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Author Topic: Save the Deli
aka Mycroft
Babbler # 6640

posted 07 October 2007 04:19 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Traditional Jewish deli's have all but disappeared from downtown Toronto - all you have these days are a few corporate delis like Shopsy's on Yonge (a mere shadow of Spadina's original Shopsy's), the Pickel Barrel and various Druxy's outlets. Since the Switzer's Deli left Spadina we haven't had a real downtown deli. The closest thing, "The Bagel" restaurant at College and Bathurst, closed down a few years ago.

The website "Save the Deli" blames the Subway chain for being the last nail in the coffin:

If youíre a true deli fan, know that the following post may cause you to cringe, gag, and possibly retch in disgust and shame. For this news is worse than a glass of milk with a corned beef sandwich, and yet contains just as much evil. It hit me unexpected the other day, as I was walking down the street in Toronto with a friend. I saw it gleaming at me, backlit by neon, from behind a plate glass window. My heart sank. I wanted to smash the glass and burn the goddamn place down. The devil had arrived, and he was pining for deliís soul.

Yes friends, the dark day has arrivedÖ. Subway is now offering a Montreal Smoked Meat sub.

Ugh. Feh. Yech.

Thatís right, Subway. One of the companies that has done more to drive the Jewish deli out of business than most others is now trying to steal the deliís thunder. The reprehensible corporate douchebags in the marketing department have decided to appropriate our finest sandwich, crappify it for the sake of productivity, and sell it with chips or a greasy cookie to those who know no better. Bravo Subway, first you took pastrami to new lows in the United States, and now you are attacking the legacy of Schwartzís, Lesterís, and the like. I didnít think I could hate you any more after I ate that wretched frozen tuna sub in Israel five years ago, but once again youíve proven me wrong. There is no low to which you wonít stoop. Next thing we know, that skinny putz Jared will be hawking chopped liver sandwiches on your tasteless multigrain loaves. Bravo. Youíve earned a special place in my hell.

Ok, you can all see Iím blinded by rage, so let me refer you to cooler heads at The Hour, an alternative Montreal weekly:

Itís not because the meat was so substandard (it was, falling somewhere between poorly corned beef and an insole), nor that the rest of the subís components bore scant resemblance to the traditional substructure of a true smoked meat sandwich (what cruel subterfuge to pass that off as bread!). What irks me is the continual subplot of countless chain restaurants to subvert cultural culinary icons through the substitution of bland, unrepresentative ingredients, often resulting in the subjugation of the gastronomic subculture.

Believe me folks, this isnít just a rant against Subway. Itís a fight for the preservation of our traditional foods. One day, you want your children and grandchildren to know that Smoked Meat comes from the trained hands of a counterman in a Montreal deli. But if this keeps up, all heíll know is that itís one more fast food that has been distilled and simplified down to its shittiest essence. Iím not the only one piping up about this. Check out the Chowhound debate thatís raging against such an abhorrent violation of the laws of taste.

Rue this day.

[ 07 October 2007: Message edited by: aka Mycroft ]

[ 07 October 2007: Message edited by: aka Mycroft ]

From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 214

posted 07 October 2007 05:01 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's quite a business opportunity, if you ask me. Like the demise of the mom and pop coffee/donut shop and the advent of Tim Horton's and Staryucks, a niche opened up for coffee snobs, where one can not just get good, freshly roasted coffee. But freshly roasted organic fair trade coffee beans.

I know. I buy them.

So, in Toronto, there is surely a market for at least one authentic Jewish deli, where people will pay premium prices to, once and a while, avoid the drek.

From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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