The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen

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mar52
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2013/05/20 16:16:35 (permalink)

The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen

Jerry's Deli is across the street from my condo but I rarely go. Too expensive and not that good. But.. I wanted some Matzoh ball soup at 9PM.When I ordered I also thought... I'd like a kreplah with that. Sorry, we no longer sell kreplahs. WHAT??? Okay, give me a side of Kishka. Sorry, we don't sell that, either. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!I look at the menu and instead of what I want I can get quesadillas, nachos, pizza and Bibimbop. Who are they kidding? They are no longer a Jewish Deli.
 
I looked behind the counter and the hanging salamis were gone.  The bakery items were limited.  No chocolate rolls, no cheesecake.... Just black and whites as if I liked them.
 
Jerry's is closing the location across the street from Cedars Sinai Hospital.
 
I think I know why.

#1

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    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 17:09:18 (permalink)
    When I lived in Santa Monica, I frequented Jerry's a few times to remind me a little bit of NYC!  Too bad it's also changing...BTW, how was the soup?
    #2
    EdSails
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 17:32:52 (permalink)
    Jerry's closed their location down here in OC several months ago. I agree with you, too many Jewish delis have gone and far too many have more pages with quesadillas, nachos and things like that then kishka. To get kishka today, I need to go to Los Alamitos to the Katella Deli. They also have the nachos and things, but at least they have kishke, kreplach soup and a full deli with smoked whitefish, chopped liver and a bakery with challah and all the rainbow cookies and Passover delights. They are just about the only real deli in OC. Besides that, I have to go to Factor's in West. L.A. or Brent's in Northridge to get decent deli. Fairfax has no delis left except for Canter's and even when I was growing up we only went to the Bagel or the Stage Deli on Fairfax because Canter's was more show and tourists than good deli food. It's a real shame.
    #3
    love2bake
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 17:58:28 (permalink)
    Ed - Smoked whitefish!  Now who's lucky!!
     
    Mar - this story makes me sad.  I wonder if they stopped offering those items because they weren't selling and were having to throw them away or if some new owners just decided to change the format of the place to suit a more culturally diverse population than in the past.  Either way, it's a shame.
    #4
    mar52
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 18:34:13 (permalink)
    They remodeled and sterilized the look of the place.
     
    The take out counter has no hanging salamis, jars of mustard, Ubet Chocolate Sauce (or Fox's) or anything I remember from my youth of hanging out at delis.
     
    I know that delis don't sell smoked cod because it because too expensive for them.  Dumb because anyone who loves it would pay the price.  I don't understand that way of thinking. 
     
    The soup was decent but I doctor it up with horseradish to the horror of most.  They've cut down on the amount of chicken and carrots in the bowl but the flavor was still good.  
     
    No more bagel chips to accompany the soup... just rye bread which was good.
    #5
    EdSails
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 18:47:07 (permalink)
    Mar,
    Katella Deli has containers of bagel chips that are made from the bagels they bake in house. They are very good. 
     
    #6
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 20:20:20 (permalink)
    For kishka I buy frozen chubs in the kosher section of a Kroger here. For chopped liver, if I get there early enough on a Sunday I can get it, too, at the same Kroger (the only one here that has a Kosher meat counter and Kosher section). They also have kasha varniskes and chopped herring in the case with the chopped liver, pastrami and corned beef. Unfortunately, the pastrami and corned beef are about as sub par as possible. Of course the chopped liver ain't too good, either.
    #7
    EdSails
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 20:50:33 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    For kishka I buy frozen chubs in the kosher section of a Kroger here. For chopped liver, if I get there early enough on a Sunday I can get it, too, at the same Kroger (the only one here that has a Kosher meat counter and Kosher section). They also have kasha varniskes and chopped herring in the case with the chopped liver, pastrami and corned beef. Unfortunately, the pastrami and corned beef are about as sub par as possible. Of course the chopped liver ain't too good, either.

