It was a discouraging week on New York's delicatessen scene. Sarge's, a 24/7 destination for pastrami sandwiches (pictured) and matzo ball soup, among other things, was closed by a fire and won't be back in business for a while. And the Stage Deli, a Midtown landmark known for massive sandwiches named after celebrities (its BLT, for example, was dubbed the Kevin Bacon), shut its doors after 75 years.
vvv03, whose family "has a crazy large soft spot in our hearts for Sarge's," asked fellow Chowhounds for replacement recommendations and got a bunch. Though kathryn finds 2nd Ave Deli's pastrami wanting, she likes its Chicken in the Pot with extra matzo balls on the side. Pan suggests hound mecca Katz's for pastrami and Stage Restaurant (not to be confused with Stage Deli) for chicken soup, pierogi, kasha, and other "good, reliable, honest food."
And bobjbkln endorses the matzo ball soup at Mile End, a Brooklyn-based deli better known for Montreal-style smoked meats. While Mile End's two shops survived Sandy unscathed, its smoker in storm-battered Red Hook didn't, so its menu and hours have been reduced; soup's still on, though.
As for Stage Deli, it didn't get a lot of hound love in recent years; many found it touristy and overpriced. "But the fact that another bit of old New York is gone—no doubt to be replaced by a chain outlet that will close by 2014—is cause for pause," debinqueens writes.
Sarge's Deli [Murray Hill]
548 Third Avenue (between E. 36th and 37th streets), Manhattan
2nd Ave Deli [Murray Hill]
162 E. 33rd Street (between Lexington and Third avenues), Manhattan
2nd Ave Deli [Upper East Side]
1442 First Avenue (at E. 75th Street), Manhattan
Katz's Delicatessen [Lower East Side]
205 E. Houston Street (at Ludlow Street), Manhattan
Stage Restaurant [East Village]
128 Second Avenue (between E. Seventh Street and St. Marks Place), Manhattan
Mile End Sandwich Shop [NoHo]
53 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette Street), Manhattan
Mile End Delicatessen [Boerum Hill]
97 Hoyt Street (between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street), Brooklyn
Photo from Sarge's Delicatessen / Facebook