Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Carnegie Deli


Pan
 Share

Recommended Posts

Carnegie Deli was briefly closed for health code violations.

The offenses included cold food that was not cold enough and hot food that was not hot enough, a city spokesman said Tuesday.

The restaurant was closed Monday night after it failed a third inspection in three months, said Sid Dinsay, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It reopened Tuesday after providing the department with an affidavit of correction, he said.

See the rest of the story here:

Story in Newsday

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The offenses included cold food that was not cold enough and hot food that was not hot enough, a city spokesman said Tuesday.

The restaurant was closed Monday night after it failed a third inspection in three months, said Sid Dinsay, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It reopened Tuesday after providing the department with an affidavit of correction, he said.

See the rest of the story here:

Story in Newsday

Having been a customer at the "Carnegie Deli" since the 1960's I feel that the Inspector's reasons for closing them are best categorized as "BS". We give Health Inspectors far to much power to search for superficial excuses to waste the publics time on nit picking. Because of regulations that actually make no sense in the operation of a business with so many years of professional responsibility and experience to be forced to pretend that the over zealous inspector whose biggest gun is a thermometer, and visual inspection with minimal practical training and experience so much power is more then they deserve.

Fact: The weight of the Tuna in question, shows that this was most likely a preparation of Tuna salad made from opening 2 institution sized tin's taken from the storeroom or pantry where the product is kept at room temperature. Cans are opened, mixed to break up the solid packed canned tuna, drained then Mayo is added either from a Bucket stored in under refrigeration if already opened or taken from the storeroom at room temperature. If celery or lemon is added it also been chopped up and is at room temperature when mixed.

This after being prepared is set out for service, especially in a busy place like the Carnegie at a likely temperature of around 70 + degrees, covered and put into a refrigerator where under normal operating conditions it would take 3 to 6 hours to lower to the refrigerators ambulant temperature. That's what happens at every restaurant that prepares their own Tuna Salad. It doesn't happen that way at Subway or the Majority of Fast Food Places because the purchase their Tuna with all the preservatives and flavor enhancers in a refrigerated container that only needs to be opened and scooped out for service. [YUCK]

Potato Pancakes at 91 degrees, not warm enough or cold enough for the Inspector ?

They have been prepared and served this way traditionally, exactly the same as pre-blanched French Fried potatoes. I'm sure that no one has ever had any health problems with either of these products, again especially since neither item is ever served until it's been reheated in Hot Oil kept at 375 degrees before serving.

Barrel Cured Pickles shouldn't be covered, again covering the pickles increases fermentation so who gets the 1/2 Sour Pickles ?

Bread in Commercial Bakeries is not covered if you want to retain the Crusty Exterior, like the Rye Bread, Club Bread and Bagels served at most Deli's.

All Baker's allow the Bread to set and cool before they package the whole loafs, especially Artesian Bakers.

Seems to me that all they did wrong was tried to please their customers with the type of food expected, prepared as it should be done. Traditionally.

The general Standards that are expected for Health Inspectors in my mind is best applied with another type of so called food professional that is more interested in working by the book, providing some of the WORST MEALS I'VE EVER EATEN it results in Hospital Food and Airline Food so loved by us all the duo of Health Inspector/Dietitian.

I always make sure to bring my own food or provide it for friends or family on Planes and in Hospitals but never at places like the "Carnegie".

In Seattle a Restaurant attempted to serve Hamburger's prepared exactly as the Customers ordered:: Rare, Med Rare Etc, the used "Kosher Beef" that cannot be suspect for e-coli contamination due to the method of Slaughter, Ritual inspection, Koshering and Butchering.

The "Health Inspector's would not allow this method of service since all BEEf served for Hamburgers must be prepared well done to protect the customers from e-coli. No Exceptions.

Irwin :raz::rolleyes:

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting response, Irwin. I just wonder what the other two inspections were failed for. Also, when was the last time Katz's or Second Av. Deli were closed for health violations? Have they ever been?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's all just remember that municipal management's favored first response to a business owner who doesn't toe to the city's wishes is to send in the code inspectors. Might be what's going on here. The violations cited seem to be vindictive IMHO.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I was watching recently the Carnegie Deli episode of the Into the Fire television series. In one segment, they showed the off-site plant where they make their own pastrami & corned beef(for their own restaurant). Could that be the case? It was always my understanding that the Carnegie Deli doesn't make their own pastrami. According to the NY Times Ed Levine article awhile back, there's only one NYC deli still making their own pastrami, & it's not Carnegie Deli. The owner of Carnegie Deli even mentions on the Into the Fire program, that they make their own products, like pastrami & corned beef(they might also make their own strawberry cheesecake at the Carnegie Deli off-site plant).

-Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carnegie Deli has always made their own corned beef and pastrami at some place in NJ. I don't recal what Ed Levine said, but he came across as very weak on investigative reporting. I believe that he was unable to determine the source of Katz's pastrami.

Edited by marcus (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw that episode of Into the Fire. I was surprised by how they make the pastrami. They seemed to cure it for a relatively short period of time and then steam it with no smoking. Am I remembering that right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my recollection, then brine it first for a certain amount of time(can't remember if they mentioned the length). After brining, the spices are smothered in the meat. Then it's finally smoked.

-Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Before you gang up on me, let me say that I've been going to the Carnegie Deli for more than 35 years - I've known it to have good times and bad. As far as the "nasty" waiters - well, that's always been a part of the experience, and they're not that nasty. And in recent years I've seen the food go way downhill, and then come back - frequently the pastrami is spectacular. And some nights it's not.

