Wednesday, August 29, 2007

That's All, Folks

Alan Dell, owner of Katz’s Delicatessen, a legendary restaurant on East Houston Street that opened in 1888, spoke next.

Mr. Dell talked about changing food tastes. When Katz’s was founded, corned beef, pastrami and tongue were the mainstays of the Jewish deli. “There was no such thing as a turkey sandwich in those days,” he said.

Once, Mr. Dell said, there were more than 500 true Jewish delis in Manhattan alone, Mr. Dell said. Now, there are but “a small handful.”

Mr. Dell explained why Katz’s has a sign that says, “Katz’s, That’s All.”

“This sign originated when Benny Katz hired the signmaker to make the sign,” Mr. Dell said. “The signmaker asked, ‘Well, what exactly do you want to have it say?’ and Benny said to the signmaker, ‘Katz’s, that’s all.’ Sure enough he painted that on the sign!”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shalom Winky!

This reminded me of two things:

1) How I miss Lebewohl's 2nd Ave. deli. When we would get arrested at Soviet Jewry demonstrations, he would send around food for us while we waited to get processed and released.

2) When our shul in Vancouver was having a marble dedication plaque made, I proofread it and told the person responsible for ordering something like "here we have to have the Hebrew date". Sure enough, the plaque arrived from the stone engraver with the words Hebrew Date. No date, mind you; but in it's place the words 'Hebrew Date'. ???