    Seeing how my favorite sandwich is pastrami and chopped liver on rye, sounds like I should avoid it in your neck of the woods!
    #8
    wanderingjew
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 21:06:07 (permalink)
    You're all just realizing this now???
     
    I thought it happened decades ago...
    #9
    mar52
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 21:14:31 (permalink)
    It hasn't happened to most of the delicatessen's I usually frequent.  (Canter's, Brent's, Factor's, Fromin's, Langer's...)
     
    Jerry's never really qualified but they did sell lox. 
     
    It's also right across the street.
    #10
    iluvcfood
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/20 23:50:38 (permalink)
    I love good Jewish food (most of it anyway)  but rather then spoil this nice Forum I have come to appreciate........ I can tell you in ONE word why most of the Jewish delis have met their demise..........  GREED!!
    Anyone who is remotely interested in hearing more........PLEASE by all means PM me and I'll be MORE then happy to explain! 
    #11
    smokestack lightning
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 01:33:30 (permalink)
    iluvcfood

    I love good Jewish food (most of it anyway)  but rather then spoil this nice Forum I have come to appreciate........ I can tell you in ONE word why most of the Jewish delis have met their demise..........  GREED!!
    Anyone who is remotely interested in hearing more........PLEASE by all means PM me and I'll be MORE then happy to explain! 

    Many people here have discussed factors that have made the traditional Jewish delicatessen a rare thing.  demographics, changing tastes, etc. But "Greed"? Do explain here publicly please. No reason for PM's. Public explanation here.
     
     
    post edited by smokestack lightning - 2013/05/21 01:37:01
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    pnwchef
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 09:03:16 (permalink)
     
    EdSails...Pastrami  and Chopped chicken liver on rye, that should be a song. I would take one of those at least once a week.
     
    Mar, I don't like seeing these changes either, but, I think the menu reflects the clientele. I hope to stop in a few Jewish deli's, Yonah Schimmel Knishery, in NYC and  Italian Deli's in Philly. I can't wait to have the hand sliced Pastrami on Rye, Chopped chicken liver a herring sour cream and onions. The Italian deli's with all the cured meats, house made Mozzarella and crusty breads. To me a good day in New York will be walking down the street with a warm Knish in my hand with the people I love. Some people think a nice day is when the sun shines, I think a nice day is when your life shines. The simple pleasures that we remember from our past, may just be memories soon, enjoy them before they are gone............Have fun today..........Bill
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    The Travelin Man
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 09:21:11 (permalink)
    It sounds like the title of this thread should be "The Demise of Jerry's Deli."
    #14
    EdSails
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 12:10:53 (permalink)
    pnwchef

     
    EdSails...Pastrami  and Chopped chicken liver on rye, that should be a song. I would take one of those at least once a week.

    ..........Have fun today..........Bill

     
    When I was a kid my godmother lived a few blocks from Fairfax. We went to the Stage or the Bagel every week. The name of the Sandwich at the Stage----the Joey Bishop. Apparently he ordered them all the time.
     
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 12:13:04 (permalink)
    smokestack lightning

    iluvcfood

    I love good Jewish food (most of it anyway)  but rather then spoil this nice Forum I have come to appreciate........ I can tell you in ONE word why most of the Jewish delis have met their demise..........  GREED!!
    Anyone who is remotely interested in hearing more........PLEASE by all means PM me and I'll be MORE then happy to explain! 

    Many people here have discussed factors that have made the traditional Jewish delicatessen a rare thing.  demographics, changing tastes, etc. But "Greed"? Do explain here publicly please. No reason for PM's. Public explanation here.



