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The Payoff: 2nd Avenue Deli

Yesterday, Frank Bruni gave himself the week off, leaving the reviewing to “three latke-loving New Yorkers with appetites and opinions.” The result was the expected one star for the 2nd Avenue Deli:

We were at the Second Avenue Deli, newly reopened and newly misnamed, since it’s now on East 33rd Street near Third Avenue.

But its location doesn’t matter. What does is that after a two-year absence it’s back, rejoining Katz’s and the Carnegie among a handful of old-timers devoted to Jewish deli food, which isn’t just about eating.

It’s about tradition, nostalgia and (my favorite part) the sport of friendly bickering over what’s orthodox, what’s not, whether there’s room in this short life for lean sandwich meat and who has the best tongue in town.

For the second week in a row, there was no real suspense about the number of stars Frank Bruni would award. Eater and I both win $2 on our hypothetical one dollar bets.

          Eater        NYJ
Bankroll $64.50   $80.67
Gain/Loss +2.00   +2.00
Total $66.50   $82.67
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Won–Lost 30–13   31–12

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