I am no curmudgeon when it comes to new things, but I have to say that New York Deli has all the charm and enchantment of the Carytown McDonald's redesigned "living room" area. Miserable.
So L. and I decided to give it a try, L. much more wary of the new design and atmosphere than I. The drab interior is a textured orange wall treatment, complete with shiny metal duct work and gee whiz, pictures of New York seemingly bought from the Garden Ridge catalog. There is a pull down screen and power pointish projector on either side of the dining hall and there is a DJ looking booth in the corner. Immediately I am thinking that these tables could be moved away and a rave could bust out at any moment. There is a cross section in the patronage; the west end couple with their teen college kid in flip flops; a young tattooed man with a pair of breasts for women, one with a child who leaves to never return; and old couple still trying to see what this new NYD is all about.
Oh here are our menus. L. orders the terriyaki wrap and I order the orange chicken entree for 10 bucks. Probably my first mistake, should have stuck with what the Deli WAS known for, like some stacked meat sandwich, BUT if it's on the menu, it should have some taste.
I order a PBR.
By the time I get the beer the couple next to us has gotten their second sets of drinks. Our waitress, oh waitress, basically ignores us the whole time. Looking across the room, there is another, more competent and pleasant waitress gabbing warmly to some table. Damn, we should have gotten her.
So our food comes, delivered by some lanky fellow from the kitchen, no nonsense in the delivery. I can appreciate that at least. L. says her wrap is okay. Mine? Oh, I'll let you know about it.
It comes in a bowl, stuffed nearly to the brim with rice drown in some nasty tasting orange "flavored" sauce probably from a bottle from Kroger or something. Then there are a few pieces of broccoli and red peppers and like 5 chunks of chicken. This meal is mostly rice and a residual taste that is as appealing as dabbing the terminals of a nine volt on your tongue for 20 minutes.
I order another PBR.
Waitress would rather wipe the table next to us, even though there is no one waiting to be seated, than to get me my second beer to get rid of this rancid taste from my mouth.
I don't finish my food, but the beer is emptied.
"Would you like a box for your meal?"
"Oh no, that will NOT be necessary."
Style magazine has no sense when it pushes a place that for has not even earned a reputation for what is has to offer BESIDES being open late. Don't tell me in some poetic language that this place is the electric keystone of neo Carytown when it can't even produce the goods on a slower evening for a proper meal. What, are they planning on advertising with your paper for a while? For a bar scene, the decor looks a little five years ago already anyway. For a restaurant, I think I will go to Bev's for a tasty grilled cheese, or Mom Siam's or Thai Diner Too, or Farouks, or Double T's or anything else but...
I do plan on a second visit, this time maybe sitting at the bar and ordering a proper sandwich, fingers crossed.
It's not a matter of missing what New York Deli was as so much as unimpressed and disappointed with what it has become.