BEST DELICATESSEN - 2001
It's not Amy and David Zaroff's fault their deli is new! It's not their fault you want shuffling old people dispensing wisdom while they hack phlegm. It's not their job to fulfill your Seinfeldian fantasies about the delicatessens of bygone days, and for god's sake, give these kids some credit--they do a good job. Sweet-and-sour cabbage rolls that would make any grandma proud, kasha varnishkes served up hot every single day. And come on, they have health salad--health salad! No one really wants health salad, that Coolidge-era concoction of cabbage, carrots and white vinegar, but the Zaroffs serve it because they care about the tradition. Sure, we'll concede that Brother's has better pastrami, Cecil's has more soul, and the Crossroads Deli better matzoh-ball soup, but Zaroff's has matzoh brei ($6.45), chopped liver ($5.95), and kishka ($4.95)! Either the tradition lives, or it fossilizes on the way to the grave. We choose life.