Not About Food

Getting to know people better through food: any good stories to share?

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Not About Food 19

Getting to know people better through food: any good stories to share?

Aravisea | May 6, 2010 10:46 AM

Had a great moment with the boss today. I've worked closely with this guy - a very successful lawyer - for several years, but had never seen him more animated about a non-legal subject than today when the topic of Jewish delis came up.

My boss is Jewish (albeit non-practicing) and a native New Yorker transplanted to our area. He made an offhand comment today about a pastrami sandwich he had gotten from the Au Bon Pain in our building's lobby, and about how it wasn't very good. It had been served, horror of horrors, on a ciabatta roll! Blasphemy!

I asked him for his opinion on a local Jewish deli, Chutzpah, that had gotten very good reviews and was supposedly pretty authentic. It was fantastic, he said, and I had to go. I was instructed to try the pastrami on rye with coleslaw and Russian dressing. Get it exactly like that, he said. "The matzoh ball soup is also outstanding! You must try that."

Knowing enough about New York delis to know that chopped liver is another classic, I asked him about whether this deli's chopped liver was any good. "Yes...but as I like it, on rye bread with nothing except maybe thin sliced onion. Delicious."

I was so tickled by this exchange. The man is such a serious guy, totally focused on his work, and I'd never seen another side to him until the magical word "deli" came up.

Do you have a good story about learning something new about someone you thought you knew well, through food?

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