    I'll try to be as specific as I can in my reply..............
    EVERY business owner is in the work place trying to make a buck just like any other but for some reason it seems as if Jewish deli owners continually and constantly increase their prices to make higher and higher profits when there is no need to do so!  I DO realize that in some specific food market areas that the price of the meats, Kosher items etc are very expensive but if you offer EXCELLENT service, continually good menu items at reasonable prices your business will do a bang up job!  
    A good example of that is a place we discovered about a mile from us after moving to where we now live........  I LUV Bagels!   We were extatic and would go there usually on Sundays for either a bagel/cream cheese or a Hot Pastrami sandwich!   
    Well..........  3 years later the $1.99 cream cheese bagel is $4.99      The Pastrami sandwich which used to be FILLED to the brim for $4.99 is now over $9.00 for the same sandwich only a smidgeoun of the meat!    
    His business has declined by probably 30% or more in three years and when talking to people we knew that once went there to eat tell us all the same thing.......  prices have escalated way out of line!  
    Many years ago you could find Jewish Delis in San Diego almost on every corner much like you now can with Mexican places but they are a dying breed! 
     
    #16
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 12:14:17 (permalink)
    EdSails

    Michael Hoffman

    For kishka I buy frozen chubs in the kosher section of a Kroger here. For chopped liver, if I get there early enough on a Sunday I can get it, too, at the same Kroger (the only one here that has a Kosher meat counter and Kosher section). They also have kasha varniskes and chopped herring in the case with the chopped liver, pastrami and corned beef. Unfortunately, the pastrami and corned beef are about as sub par as possible. Of course the chopped liver ain't too good, either.

    Seeing how my favorite sandwich is pastrami and chopped liver on rye, sounds like I should avoid it in your neck of the woods!

    I make a killer sandwich based on what's known back home as a Pastrami Special. It's corned beef and pastrami on rye with Swiss cheese and good mustard (I use Ba-Tampte). For the actual Special, you can add sliced raw onion and tomato. Not me.
     
    My chopped liver sandwich is pretty good, too (although how one can screw up a chopped liver sandwich I'll never know). It's just chopped liver on rye with sliced raw onion.
     
    I think I'm going to have to make a couple of the corned beef and pastrami sandwiches for lleechef and me. At $17 a pound for each I can get two sandwiches out of it.

    #17
    mar52
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 12:40:14 (permalink)
    Greg, it's not a matter of just food prices going up.
    With the rise of gas prices there are surplus costs added to deliveries.  They're added to your trash pick up. They're added to the materials that make up your product.
     
    Utilities go up.  Insurance goes up.  Advertising and rent go way up. 
     
    Costs go up everywhere and on every thing. 
     
    It's difficult to be in business today.
     
    By the way....  my store is now closed.  Mr. Big Shot couldn't make a go of it.  $7,000 rent for my small store was his last straw! I sold when it went up over $5,500.
     
    This thread might better be called the Demise of Jerry's Deli.  The clientele is not Latino but all of the employees are, in the front and in the back.  Nothing wrong with that but it loses the delicatessen feel.  Same loss of feel by getting rid of all the familiar hanging food items or shelves of recognizable foods.
     
    Seeing a familiar face behind the counter is also no longer something that happens.  The family, delicatessen feel is gone.
     
    Take the "Deli" out of the name and it wouldn't be a problem.
     
     
    #18
    mar52
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 12:42:14 (permalink)
    Bill...  I'll have one of everything you order!
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    iluvcfood
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 13:02:43 (permalink)
    mar52

    Greg, it's not a matter of just food prices going up.
    With the rise of gas prices there are surplus costs added to deliveries.  They're added to your trash pick up. They're added to the materials that make up your product.

    Utilities go up.  Insurance goes up.  Advertising and rent go way up. 

    Costs go up everywhere and on every thing. 

    It's difficult to be in business today.

    By the way....  my store is now closed.  Mr. Big Shot couldn't make a go of it.  $7,000 rent for my small store was his last straw! I sold when it went up over $5,500.

    This thread might better be called the Demise of Jerry's Deli.  The clientele is not Latino but all of the employees are, in the front and in the back.  Nothing wrong with that but it loses the delicatessen feel.  Same loss of feel by getting rid of all the familiar hanging food items or shelves of recognizable foods.

    Seeing a familiar face behind the counter is also no longer something that happens.  The family, delicatessen feel is gone.

