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A block apart,a world of difference in attitude.


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My daughter, son in law and two year old granddaughter were in New York for the weekend. My daughter asked if I wanted them to bring some NYC provisions home. I asked for a pastrami brisket, some frankfurters and a salami from Katz and some various smoked fish and cream cheese from Russ and daughters.

Their first stop was Katz. My daughter(who is eight months pregnant) had never been there before and mistakenly went to the sandwich counter instead of takeout. Not only didn't they direct her to the proper venue, but they were rude and dismissive and left her standing there. Frustrated, she called me on her cellphone and asked me how to get takeout food. I told her to go to the end of the counter. When she got there. She was served by who she described as a young man with a horrible manner. Although she did eventually get what she wanted, the vibes that were transmitted were that she was wasting this young man's time. Nothing resembling civility, let alone cordiality, but rather a feeling of being unwanted and rudeness. She ended up spending a hundred dollars there and said that she would never go there again if they were giving the food away free. My daughter knows and even likes the "New York Danny Rose" attitude of New York. She has eaten at Carnegie and 2nd Avenue Deli where a little attitude is expected. But, she says she received nothing but rudeness at Katz. It was not because they were busy. It was 9.15 in the morning and the place was close to empty.

Russ & Daughters was totally different. She described the counter people as being friendly and cheerful. They were offered tastes of what they ordered and even some of what they didn't order. They were given recommedations. The waitstaff flirted with my granddaughter. They could not have been more accommodating.

My daughter is the furthest thing from a demanding person. She loves New York, New Yorkers and appreciates the New York attitude. However she feels there is a big difference between a "New York attitude" and outright rudeness.

The food from both places by the way was excellent.

Porkpa

Edited by porkpa (log)
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I'm very sorry she was given a rough time.

But please, the "New York" attitude is a myth perpetrated by those who have not gotten past the age of Gerald Ford. New York, and New Yorkers overall, do not exhibit "attittude." Only individual schmucks have "attitude." (They might be from anywhere and just happen to be working in NYC.) And rudeness is a stateless citizen.

For a brief mention of a different experience, see Chris Cognac on his wife's visit. This thread includes a typically attitudeless post by one of the NY Forum hosts. :wink:

Edited by Suzanne F (log)
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I'm glad to hear the people at Russ and Daughters were nice to you, they are like an extended family to me (on of the guys wrote me a recomendation to get me into high school, and my grandfather used to import fish for them) The guys at Katz's can be a bit lewd and rude, but I've never considered them to be openly hostile, she probably just got a bad egg.

I must second Suzanne F's point.

there is no such thing as "New York" attitude

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Suzanne,

When I used the term "New York attitude" I meant it in a most positive sense. That's why I distinguished between it and rudeness. Its part of the essence of being a New Yorker. Of course it doesn't apply to all New Yorkers or even probably a majority of them. I meant it in the sense that in general, New Yorkers are usually different than southerners, or those from southern California or Texans. All of these groups are heterogenous, but many of them have distinguishing characteristics which sometimes identify their origins or the place where they live. Absolutely no negative connotations were intended when I used the term.

Porkpa

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Thanks for making that clearer in your opening post. :smile: But I'm not so sure that ANY other region produces heterogeneous groupthink or behavior. Jeez, I hope not!!! Sure don't see that here on eG. :biggrin:

Maybe I'm a little oversensitive, because I still remember when the rest of the country hated us. :sad. But just about all the NYers I know haven't a scintilla of "attitude." :wink:

But to get back on topic: so how was the food??? And did she carry it back on her lap, or get it packed in such a way that it could go with the baggage?

Edited by Suzanne F (log)
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Suzanne,

By heterogeneous I meant diverse which I think is correct, not homogeneous which I think means alike. I could be wrong. English was never my strongest subject.

As expected the food was wonderful, especially the pickled salmon with onions and sour cream and the sturgeon from Russ. I also loved the caviar cream cheese which I had never had before.

We've only had the pastrami thus far from Katz. Its the best pastrami out there by far. Its second only to the Montreal smoked meat from Snowdon Deli in my appreciation of deli meats. I'm sure the franks and dry salami will be excellent when we get around to eating them.

Porkpa

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The cream cheese at Russ & Daughters has no gum in it and thus has a different and therefore more natural consistency, which I like. Some may prefer the speadability of the more familiar supermarket brand(s). It may be my imagination, but it seems to have different taste to it, but that might also be mouth feel. My favorite at Russ & Daughters is the sable. After that the smoked salmon -- most of them. As a kid in NY, I used to love the smoked carp which was not unlike sable, but not nearly as rich nor as succulent a texture. I like the whitefish as well and the herring in sour cream sauce is also a favorite around this house.

Katz's pastrami is a treat. I don't know that the salami or franks are all that special although I'm sure they're good.

Russ & Daughters has more of an old time NY feel to it for me than Katz's. I think that it's because it seems as if the guys behind the counter have more of an interest in what they're doing. At Katz's, there's more detatchment, to put it politely. Still, I've not found anyone rude to me.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Oops. Yeah, "hetero" misuse on both our parts. :blush:

May I make a suggestion for the salami? The last time we had it there, it just didn't seem as dry ( = well-aged) as in the past, and therefore not as intense in flavor as it should have been. As if they are selling it "before its time." So before you eat it -- if you can control yourself :wink: -- you might want to let it hang a while to dry and concentrate more.

