Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Live Vegans And Other Diners

Live Vegan
Driving along Ocean Parkway Monday afternoon to give The Kid Brother a lift home after an afternoon of gambling and good New York deli food, San Geraldo noticed a bumper sticker on the car in front of us.

"Live Vegan," he read aloud (pronouncing "live" to rhyme with "hive").

"What's that supposed to mean?" he muttered, "As opposed to Dead Vegan?"

I SAY, 'LIVE AND LET LIVE.'

I turned in my seat and said, "I think you're meant to read that as 'live' " [rhymes with 'give'], I explained and then said. "Liv Vegan."

English. Spanish. Communication is always an adventure with San Geraldo.

Live Delis and Diners
Sunday afternoon, before Judy arrived, we had a wonderful visit and then lunch at Parkview Diner with some of my cousins who very generously drove a couple of hours from New Jersey and upstate New York just to see us. There were 10 of us (four generations) in all and it was a pleasure. (They even arrived with a box filled with artful cupcakes made by my cousin Evie's 11-year-old granddaughter. The cupcakes were left over from a fundraiser for cancer care. They made a total of 500 and sold 300 at $2 a piece! In honor of my birthday and that of the Dowager Duchess (Wednesday), they put a wooden match in the side of a cupcake for each of us to blow out. (The Dowager Duchess had not one single candle in the entire house.) Sorry. No match-blowing-out photos.

Evie picked up my cousin Maxine and her son, Paul, on her way from New Jersey. Maxine and I keep in sporadic contact, but I hadn't seen Paul in more than 5 years. He starts college in September and is warm, charming, and so gracious. Evie's daughter Ellen, her husband, Allen, and their two daughters, Carly (14), and Brooke (11) drove down from upstate New York. Traffic can be (and was) awful at times along both routes. But everyone arrived all smiles. In addition to the cupcakes, Ellen, Allen, and the girls had a stunning vase of flowers for the Dowager Duchess, fresh mozzarella and pesto, and delicious bread. We indulged, but San Geraldo made them take the left-overs back with them. Much too tempting.

I'VE ALWAYS HAD A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART FOR ELLEN.
HERE SHE IS WITH HER OWN DAUGHTERS, BROOKE AND CARLY.
ALL THREE AS KIND AND EXCEPTIONAL AS THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.
CARLY DECIDED TO EAT LIGHT.   JUST ONE WAFFLE.
(CLICK THE IMAGES TO SEE HOW MUCH FOOD WE CONSUMED.)
BROOKE SMEARING CREAM CHEESE ON HER BAGEL AS CARLY LOOKS ON.
THE BLUEBERRY MUFFIN WAS [ALMOST] AS BIG AS BROOKE'S HEAD.
CHARITY CUPCAKES.  BROOKE BAKES.  CARLY COOKS. THEY HAVE A GUEST ROOM.
I TOLD THEM I WILL BE MOVING IN SOON.

Our friend Judy arrived from Seattle Sunday night. She'll fly to Spain with us Thursday. We're giving her a brief insider's view of Brooklyn and we're all enjoying it. The Dowager Duchess and Judy have known each other for years and are great friends. And The Kid Brother adores Judy because she's even more of a baseball fanatic than he is. While at the casino Monday, we had lunch (as we always do) at the New York Deli. So good.

Note: Some of the below photos will not be pleasing to Live Vegans.

CREAM SODA AND A POTATO KNISH. 
PASTRAMI ON RYE.
JUDY'S CORNED BEEF REUBEN.

Monday evening, we went to a local diner, El Greco, in Sheepshead Bay, a neighborhood just east of the Dowager Duchess. I don't know how many years El Greco has been on the corner of Emmons Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road, but it was already well established when we moved to Brooklyn in 1964. It's had its ups and downs over the years (earning the nickname "El Dreco" at times). It's clearly on an upswing now. The service and food were exceptional. We had a waiter named Demetrius who I wish we could take home with us. The portions? New York size. Which means each plate held enough for two.

THE COMPLEMENTARY RELISH TRAY.
SOUR PICKLES AND HALF-SOUR PICKLES! 
MY FRENCH TOAST, WITH A SPANISH OMELETTE ON THE SIDE...
IN A GREEK DINER IN A PREDOMINANTLY RUSSIAN NEIGHBORHOOD...
IN BROOKLYN IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, USA.


