“The veal Parmesan hero from Rocco’s Pizzeria up the block from my parents’ house. My parents live five minutes from LaGuardia, and when I get picked up from the airport, there’s always one sitting on my mom’s stove. If it’s not there, my lazy ass has to walk up the block to get one.”
What happens when a whole bunch of people who worked at Publican Quality Meats, and also Zingerman’s, the famed Ann Arbor deli, open their own concern? They create something that is somehow twice is as good as PQM.
Deli food, like sex and barbecue, is very personal. Within minutes of posting a picture of the Uncle Rube Reuben ($13 or $22 “overstuffed”) from Steingold’s, a new deli and cafe in North Center, on Twitter, people harrumphed, “Where’s the beef?”
“It’s the eye of the tiger. It’s the thrill of the fight …” I’m at Andorka’s Sandwich Shop, a cozy neighborhood joint tucked into the bottom of an old red brick building in Pilsen, and I can’t stop humming that legendary Survivor track from the “Rocky” movies.
The thing people often forget about Emeril “Bam” Lagasse and Mario “Gwyneth Paltrow homie” Batali is that they were real chefs before they before they bammed and orange Croc-ed their way to celebrated caricatures. Even on TV, they were killer cooks. Batali made pasta with eggs and flour like an Italian nonna. Emeril mixed his signature spice essence live instead of pouring it from a plastic supermarket shaker. These were the days when they really cooked on the Food Network