Friday, April 22, 2011

Frugal Feast #18

It’s an unspoken fact that most famous Jewish delis in NYC are astronomically expensive. Sure, it’s attributed to the sandwiches piled thirteen inches high with roast beef and spicy mustard, the bowls of matzo ball soup that you can go swimming in, and the milkshakes served in aluminum canisters the size of fire hydrants. From Katz’s to Second Ave Deli to the wonderous delight that is Carnegie Deli, this city is no stranger when it comes to making meals just like your adorable Yiddish bubbie used to make. But where to get your fix of all things deli when you’re just a Bitch trying to pinch pennies?

Enter Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, probably one of the most treasured little diners in the Flatiron district. Located on Fifth Ave at 22nd St (right near Madison Square Park), Eisenstein’s is pretty much the answer to your prayers when you’re craving comfort food that will make you feel at home.

The menu runs the gamut from borsht ($4) to hot pastrami sandwiches ($9), classic bacon egg and cheeses ($5.50), and even . If you plan to throw all caution to the wind, order the peanut butter and bacon on white bread ($4) to really experience what heaven is like (or so I am told). Daily specials are advertised in-house and online, and include knockwurst and beans on Mon/Wed, and meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Not so hungry? Snack on a potato knish ($2.50), made in the old Coney Island way, or opt for a babka ($4.50) and an egg cream ($2). It doesn’t get much more classic New York than it does at Eisenberg’s.

Always order extra pickles.

Have I mentioned how adorable the cooks and wait staff are? They heckle you to eat more bread, clean your plate, and stop being so damn picky. In fact, you feel quite at home smashed between strangers on a small stool at a long, crowded lunch counter.

Personally, I come from a long line of expert coleslaw makers, and my Nanny was pretty much the best in the East. After she died when I was in fourth grade, I swore off the stuff forever, fearing that just a taste would propel me back to growing up and our times together when I was young. One forkful of the side from Eisenberg’s took me straight back, and I wasn’t mad at all. Spread on some rye bread and sandwiches between slices of turkey and swiss ($7), I’ve happily shelled out my eating out money for the week just for the trip back in time this lunch can give me.

The next time you find yourself in a dreary mood, whether the spring showers or your warm-weather allergies are acting up, order some takeout from this Flatiron institution, otherwise take a walk downtown and snag a seat at the counter. It’s impossible to not be cured after a bowl of soup and a couple slices of rye at Eisenburg’s. 

Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Splurge: Milkshake Edition

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