As we were leaving (and Judy and I were drooling over the dessert case) another customer told us El Greco serves the best cheesecake in the City of New York. Demetrius had already told us he makes the best banana split. That just might be dinner one evening before we head back to Spain.

22 comments:

  1. OH MY! My stomach is growling it's head off!! Look at this GREAT food! YUMMY!
    You both will have to return home and rest for a few days!!
    Oh, I will have to admit that I too at first, along with San Geraldo, pronounced 'live' as 'hive'. OOPPSY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Oh, Jim, Ron is the one who's supposed to pronounce things like San Geraldo, isn't he?!? Amazingly, neither of us gained a pound during our time in New York. But San Geraldo is back to healthy eating again (although he barely cheated the entire 11 days). Really... a saint (in more ways than that)!

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  2. Such fun!! I am loving reading about your visit to Brooklyn, and your sweet family :) The food is so so so scrumptious-looking!
    p.s. I can't wait to hear more about another Judy's visit to Spain!

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    Replies
    1. Judy:
      We are all amazingly jet-lagged, but we enjoyed morning coffee together, drinks (non alcoholic for us) with Tynan and Elena mid-day, and lunch at home. Siestas this afternoon in preparation for dinner out tonight. It is an unbelievable joy to have Judy here.

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  3. You had me at the cupcakes but that cake at the end did me in...where are the damned chocolate chips...

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    1. Cheapchick:
      No chocolate chips in that cake. Do you believe that?!? Which is why I didn't order it! Oh but New York cheesecake!!!

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  4. Cream soda and a potato knish? I didn't think it could get better. But it did. Mitchell, you live (pronounced "liv") right!

    PS Do they have a second guest room?

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    Replies
    1. Robyn:
      My mother has TWO guest rooms... which the most uncomfortable beds in creation. One is a 27-year-old sofa bed that was a disappointment from the start. The other is a 50 year-old hide-a-bed. But the Dowager Duchess did remind me that one of the mattresses is new.... She and my father replaced the original mattress 35 years ago!!! Sound good to you?

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  5. I too read it a (alive) LIVE VEGAN.

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    Replies
    1. Spo:
      OK. So maybe San Geraldo isn't so original after all. It's even possible I would have read it that way as well at first. I just have San Geraldo to cover for me.

      Delete
  6. Pastrami on rye! Corned beef ruben! I want some!

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    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      And, amazingly, this deli is exceptional. So good. And so glad it's so far away!

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  7. Like Dr Spo, I also read 'Lyve Vegan'.
    Reminds me of Amsterdam where (at least the last time I was there, 20+ years ago) so many real, sex-acts in front of a paying audience are shown in blazing lights outside as 'LIFE SHOWS', which I suppose is quite true.

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    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      Like "live" or dead Vegans, I guess "life" shows are better than "death" shows.

      Delete
  8. Mmmm, pastrami on rye! Funny but true, that's what we had for supper tonight.
    Looks like I'll be learning how to make knish, which will make the Great Scot very very happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jacqueline:
      I have never known anyone who actually made knishes! I'd marry you myself (don't tell San Geraldo... although if he read that, he too might learn how to make knishes). Pastrami on rye? I didn't know you even had that in Indiana.

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  9. I just weighed and I gained eight pounds just looking at the photos! You will be hearing from my doctor.

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    Replies
    1. Travis:
      Oddly, neither of us gained an ounce. So sorry. We had much more fun!

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  10. Mitchell, it was great party and food seems sol deliciuos.

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    Replies
    1. Gosia:
      The food is so good, but we manage to eat so much healthier here!

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  11. Ellen and her daughters are three beautiful young women. And shame on you for posting pictures of delectable food. I'm gaining weight just looking at your pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      I'm so sorry about the weight gain. You should have been there and eaten with us. San Geraldo didn't gain ANY weight and I lost a couple of pounds.

      I have always adored Ellen. A sweet, kind, creative, generous person. I think all that beauty just couldn't be held inside. And her daughters are the same. (and so is her husband). We don't see them very often but, when we do, the good feelings last a long time.

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