    Take the "Deli" out of the name and it wouldn't be a problem.



     
    You know Mar.......  a lot of your points I'll agree with but consider this............  (I know.....I know...... it's like comparing apples with Oranges)  but back in the early 60s I could buy a McDonalds burger for .19            Some 48 years later I can still buy a Mcdonalds buger (double burger/double cheese) for $1.99
    Its not always about rising costs etc!  
    I can still get HUMUNGOUS Burritos for $4.50 which is what I paid 5 years or so ago..........  the list goes on and on!  
    I/we can still get a nice and filling altho "Chain store" meal at Olive Garden or El Toritos for around $12.00 which is almost the price of a Jewish corned beef or Pastrami sandwich! 
     
    #20
    mar52
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 13:10:50 (permalink)
    Greg, what you don't factor in is if that burrito shop owner also owns the building, has X amount of employees, hires Illegals  (it happens)  buys ingredients that are local, etc.
     
    Also the price of some ingredients rise at a much higher rate than others.
     
    I'm wondering if McDonald's loses money on some of their items.  Lose on the small burger and reap in the profit on something else.
     
    Also, not everything rises at the same rate.
     
    It's not about greed.  It's about surviving while remaining open.
    #21
    pnwchef
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 14:00:06 (permalink)
    Please. lets not compare the fine quality of smoked, brined, cured meats and fish of a jewish Deli with they serve in Mexican restaurants. The point that Mar is making is, the cost of doing business has increased, food cost is sky high, labor costs are crazy. I really don't know how a Jewish Deli could stay in business without having a lot of Jewish employees. The old jewish deli's made everything from scratch..............The $4.99 Pastrami sandwich from 3 yrs ago must have been the lowest price in America. I haven't paid under $10 for a Good piled hight Pastrami on Rye in years...............pnwc
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 14:06:45 (permalink)
    Migod! If a pastrami sandwich dosn't cost $4.99 any longer, does that mean I can no longer get a Connecticut lobster roll for 75 cents?
    #23
    wanderingjew
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 14:27:42 (permalink)
    iluvcfood

    smokestack lightning

    iluvcfood

    I love good Jewish food (most of it anyway)  but rather then spoil this nice Forum I have come to appreciate........ I can tell you in ONE word why most of the Jewish delis have met their demise..........  GREED!!
    Anyone who is remotely interested in hearing more........PLEASE by all means PM me and I'll be MORE then happy to explain! 

    Many people here have discussed factors that have made the traditional Jewish delicatessen a rare thing.  demographics, changing tastes, etc. But "Greed"? Do explain here publicly please. No reason for PM's. Public explanation here.



    I'll try to be as specific as I can in my reply..............
    EVERY business owner is in the work place trying to make a buck just like any other but for some reason it seems as if Jewish deli owners continually and constantly increase their prices to make higher and higher profits when there is no need to do so!  I DO realize that in some specific food market areas that the price of the meats, Kosher items etc are very expensive but if you offer EXCELLENT service, continually good menu items at reasonable prices your business will do a bang up job!  
    A good example of that is a place we discovered about a mile from us after moving to where we now live........  I LUV Bagels!   We were extatic and would go there usually on Sundays for either a bagel/cream cheese or a Hot Pastrami sandwich!   
    Well..........  3 years later the $1.99 cream cheese bagel is $4.99      The Pastrami sandwich which used to be FILLED to the brim for $4.99 is now over $9.00 for the same sandwich only a smidgeoun of the meat!    
    His business has declined by probably 30% or more in three years and when talking to people we knew that once went there to eat tell us all the same thing.......  prices have escalated way out of line!  
    Many years ago you could find Jewish Delis in San Diego almost on every corner much like you now can with Mexican places but they are a dying breed! 


