The mile-high pastrami, the overstuffed Reuben, the pile of rare roast beef on rye: They’re all on the way out, according to author David Sax, whose Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen sounds the death knell of the classic Jewish deli. The reasons for its demise, as listed in the Hungry Beast:

“[H]igh rents that many delis face in cities, low margins on items like pastrami and brisket, limited alcohol sales, a perception among regular eaters that delis should be cheap, dieting trends that have made anything high-fat or carb-loaded non-starters for decades at a time. The rush to the suburbs has allowed fewer delis to cater to larger numbers of people, and the deli owners who built these businesses would rather see their sons and grandsons in law school than in aprons behind the counter.”

Want to see what your kids will be missing? The Hungry Beast has a gallery of images from the best delis in North America. Mmm, meat mounds.

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