Ten years ago I was lucky enough to enjoy a sandwich at the original 2nd Avenue Deli in the East village. I was astounded by the portion sizes, and the amazingly tender pastrami and corned beef. It was a revelation for me that delis could be this darn good. This week I went to verify that new Murray Hill location indeed follows in the footsteps of the original.
This was the pastrami/corned beef/salami triple-decker sandwich. It is unparalleled. The pastrami here is way more tender and delicious then Katz’s. Also it doesn’t have three thousand tourists waiting on line for the “When Harry Met Sally” table.
This was an appetizer. You heard me. Stuffed cabbage that tasted like it was made with brown sugar. An interesting and unique sweet version of the classic dish.
The customary pickle plate. My favorite part of the meal. The pickled tomatoes are unreal.
This is how far I got with the triple-decker sandwich. The waitress said it was the furthest she’s ever seen a customer go. Which was either a compliment or a nice way of saying I’m a glutton (granted I did have a salad only for lunch). It made me regret that I didn’t finish it! Without the stuffed cabbage slowing me down I could have completely annihilated this behemoth.
Here’s a little backstory of the 2nd Ave deli from Wikipedia:
The delicatessen originally opened in 1954 on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and East 10th Street in the East Village… It closed briefly following the murder of its founder Abe Lebewohl, a survivor of The Holocaust, during a robbery on March 4, 1996. The crime remains unsolved. On January 1, 2006, new owner Jack Lebewohl closed the delicatessen at its original location in the East Village… On July 31, 2007, Lebewohl announced that the delicatessen would reopen at a new location in the fall of 2007. It reopened on December 17, 2007, at the Murray Hill location with Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of its founder, as its new proprietor.
I am pleased to report that this latest incarnation of the 2nd Avenue Deli doesn’t disappoint. Proof positive!!!
2nd Avenue Deli, 162 E 33rd St, New York 10016 (Btwn Lexington & 3rd Ave)