    I couldn't tell you about LA but here in NYC, that couldn't be further from the truth..
    You'll find the handful of Jewish Deli's that are left, are packed......with TOURISTS....
    Doesn't mean the food isn't good anymore...It still is and I LOVE it , atlhough I think the Rye Bread sucks..
    I mentioned this on another thread, but one of my middle aged friend phrased it perfectly....As much as they loved their grandparents....they don't want to BE their grandparents....instead of going around using phrases like "oy" and "feh" they're using phrases like "dude" and "sweet"..they would rather do what is hip and trendy and sorry but Jewish Delis are just not that...The "new" New York  eats are Asian, West African, Latin American and Caribbean.
    #24
    kozel
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 14:31:41 (permalink)
    At one time lobster was used for fertilizer.
     
    Might be the first link the The Economist on Roadfood.
    http://www.economist.com/node/5091088
    #25
    pnwchef
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 14:59:10 (permalink)
    kozel

    At one time lobster was used for fertilizer.

    Might be the first link the The Economist on Roadfood.
    http://www.economist.com/node/5091088

    No wonder why Michael is, Full of "Lobster"
     
    Michael, I would take you out for a Lobster Roll but the bridge is closed.................I think you may remember this bridge.
     

     
     
     
    #26
    iluvcfood
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 15:01:04 (permalink)
    pnwchef

    Please. lets not compare the fine quality of smoked, brined, cured meats and fish of a jewish Deli with they serve in Mexican restaurants. The point that Mar is making is, the cost of doing business has increased, food cost is sky high, labor costs are crazy. I really don't know how a Jewish Deli could stay in business without having a lot of Jewish employees. The old jewish deli's made everything from scratch..............The $4.99 Pastrami sandwich from 3 yrs ago must have been the lowest price in America. I haven't paid under $10 for a Good piled hight Pastrami on Rye in years...............pnwc

    OK.......  to prove my point I called the Jewish deli that we used to go to 3 years ago and was $5.95 and not the $4.99 as I previously stated......  so I was a bit wrong in the price structure! 
    As to you not knowing how a Jewish deli could stay in business w/o having a lot of Jewish employees????   Whens the last time you visited an Asian restaurant?  Over 1/2 if not more of the workers/chefs are Hispanic so the ethnic makeup has NOTHING to do with how successful a business will be! 
    #27
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 15:09:52 (permalink)
    pnwchef

    kozel

    At one time lobster was used for fertilizer.

    Might be the first link the The Economist on Roadfood.
    http://www.economist.com/node/5091088

    No wonder why Michael is, Full of "Lobster"

    Michael, I would take you out for a Lobster Roll but the bridge is closed.................I think you may remember this bridge.






    Hell, the bridge isn't just closed, it's busted up. Besides, there's no place out there to get a lobster roll. There is, however, a pretty good place over on the point at Lordship.
    #28
    CCinNJ
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/21 17:52:18 (permalink)
    Yum! @ black & white cookies from Canter's.
    #29
    EdSails
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    Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 13:15:24 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    EdSails

    Michael Hoffman

    For kishka I buy frozen chubs in the kosher section of a Kroger here. For chopped liver, if I get there early enough on a Sunday I can get it, too, at the same Kroger (the only one here that has a Kosher meat counter and Kosher section). They also have kasha varniskes and chopped herring in the case with the chopped liver, pastrami and corned beef. Unfortunately, the pastrami and corned beef are about as sub par as possible. Of course the chopped liver ain't too good, either.

    Seeing how my favorite sandwich is pastrami and chopped liver on rye, sounds like I should avoid it in your neck of the woods!

    I make a killer sandwich based on what's known back home as a Pastrami Special. It's corned beef and pastrami on rye with Swiss cheese and good mustard (I use Ba-Tampte). For the actual Special, you can add sliced raw onion and tomato. Not me.

    My chopped liver sandwich is pretty good, too (although how one can screw up a chopped liver sandwich I'll never know). It's just chopped liver on rye with sliced raw onion.

    I think I'm going to have to make a couple of the corned beef and pastrami sandwiches for lleechef and me. At $17 a pound for each I can get two sandwiches out of it.

     
    I'll send you my address. I'll take one of each of those sandwiches please, Michael. 
    #30
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