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Jerry's Deli, Englewood


markk
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Well, I'm flabbergasted by this experience.

I've been hearing about Jerry's Deli in Englewood for some time, so the other day I made a trip up there. It had some interesting stuff. In the deli case were three different varieties of Mortadella, which the man told me were from Italy; they were all fairly large in diameter. I asked if I could read the ingredients, but they didn't have their wrappers, so he took an entirely different brand (different name, different size) from the case and asked if I could read that one.

I replied that I wanted to read the ingredients on the "Italian" one before I bought it. He told me that the ones with wrappers were in the back, and that it would be too much trouble.

So I left. Who needs an unpleasant scene? I can shop elsewhere without one. Out of curiosity, I called the store later and asked to speak to the store manager (they don't have one), and then I asked to speak to the owner. He got on the phone and asked what the problem was, so I told him the story. He asked "So, what's the problem? Mortadella is pork - you don't know Mortadella?"

I should have just hung up, I guess, although that would have been rude, so I explained that I know mortadella quite well, and that I was surprised in Italy to see that most of the brands have lots of chemicals, including MSG. He replied "no mortadella has msg, you're wrong. It's only pork - you don't know mortadella." Intrigued, I asked him "so are you saying that the product you carry is completely natural?" and he answered, "all mortadella is natural - no chemicals in Italy - no MSG - they don't even know what that is. You say you know mortadella, but the problem is, you don't know mortadella."

Well, with that kind of misinformation, I'd be afraid to shop there. And with that attitude coming from the top, I'm certainly not going back there.

I'm just flabbergasted. I guess the deli guy just didn't want to go in the back and get an unopened mortadella, like he'd have to do if he finished one, I guess. But I thought the owner would have taken a totally different attitude than he did.

Anybody familiar with this place? Any thoughts?

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

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I'm really suprised about the tude. I'm a regular shopper there and usually find everyone helpful. There are times when the place is packed and it gets crazy (lunch and around holidays) and the help gets a little frayed. I think that is the real exception not the rule. The other thing about Jerry's is the amount of help and the number of years of service. I've been seeing the same people there for years. As far as Morto goes I've never heard of it having MSG.

I'm a NYC expat. Since coming to the darkside, as many of my freinds have said, I've found that most good things in NYC are made in NJ.

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i'd be very surprised to learn that mortadella di bologna contains MSG.  i'll have to check that out the next time i'm at a meat counter.

No MSG, but definitely has the carcinogenic Sodium Nitrite.

I go to Jerry's occasionally, but I'm not thrilled with the place either. In all fairness, I don't know of many places that have the cold cut ingredients readily available.

One of the big problem I have with Jerry's is the condition of the ceiling. It's it a state of disrepair, and I don't know how much debris winds up on the exposed food. I suppose not many people look up when they are there... :wacko:

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In all fairness, I don't know of many places that have the cold cut ingredients readily available. 

Well, the ingredients are right on the label, or in the case of cold cuts, the wrapper. So even if they have it peeled back past the ingredient list (which frequently repeats with the logo), there's usually a backup one unopened on display (or many of them), at least in most of the stores that I go to.

As I say, I've been in salumerie in Italy reading the ingredient labels on Mortadella, and they have many chemicals in them, including MSG, at least the last time I looked. I can't say for sure whether the one that Jerry's carries has it or not, of course, because they wouldn't let me see the label (he says, chuckling).

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

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