wine sauce) and served with cream cheese, tomato, Greek olives, capers, and sweet onions with two bagels. But that was not to be and we moved on to the sandwich menu.

Finally we arrived at a plan. Chuck would order the Berman’s Sure Choice with corned beef, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye bread.
I would order Don’s Rhythm and Blues with hot pastrami and yellow mustard on rye bread. And, since none of the listed sandwiches included chopped liver, we would add a side of it to spread on the Don’s.
Chuck got a side of a very good potato salad that was coated in a light and thin dressing. And he couldn’t stop there and added a side of nicely crisp fries.
My side of slaw was everything you could ask for—cold and crisp in another light dressing that was slightly sweet.

Both of our sandwiches came on flavorful seeded (caraway) rye that was, in my opinion, a bit too soft. I like my rye to be hardier and chewier, like that served in the East. The pastrami on my Don’s had a good quotient of fat that rendered out some juice. But the meat itself fell a bit flat. I didn’t have that “perfumy” (my term) essence that come with a great pastrami. And what about the chicken livers? They were not, as described by Nikki Buchanan at azcentra.com “all it should be: rich, smooth and slightly grainy.” Grainy? Yes. Dry? Very much so. This added nothing to the sandwich.

The highlight of the meal was the wonderful corned beef in Chuck’s Berman’s Sure Choice. I’m not sure if you could find better in most New York City Jewish delis. Chris at bonappetit.com wrote that at its best, corned beef should be tender, moist, not at all salty, bursting with subtle spice, and deliciously robust…” We later learned that Archie’s doesn’t brine and cook (or smoke in the case of the pastrami) the corned beef but rather gets it from a distributor in New Jersey. (And Archie’s also sells an array of cut-to-order deli meats from Dietz & Watson in Philadelphia.)
While this wasn’t perfect deli food, it certainly tasted good to both of use and earns 4.0 Addies.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

3 comments:

eyad ammar said...


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eyad ammar said...



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شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
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ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
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eyad ammar said...



شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة انها الاولى فى مكافحة ورش الحشرات بالمدينة المنورة رش البق رش الصراصير مكافحة النمل الابيض بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة