[A Pig at Large by Wilfrid; photos by Signed by Philippa: December 9, 2013]
So it's lunchtime in Philadelphia, and it's cold. Really cold. Freezing wind-in-your face cold. We'd just had the Pompeii experience (basically a volcano falling on your head) at the Franklin Institute (which reminded me that, as a child, I actually went up Vesuvius). Now we were hungry.
In other circumstances, we might have delved for something a bit less like a New York experience than the new outpost of a 93-year old Jewish deli, but that wind was unforgiving, there were seats, the food looked...well, monumental.
The interior--bright and white--was kind of monumental too. From a small storefront, it goes way back, and in New York, the wide open spaces opposite the counter would be packed with tables. Out came the pickles and the coleslaw, and our server was from down south. Cultural chaos.
You can measure the size of half a Reuben against a child's hand. But our orders were relatively modest. Diners around us were ordering bucket-sized bowls of matzoh ball soup and cold-cuts sandwiches of a height which would put the Carnegie Deli to shame. I guess they were ordering them "zaftig"--we stuck with "regular."
The Reuben, served on toast, was good. The second half survived the journey home and re-heating. The corned beef was thin sliced, but never got dried out. I chose what I thought was a light option.
That's the kippered salmon (i.e. hot smoked) on rye with a head or two of lettuce. Sandwiches come with sides (I picked at a bowl of little potato pancakes); prices between $13 and $17 (add $3 to $5 for the ridiculous large versions).
We had to walk this lunch off, wind or no wind.