Still, I don't know where to get better when I'm in Midtown.

So last night I stopped in and took some pastrami sandwiches back to New Jersey. The pastrami was so terrible that it was inedible. Dry, and hard, and rubbery - not crumbly at all, but rather like trying to chew on leather, and about as enjoyable.

And so I called them and asked for a manager, and complained, and he told me that I was crazy. "We serve the best pastrami in the world. Do you know how much of it we sell?"

Of course, the real manager wasn't in, and so I called again this morning, mostly to see why they'd have pastrami so terrible for takeout, and what they'd say. He wouldn't take my call ("he's really busy") - and I guess when you don't want to hear about complaints you don't care about what you're serving your customers. But he had the woman who answered the phone run interference and ask what I had, and she kept putting me on hold. Finally she asked if they could offer me a partial credit on my sandwiches - I think the theory was that they couldn't credit the pastrami we'd already tried to eat, or the other meats that were in the combination sandwich, but they could offer me a partial credit towards a future order.

I tried to explain that what I cared about was the fact that when I got my food back to New Jersey I couldn't enjoy it, and they just didn't seem to care.

I'd take a crusty old waiter pretending to be nasty and serving me a moist, crumbly, delicious pastrami sandwich over this any day. Does anybody know where I can get same?

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The short answer is to go to Katz's.

As for the crumbly pastrami, it sounds like your meat wasn't quite fatty enough. That said, sliced hot pastrami strikes me as the sort of thing that is likely to decline substantially on what I have to assume was around a 45 minute drive home. I always eat in.

I've always thought Carnegie Deli was a pretty good place, although I do find their meats a little on the dry side unless you can get them to give it to you from the fatty part of the meat. I find the same thing to be true at Second Avenue Deli.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had my first Carnegie Deli sandwich yesterday. I picked up a pastrami to take with me to the airport to nibble on before I boarded the plane. It was good - not great - but then again it sat for a couple hours before I got to attack it. Katz's patrami was better and sliced thicker - but I woulnd't NOT go back to the Carnegie Deli.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a funny, fond memory of the Carnegie Deli. I live in Syracuse, NY, and don't get to New York often. I was there in the late 90's for a conference, and while there had met up with Bert Sugar, whom I'd gotten to know in the previous year through a number of letters and phone calls concerning a possible joint writing project. For those of you who don't know, he's considered the foremost boxing historian and has written a gazillion books on various sports. Not that I'm into boxing... I met him while dancing at a party in Canastota during their Boxing Hall Of Fame Weekend... my honey was playing lead guitar. The world of boxing is in a galaxy quite distant from my own.

Anyway, he took me to a fight, then to some gathering at which I got to meet the unimpresive Don King and a few boxers. Then he took me to the Carnegie Deli for a snack of one of the tallest sandwiches I, an upstater, had ever seen. I think mostly he wanted me to see his picture on the wall. We sat right under it.

When it came time to pay the bill, it turned out he didn't have enough cash so he tried to pay with a credit card. No dice. They didn't take credit cards, even from people whose pictures were hanging on the wall. So I coughed up $20 for the part of the bill he didn't have cash for, and we called it a loan.

Bert Sugar still owes me twenty bucks. And we never did write that book. Maybe because I married my honey.

:raz:

Lonnie

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers." --James Thurber

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Carnegie, Smarnegie- A few years ago we were staying at a hotel up the street and ate there. It was o.k. Then came back a few hours later and tried to order a cheese cake for two. The place was half empty and we were told by a very understanding waiter that there was a $10 minimum person. We explained we had just ate there so please ask the boss. He did and the Smagegi said no way. We left and we will never darken the door of the Carnegie Deli. Give me Katz's any time -- Carnegie can kish mer en duss. Of course no offense intended.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since this thread was brought back in what is a timely date for myself I will ad my post.

I purchased a real taste of "New York City" yesterday at Costco where they are selling "Carnegie Deli Pastrami' at $9.99 per carton that contains 2 bags of Fresh Sliced Carnagie Pastrami that is enough for 4 Pastrami Sandwiches not overstuffed but still adequate and much better tasting then any available in Seattle.

I use "Nathans Deli Mustard", Coleslaw and Seeded New York Rye Bread made by Orowheat to come close to NYC if I close my eyes. Follow the instuctions for heating and you can't go wrong.

The Pastrami is almost shaved, sliced thiner they I prefer, but it's made from Beef Deckle or Plate with the requisite amount of fat, that begins melting down when heated. It's being made and packed exclusively for Costco's Kirkland Label so It should be available at most Costco Stores. I found out about this on another eGullet thread and recommend it for all us expatriates.

After eating this I need to order Sliced Smoked Sable, Sturgeon, Kippered Salmon and Nova from Russ & Daughters with a Dozen Bagels and Raspberry Ruggelah.

Irwin

Edited by wesza (log)

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

On December 23rd I posted a message to this thread, which cast dispersions on the policies of the Carnegie Deli. I was mistaken, please accept my apology Carnegie Deli it was the Stage Door Deli on Broadway that was the target of my ire.

One again, sorry Carnegie for the miss ID it was the Stage Door that did it.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On December 23rd I posted a message to this thread, which cast dispersions on the policies of the Carnegie Deli.  I was mistaken, please accept my apology Carnegie Deli it was the Stage Door Deli on Broadway that was the target of my ire.

One again, sorry Carnegie for the miss ID it was the Stage Door that did it.

Was it the Stage Door deli on 8th ave, or the more famous Stage Deli on 7th ave?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...