Classic Eatery Mourned, Goldstein Blasts The Pastrami

Posted in Food at 10:56 am by

The New York Times’ Andy Newman covers the sad tale of the East Village’s legendary Second Ave. Deli, facing imminent closure due to a major rent increase.

Though most of those interviewed by Newman described the restuarant’s possible end as an unqualified tragedy (says Jackie Mason, “a sandwich to a Jew is just as important as a country to a gentile”), leave it to former Screw publisher / Midnight Blue host Al Goldstein to put it in some perspective.

Even as the restaurant steadily raised its prices – the mammoth Instant Heart Attack, a pile of meat sandwiched between potato pancakes, is listed on the menu at $19.95 – Jack Lebewohl kept the place full and kept up the restaurant’s tradition of helping out the less fortunate. Last year, he hired a down-and-out former pornographer, Al Goldstein (above), as a greeter.

“I have not eaten so well since I lived with my mom,” said Mr. Goldstein, who was fired after he was found sleeping in the restaurant’s basement. Mr. Goldstein, a noted gourmand until a recent stomach-stapling operation, declared the deli’s shuttering “almost as sad as the closing of Chock Full O’ Nuts,” though he added, “I never thought Jack’s pastrami was as good as Katz’s. It’s kosher. It was bland.”

8 responses to “Classic Eatery Mourned, Goldstein Blasts The Pastrami”

  1. paul says:

    Wait, how does a homeless ex-pornographer afford a stomach-stapling operation? That sounds like a story in itself.

  2. Tommy Hoops says:

    Oh, the things that homeless pornographers say!


  3. Nick Stone says:

    What’s really kills me is that I live four blocks from 2nd Avenue Deli, but I’ve never been. I was always too busy going to Katz’s instead. Al Goldstein’s opinion aside, how did the pastrami measure up to Katz’s?

  4. CSTB says:

    He’s wrong, but entitled to his opinion. I just love that he’s criticizing the free food. I really miss the days when he’d go after David’s Cookies and 47th St. Photo for some slights real or imagined.

  5. ben schwartz says:

    Recently sampled both 2nd Ave and Katz product and I favor Katz. Then again, Langer’s in LA beats both of them. Did Goldstein actually get his stomach stapled or did he just lose half his stomach in the divorce?


  6. CSTB says:

    as Operation Enduring Whatever stretches onward, perhaps it is time for Al’s visage to appear on a Katz’ “Send A Salami To Your Girl In The Army” t-shirt?

  7. ben schwartz says:

    With Howard Stern attempting to fill up two full XM channels of nothing but Stern-related audio, I hope he’ll be giving Al his own show, or at least a rotating co-host spot with “the Wack Pack.” Has CSTB got any hosting opportunitues for Goldstein on this site?


  8. CSTB says:


    if Howard is on both Sirius _and_ XM, he has truly earned the title of King Of All Media.

    Much as I’d love to help Al, I believe his blog can be found at http://algoldstein.booble.com/.

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