I learned on Twitter this morning that the famous Stage Deli in midtown Manhattan is shutting its doors.
Details on why are provided by the New York Times here.
I'm saddened by this because as a kid, my parents took me to the Stage Deli. I fondly remember eating with them, sharing a few laughs, and seeing legendary comedian Henny Youngman.
I knew it was Henny Youngman because, in fact, my parents remarked ever so quietly, "Hey, that's Henny Youngman over there."
For those who've never lived in, or visited, New York City, it may be hard to understand such an attachment to a place which served overly-large sandwiches, often featuring the wonderful salty-cured meats.
It's about the experience of dining in a place which you'll remember for the rest of your lives. For me, it was part of my youth. I fondly remember THAT I ate there, not necessarily WHAT I ate. But it's a cherished memory and I'm sad to see it close down due to the rough economy.
But the Stage was known for so much more than that. Its menu boasted a whole range of New York favorites, from smoked fish to hot open-faced sandwiches and eggs.
Opened in 1937, the Stage Deli competed with other deli restaurants, such as the nearby Carnegie Deli, for the deli dollar. One of the great aspects is ordering sandwiches named after celebrities, like Clint Eastwood, Adam Sandler, Mel Brooks and sports heroes like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.
We all have those memories of great meals, visits to unusual places, and dining experiences which are etched into our minds forever. That's what makes food and dining a wonderful thing, because we can recall the sights, smells, tastes and fun of those places, no matter how old or forgetful we become.
So as a tribute, I'm co-opting the Sid Caesar's Salad name. From now on...I don't make Caesar Salads...I make "Sid Caesar's Salads".