Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Excess
The timing was peculiar. Ex-Prez Clinton was in a NYC hospital awaiting quadruple heart by-pass surgery. His arteries were 80-90% blocked. It was assumed by most folks that is was due to that fine eating style that made him so loveable and common-people-ish. How did we observe this touchy event?
Well, we parked ourselves at a booth at Harold's New York Style Deli, located in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn in Edison, NJ, within spitting distance of the NJ Turnpike (That's Exit 10 to you buddy!!).

Harken back to that old Woody Allen Joke from "Annie Hall".

Two older Jewish women are talking about a restaurant in the Catskills that, in their experienced opinion, has gone downhill from their earlier memories.
JW # 1: "...and the food?!?!? It's so awful."
JW # 2: "Yes, and such small portions."


Turn that commentary 180 degrees and you have Harold's .

Having the patience of a 2 year old high on Pixie Stix colored sugar, I've never been to the Carnegie Deli in NYC; just could not put up with 1-2 hour wait for a seat. So, I'm not about to say that Harold's is the best deli ever, since I can't personally compare it to the supposed pantheon that is the CArnegie Deli.
Harold (Yes, there is a Harold and he greets you at the door with an expansive smile) has managed the Carnegie, so there is some historical gastronomical weight to his current domain. The service was attentive and quick, although the slim physiques of the wait staff was bizarre...especially when you compared them with the majority of the clientele. There are stairs and ramps in the restaurant to allow access to the different levels of the restaurant. The carpet on the ramps is noticeably worn, as compared to the carpet on the stairs. The chairs are sturdy (no need to worry about collapsing seating as demonstrated in "Shallow Hal) and are able to support a serious amount of weight. They are also engineered so that a quick 'n easy exit is possible so that you are not hindered from jogging to the self-proclaimed "Longest Pickle Bar in the World.

Small or Regular are not words bantered about here.

For the ego, it's a great place to go. Discussion of carbs, red meat, butter cakes, and sauces are confined to the main question, "How much more?". If you are in that weight zone where walking by, say, your average super model, is a trigger mechanism for a major depressive bout, then a visit here is chicken soup for your soul. Not only do they serve chicken soup (A tureen for each person), but the full figured folks eating there will make you feel skeltal.
The food? At our table we ordered roast beef, hot pastrami, chicken fingers (the size of chicken arms), french fries (only available in bushel size), tankards of lemonade and Coke, and a slice of 10 layer buttercream cake (One foot high...seriously). The juiciness of the meat was as plentiful as the quantity provided. The restaurant must go through as many grocery size paper bags as your normal Acme or A & P. The amount of food left over was considerable and we trudged out bloated but happy, paper bag full of meat and cake under each arm. My nephew, going through his Catholic Eddie Haskell stage in high school posed his rhetorical q. of the day, "Isn't Gluttony one of the Seven Sins?".
Absolutely!!
And it never tasted better.....

Don't believe me?!?! Here's some reviews to chew over.

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