OK, maybe I've been away for too long, or else I never ordered anything that wasn't on the menu, but the other week I went to 4th Street Deli and tried to order chopped liver on a bagel with lettuce, tomato and onion. I was on my way to the airport and had time to swing into town to satisfy a deep craving and bring along lunch on the flight. I walked into the deli at 10 am, ordered the sandwich, and was told I couldn't have it. I asked if they had chopped liver. Indeed they did, said the clerk. I asked if they were out of bagels. Indeed they were not. Then why couldn't I have chopped liver on a bagel, I inquired incredulously, not really sure I was following the conversation. The clerk explained that I could only have chopped liver on one of their breads, as having it on a bagel would be messy. I said, but I'm the one who has to eat it and I don't really care if it's messy, please get me one. At this point the clerk pointed to a sign that says something along the lines of "We will not serve anything that is not on the menu." and explained that while chopped liver and bagels are on the menu, they're not available together. So I got pissed off and said fine, just give me a bagel, and some chopped liver in a container enough for a sandwich, and I'll make the damned thing myself. I can do that the clerk said and promtly got my order. When he handed me the bagel, I noticed it wasn't sliced. I asked him to slice it. We can't do that, he said. I'm like, no really, please have the guy back there slice the bagel. I can't. I'm not allowed, he insisted. I'll lose my job if they find out. At this point I'm ready to scream and walk out but I'm PMS-ing and really need this sandwich. Nothing else will do. At that point, I paid for the order, grabbed a plastic fork and knife, and left. I made my sandwich at the airport, sans lettuce, tomato, and onion, since they're not listed as sides on the menu and there was clearly no point in asking for it. And chopped liver without onion is not quite the same.
So what wacko owns this place? The bagel Nazi? Perhaps it should be called Five Easy Bagels. Oy!