Few are the good bagels in Germany. Rare is the decent sandwich. Scant are the cans of cream soda. And never are the pickles half sour. All this can lead to some pretty hefty nostalgia for the kale-fringed deli plates of our youth. Oh, those halcyon days when the inedible garnish was just that. Last time we saw kale used appropriately was in an Edible Arrangement. What we at Fine Bagels like best about nostalgia is our tendency to grossly self-deceive about the actual quality of whatever it was we were eating back then. Here’s an example: So our memories lie and tell us that American deli pumpernickel is a really nice strong rye and we go and order our sandwich on it and when we taste it we’re pretty sure it’s Wonderbread with a tan. Like, that pumpernickel is so far from the closest caraway seed, it might as well be baguette. We should have to specify we want it seeded? So you see how we inflate things and get disappointed? Lucky for you, dear reader, the certainty of things not-living-up-to-one’s-expectations couldn’t stop our Boston eating tour of 2016. Ambivalence is the womb which nourishes the deepest complaining and a good complain is always a silver lining. Old Fine Family saying. Remember that. With Melissa at Johnny’s in Newton Center.
That’s a half sour with the reuben. It had no snap.And this is a bucket of kosher dills in Mansfield, MA.If Red Sox slugger Ted Williams drinks it, so will we. There is a regional soda in every part of the world that tastes of root beer, off-brand cola, and toothpaste.This is exactly the right amount of half sours. Here we’re double fisting with a potato knish at S&S in Cambridge. We should have worn a different bra with that shirt.Chopped liver. The pate of the shtetl.That knish was microwaved.
Representing at Charlie’s deli in our hometown of Sharon, Massachusetts.Beware the last item on the smoked fish menu. Nana Fine will tell you: Fancy or not, lox tidbits is code for the dregs.We’ve written to the Dr. Brown’s company and they aren’t gonna ship to us in Europe. So we resent them now. Bitterly.Here is where Becca gives her opinion of our egg salad sandwich. Becca has been giving us her opinion since the day we met her in the sixth grade. In those days, she sported a sassy Susan Sontag dye job, which, to this day, we’ve never seen its equal “Are you my grandmother or something?”-Becca’s opinion. (That’s another half sour. It was the snappiest)Jamie sees nothing wrong with an egg salad sandwich.Not visible: More half sours and a tub of cold kasha varnishkes. We still don’t really get kasha varnishkes. It’s not that they’re bad but rather a waste of stomach real estate. They’re just kinda meh.To belabor the point, this is but one of the many things you can eat that’s better than kasha varnishkes.