Thinking of food, and some other things East Side Encounters

| 11 Jan 2016 | 11:26

    First the old, then the new: The MTA doesn’t disappoint, that’s for sure. I was looking forward to what turned out to be a beautiful clear New Year’s Day. Meeting good friends for late morning lunch (not brunch) at the uptown 2nd Avenue Deli. Getting there meant the local M15 at 88th/2nd in front of the old Elaine’s. About five or six of us standing in the local part of the stop. Several others standing a little farther up waiting for the Select. Lo and behold the local comes along. Stops. Doesn’t open doors. Drives off. That was enough to get me going. Then one of the other would-be riders opined, “That’s why we need Trump. He’d never let the drivers get away with that!” Another would-be noted, “That’s right. They’d be out of a job! He’d dump the MTA.” Trickle down, trickle up. Like it or not; believe it or not - Trump fever’s rising. An oy brings me back to the 2nd Avenue Deli, which I was told, has the best baked apples - at $8.95 I hope so - lush, voluptuous, juicy, like the ones you used to get in the Catskills - at Brickman’s, Grossinger’s, Brown’s, the Concord. My dessert tastes tend to strudel and plain old sponge cake from Moishe’s on 7th St/2nd Ave. Thinking about it all and having a great time over lunch made me realize that the MTA will be the MTA, Trump will be or not be. But I’m having a happy new year no matter what. Same to you all - Happy, Healthy New Year.

    Re-calling Gloria Allred: A recent visit to Sarge’s on Menupages found me perusing its new menu. New, because the original Sarge’s (38th/3rd), open since 1964, was burned out and closed for over a year. It reopened in the last year or so. I’ve not been back, but glad that it’s here again. It holds fond family memories - we’d go there on the holidays when they had special menus. Other times throughout the year it was always the place to go around-the-clock for good deli, sandwiches, herrings, soups. While going through the online menu, I was surprised to come across a “Cosby Burger.” Made famous by The Cosby Show’s Theo Huxtable (Bill Cosby’s tv son) when he would call out “Dad...I want a Bacon Burger Dog!” Depending on the recipe, a Cosby Burger is either made for skewers or patties and consists of ground beef, bacon, and hotdog. The $14.95 Cosby Burger at Sarge’s is a 10 oz. cheeseburger topped with a grilled sliced hotdog served with lettuce, tomato and Bermuda onion. Not sure the fixings were part of Theo’s call. Anyway, anything Cosby these days raises a red flag. Not sure Sarge’s is ready to recall its menu. At least not until Gloria Allred gets a call, or calls.

    Shopping not so fair: Long lines waiting at the cashier on a Friday evening at Fairway 86th St. A young man waiting on line decided he wanted to continue shopping for a refrigerated item. He didn’t have a cart and was holding onto the several items he was going to purchase. As he shopped the fridge, he picked up a container with dumplings. It fell. Instead of picking it up and putting it along the ledge of the unit, he left it on the floor and kept shopping in the same spot, looking at the various hummus and soup choices. Shopper waiting on line to pay went over to pick up the still closed dumpling container on the floor. The culprit looked up and said, “Oh, I thought I’d leave it there” (on the floor), to which the lady picking it up retorted, “Why, so you can come back and fall on it and sue Fairway?” Some folks think of everything.

    Queen of the “I’ll”: This was something I’m still trying to wrap my brain around. Jan 2, Saturday, Starbucks, 92nd/3rd, late morning. Full house. All seats taken. Two young women seated at the long table with bench seating. One on the bench side. The other across from her. Both talking. Both with cups of coffee. The one working her laptop had two clementines waiting alongside her coffee. A nearby folder indicated that the laptop lady might be a teacher - it had the name of a school and an admonition to the effect that “If it’s not in here...”. When the non laptop lady left, the laptop lady moved her laptop and a chair into the space where other customers would have to pass to get to and leave the bench seating. At one point a man seated on the bench side wanted to get more coffee which meant, of course, that he had to get up and would be coming back to his seat. Two other customers were seated alongside him. Only laptop lady, seated in the access space, would have to get up so he could leave. She admonished him that he couldn’t keep getting up and coming back because she would have to keep getting up. He said that she could sit someplace else and not block the access space. Her reply, “I’ll sit where I want to. I’m not moving.” Period. I’d hate to be the Starbucks worker who gives laptop lady notice that she has to move and not interfere with access to and from seating - and to get rid of those clementines: no outside food allowed. Chutzpah, entitlement, attitude, clementines - what a way to roll in the new year.

    Note: I just noticed that all of this week’s column pieces include something about food in one way or another. Something for me to think about in my year of non-resolution.

    Arlene Kayatt’s East Side Encounters runs bi-weekly in Our Town. Know of something she should include in the column? Email her at