As for Russ & Daughters -- now, having read Calvin Trillin's Tepper Isn't Going Out, I can't think of the place without a desire for "a nice whitefish." Hmmm, it's supposed to be really warm tomorrow; maybe I need to take a walk uptown. :biggrin:

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I'm on a stupid stupid fast today. But tomorrow, there will be Katz there will be Russ and daughters. I too love the sable. I tried to explain sable to my boyfriend, but we ordered it from Sarges on a no-get-out of bed day and it was dry and lame...tomorrow I will teach him at the cod temple...

and the pastrami temple..

and maybe down the street at the lentil soup temple

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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On my last sojourn to NYC, my host Big Mushy, his wife & I were served by an appropriately sassy waitress at the 2nd Avenue Deli. I did not make it to Katz's, where the menu warns those who order the pastrami-on-rye to "(O)rder it with mayo at your own peril." :biggrin:

Frankly, I found most everyone in NYC to be gracious and accomodating, from the lady on the subway who pointed us toward Coney Island to the comedian-cum-waiter at Peter Luger's. Maybe it was my Friendly Fresser demeanor or my "Friend of Fat Guy" lapel pin, but I left NYC with a warm-'n-fuzzy feeling. I can't wait to go back.

Maybe I'll get to meet Momo this time... :smile:

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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As for Russ & Daughters -- now, having read Calvin Trillin's Tepper Isn't Going Out, I can't think of the place without a desire for "a nice whitefish." 

:laugh::laugh:

That had to be one of my favorite passages of that entire book!!

I too love the sable. I tried to explain sable to my boyfriend, but we ordered it from Sarges on a no-get-out of bed day and it was dry and lame...tomorrow I will teach him at the cod temple...

For all my fellow sable lovers, it's seems that sable is too plebian a name for this wonderous food. As such, they're decided to rebrand it as Smoked Black Cod. As far as I'm concerned, this is BLASPHEMY!!!

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Sable fish is known as black cod, at least up around British Columbia. I was surprised to see it labled as such in a stall in the market in Vancouver and later we had the opportunity to have fresh black cod in a Hunan Restuarant in Victoria. The fresh black cod was sensational and certainly high on my list of favorite fish dishes and Chinese dishes. Cod actually seems too plebian a name.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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As for Russ & Daughters -- now, having read Calvin Trillin's Tepper Isn't Going Out, I can't think of the place without a desire for "a nice whitefish." 

:laugh::laugh:

That had to be one of my favorite passages of that entire book!!

I too love the sable. I tried to explain sable to my boyfriend, but we ordered it from Sarges on a no-get-out of bed day and it was dry and lame...tomorrow I will teach him at the cod temple...

For all my fellow sable lovers, it's seems that sable is too plebian a name for this wonderous food. As such, they're decided to rebrand it as Smoked Black Cod. As far as I'm concerned, this is BLASPHEMY!!!

whoever decided to call sable smoked black cod - not jewish. :raz: black cod goes to dinner. sable stays for breakfast. :biggrin:

oh, the lentil temple is bereket.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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I have to ask, what's the "New York Danny Rose" attitude? I'm familiar with the Woody Allen film Broadway Danny Rose, but I remember it being about a loveable loser who keeps getting into strange situations.

As far as the New York attitude, I don't think I'm qualified to speak on this, having not lived here for very long, but I think it is a perception from outsiders thing. In my experience, New Yorkers aren't mean, but we are at home and we have places to be.

Working on Times Square, I see a LOT of tourists and American tourists tend to think of every place as an amusement park. Lots of tourist destinations encourage this as it brings their money. So while I am always happy to take a picture of a tourist for them, or explain subway directions, I get very annoyed when they are blocking the sidewalk or slowing down some other aspect of life.

I'm sure this applies doubly to restaurant workers where the same tourist attitude could expect the server to put on a big show, take longer to turn than a regular table, and end up tipping very little.

I'm sure your daughter didn't fit this bill, but it is possible the people at the deli were expecting it from her. I have come to expect typical tourist behavior from tourists I encounter.

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As for Russ & Daughters -- now, having read Calvin Trillin's Tepper Isn't Going Out, I can't think of the place without a desire for "a nice whitefish." 

:laugh::laugh:

That had to be one of my favorite passages of that entire book!!

I too love the sable. I tried to explain sable to my boyfriend, but we ordered it from Sarges on a no-get-out of bed day and it was dry and lame...tomorrow I will teach him at the cod temple...

For all my fellow sable lovers, it's seems that sable is too plebian a name for this wonderous food. As such, they're decided to rebrand it as Smoked Black Cod. As far as I'm concerned, this is BLASPHEMY!!!

I have something even more blasphemous.. My grand father would refer to sable as poor mans sturgeon..

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I was well into adulthood (chronologically, anyway) before I found out that it was NOT sturgeon! That's what we called it. Just "sturgeon." Which of course makes no sense whatsoever if you know anything about Jewish dietary laws -- sturgeon is forbidden. So your "poor man's" makes a lot of sense.

And then when I had the Miso-Marinated Black Cod at Nobu, a light went on . . . could it be? That velvety texture, that flake . . . oooh!

I don't care what you call it; just call me when it's on the table!!!

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