Goodman's Deli on Elmora Ave. This thick, juicy sandwich slathered with mustard on soft rye bread was my go to treat when having a bad day or feeling under the weather. My Mom always knew that if I had to stay home from school that she should stop there on the way home from work.
One day a few years ago, I was having one of those bad days. So I took the ride over to Goodman's only to find a Mexican restaurant! What?!?!? How could this happen. The place was an institution. I am not ashamed to say that I actually shed a tear. Remember the scene in Grosse Point Blank when John Cusack returns to his childhood home to find a convenience store? It was just like that.
I recently moved to Berkeley Heights and on one of my first shopping trips....there it was. Nestled in to a strip mall(this is, after all, New Jersey) next to a Stop and Shop and a Tae Kwon Do studio...
As Coldplay said, "God put a smile upon my face." I rushed in through the doors and took a deep breath.
The deli was bigger, newer, maybe cleaner. But the smell. The smell was still there. Steaming trays of meat, pastrami and corned beef. The faint smell of pickles, already wrapped in wax paper. The smell of my childhood.
I told the owner my story and of how happy I was to be right down the street once again. I get in there once every week or so now. A few weeks ago, when my girlfriend was sick, I brought her a sandwich and some matzo ball soup, just like I used to have when I was sick. Today, they asked me how she was feeling. That is what you get when a place has heart
Delis of the world...learn a lesson...this is how it's done.
Also... I have graduated to pastrami and tongue....do yourself a favor and click on this picture for a full screen shot...