My previous post on delis reminded me of how disappointed I was in the quality of the Jewish delis in the Boston suburbs when I arrived in college from Queens. Here are two actual conversations, the first at a “kosher-style” deli in Newton on Commonwealth Avenue, the second at the kosher Rubin’s in Brookline. In both cases, you have to imagine that the person I’m conversing with has a Yiddish/Boston accent.
I. Me: Oh, and I’d like a sour pickle.
Old woman behind deli counter, acting surprised: Full sour?
Me, perplexed: Yes, full sour, I guess (I had never heard anyone refer to a sour pickle as “full sour”)
OWBDC: [Yelling across deli to an old man in an apron] Irv, this young man wants a sour pickle.
Irv: [Yelling to me, and sounding very surprised] Full sour?
Me: [Frustrated] Yes, full sour. [The pickle was terrible]
II. Me: I’d like a knish, and my friend would like chicken soup.
Waitress: I’m sorry, we’re out of knishes. And we’re out of chicken soup.
Me: This is the third time I’ve been here over three months, and each time, I’ve ordered a knish, and my friend has ordered chicken soup. I know they’re on the menu, but do you ever have them?
Waitress: No, not really.
[What kind of deli doesn’t have knishes or chicken soup?]