Entries in Second Avenue Deli (2)


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

Rolling the Dice: 2nd Avenue Deli

Every week, we take our turn with Lady Luck on the BruniBetting odds as posted by Eater. Just for kicks, we track Eater’s bet too, and see who is better at guessing what the unpredictable Bruni will do. We track our sins with an imaginary $1 bet every week.

The Line: Tomorrow, Frank Bruni reviews the 2nd Avenue Deli. The Eater oddsmakers have set the action as follows (√√ denotes the Eater bet):

Zero Stars: 3-1
One Star: 2-1 √√
Two Stars:
Three Stars: 75-1
Four Stars: 25,000-1

The Skinny: There isn’t much we can add to Eater’s compelling logic. Frank Bruni doesn’t usually mess with delis, so it would be awfully peculiar for him to invest the time in a review, only to give it a goose egg. But two stars for a deli would be awfully generous, given that the revered Katz’s deli came away with only one.

The Bet: We agree with Eater that Frank Bruni will award one star to the 2nd Avenue Deli.