|A 1922 Gibson F4|
Not the Mandolin under discussion, but very nearly so.
|Order the pork chop on rice. Then consider your options.|
|Jews, such as myself, may not enjoy this. But I did.|
Like Louis Szekely's (yes, C.K. stands for that most unpronounceable of Hungarian names) pre-diet preparation, this trip was a "bang-bang" ( a lunch consisting of going out for burgers and then going out again for pizza, except in this case it was serial Chinese cheap lunch joints.) Another dish I had read about but never tried was Asam Laksa, a sweet and sour fish and noodle soup that every expat Malaysian Chinese raves about, but I had never actually seen. Every time Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern goes to Penang or Singapore they always start out by swooning over a bowl of Asam Laksa. I wanted in on the action.
|Asam Laksa: Soup? Noodles? Fruit salad?|
|I'll have what she's having...|
|The Hot Dog course is served alongside the main pastrami course.|
But there is a new kid on thre block... I got a chance to try the Mile End Deli on Hoyt Street in Brooklyn. This is a new place, relatively speaking, opened by a young Jewish Montreal expat who smoked his own sides of beef in Montreal style, and actually makes the pickles in house and used to import Montreal style bagels daily. It was new enough to send my local Guru for All Things new York, Bob Godfried, into an angry spiral of despair, muttering dark things about "hipster delis" destroying our New York traditions with their upstart Canadian imports.
Of course I had to try it, and since I was on my way to pick up a mandolin at nearby Retrofret/Musurgia music on Butler Street, Mile End was a given. It is a small place, not overly crowded on a weekday for lunch. And the french fries were voted "best in New York" by NY Magazine, and I had not eaten a french fry since last summer so it was going to be a chance to break my french fry fast as well. And it was great. Not overstuffed, and subsequently, not overpriced, the fries were crispy and delicious, and the pickle was the size of a small car. Having watched the decline of delis in the New York area over the last few centuries (I'm talking about you, Tabatchnik's!) I'm overjoyed to see a new deli that manages to be both new and traditional and - hopefully - successful. I would like a Mile End Deli on every street corner, and if I get my way, there will be one, as soon as Bernie Saunders wins the election and monkeys fly out my ass.
|What the no-harp zone of Heaven looks like.|
|The Mandolin that has haunted my dreams... now your baby, Claude!|
|A Gibson mandola, the A1 model that I want, and two amazing "snakehead" mandolins that I will never own unless you help by sending me tons of money.|