The answer depends on where you happen to be. “The name Deli comes from the German word Delikatessen (German for Delicacies). Deli's came to New York as the population of German and Eastern European Jews fled religious and social oppression by immigrating to the United States, between 1900 and 1938. As New York City was the Point-Of-Entry for these immigrants, many stayed. After all they were unable to speak English, speaking German and Yiddish (a 14th century derivation of German) and so tended to stay within the community” (newyorkdeli.co.nz).
“The word was shortened from delicatessen in 1954. While we usually don’t associate delis or deli meat with fancy or gourmet food, the term delicatessen means ‘delicacies’ or ‘fine food.’ Though it is a German borrowing, ultimately delicatessen derives from the Latin adjective delicauts, which means ‘giving pleasure, delightful, pleasing,’ and also ‘overly-luxurious, spoiled’ and ‘fragile’ (dictionary.com).
Having lived on the East Coast for so many years, I consider a deli to be a market where you find cases of meats (pastrami, corned beef, brisket, tongue and more) ready to be sliced. A market where you find fresh salads and pickles—especially my favorite half sours. A market with loaves of seeded rye and bins of bagels. And, if you are lucky, your favorite deli also has an attached restaurant where you can sample all of these delicacies without doing any work.
"No" to the above. We ordered sandwiches with the deli staples of corned beef and pastrami. For Chuck it was New Yorker with thinly sliced warmed pastrami, aged Swiss, and spicy mustard on rye with a side of coated fries.
Mine was the corned beef selection—the Mein Kraut which is the deli’s version of a Reuben sandwich. The corned beef was good, but did not compare with Chuck’s pastrami. But the sauerkraut had just the right degree of sour—not too much and not too little.
“The cruciferous vegetable has become an unavoidable presence on restaurant menus. It has been converted into crisps, popcorn, smoothies and cocktails. You can buy kale hand cream, kale face scrub—even iPhone cases bearing the words ‘Keep Calm and Love Kale’” (Alice-Azania Jarvis at independent.co.uk). And do you remember, way back in the early days of this blog, Chuck, his cousin Mike, Mike’s wife Joannie, and me “massaging the kale” in Mike and Joannie’s kitchen in Billings, MT? (This can be found at thewandererschuckandkate.blogspot.com/2010/07/massaging-kale.html)
Perhaps it was our hunger for “deli” or a close facsimile thereof, but we left agreeing that Dark City Deli earned a 4.5 Addie rating.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.