Thursday, January 29, 2015

Amazing Pastrami in Newark!

Molly Rose Kaufman, Provost of the University of Orange, leads food expeditions all over Northern New Jersey. Today she took Rachel Bland and me to Bragman's, a deli and catering establishment in Newark. Bragman's is old-time Jewish food from back in the day when Weequahic and other sections of Newark were heavily Jewish. After the riots many moved away, to suburbs, taking the synagogues and the delis with them. Bragman's stayed. And oh my God, the pastrami!!!! While some say there is better pastrami, what I want to say is, how great does it have it get? On any given day that I could eat that pastrami, I'd be so happy -- as I am today! We sat on the sturdy chairs at the friendly deli table and ate -- I mean Pechter's Rye and Dr. Brown's Cream Soda and Utz Potato Chips. In the half hour we were there, the line never got short. One guy placed himself in the wrong position and then was cranky when he was skipped over. "I been here half an hour." It wasn't true -- I'd been there half an hour. But we all enjoyed his complaining and the way it was ignored by everyone. Outside, it looks a bit bleak. Bragman's is anchoring a street that is more unemployed than employed. But its constancy is the stuff of legends.

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