Carnegie Deli Shutdown Amid Allegations Of Dangerous Illegal Gas Line

300px-Carnegie_deli_exteriorI am beginning to think that the Almighty is intervening to get me to eat better. After the closing of our favorite hot dog joint in Chicago, Hot Doug’s, last week saw an announcement that my favorite burger place in Chicago, Ed Debevic’s, was closing its most famous location (where our family has gone religiously for years) to make way for a new high rise. Now, as my family is still reeling from the news, city officials have shutdown our favorite New York deli, Carnegie Deli. I have gone to Carnegie since I was a kid and my kids are now equal fans. However, the owners of this highly profitable deli are accused of possibly stealing gas and endangering customers.

Con Edison has reported that its crews discovered a diverted line running to Carnegie while looking for a leak. These inspections have been increased in the aftermath of an explosion in the East Village that killed two people. An illegal gas line tap is suspected.

Here is what I do not understand. If there is an illegal tap of the gas, it would seem an easy criminal case. If the diverting pipe leads to the deli, it would seem obvious as to the culprit and the crime. After all, did the Deli not pay for gas or pay substantially less each day? If so, this is an ongoing theft. It is not clear if this was an old line or an active line. If it was active, it is highly dangerous to create such taps.

The deli simply said that it was closed for repairs related to the city’s gas utility, but Con Edison released as far more disturbing statement. The absence of any reference to possible criminal charges is curious since this would not just be theft but public endangerment if true.

The most important issue however is that my family is being rapidly denied access to our favorite sources of high-fat cuisine in multiple cities. I sense a vast healthy food conspiracy. If I cannot get my Chicago hotdogs, Ed Devevik’s shakes, and towering New York corned beef, I might as well be . . . well . . . French.

74 thoughts on “Carnegie Deli Shutdown Amid Allegations Of Dangerous Illegal Gas Line”

  1. Nick

    If I say the best BBQ I have had was in Nice, that simply means that the best BBQ I had was in Nice, at the Jazz Festival catering to the likes of BB King, Muddy Waters, Fats Domino, etc. I have had enough of the others that you have authorized to include them in my comparison. I haven’t reached your level of authority by stating that that is where one/you would find the best BBQ. You have created a maelstrom in your mind or a tempest in a teapot.

    And in the words of Steve Martin, “Excuuuuuuse me” if I have harshed your mellow. I was only shooting the breeze, no offense intended.

    Have you ever tasted Merguez sausage? Now that would be a find. People do make it here in the US.

  2. TJustice, My sister lived in Atlanta for several years and I ate some great food in Georgia. Peach cobbler!!!

    1. Nick – if you get to the Phoenix area I can supply you with all the fresh grapefruit you can consume.

  3. TJustice, I think St. Louis style pizza is the best version for drinking beer. It is so light, thin and salty, you can quaff a lot of beer w/o getting full. I like soul food. My first intro was a soul food restaurant called Ruby’s in KC. But, I would be asked to sit down to meals in the homes of black kids I supervised on probation. I LOVE it all, including chitterlings. I frequent a coffee shop owned by a man born and raised in Florence. We talk food all the time. He thinks the closest regional cooking to Tuscan food is southern/soul food. He thinks corn bread is one of the best American foods, along w/ items like kale w/ bacon, fried chicken, and pot roast. We rail against US corporate food culture, but he is secure enough in coming from a superior food culture to acknowledge there are great foods everywhere. Except maybe Norway, Iceland, and a few other countries.

  4. LOL! I just realized, you state the best pizza and the best BBQ you ever ate was in Nice. I’m guessing that’s where you got laid first. Only time?

  5. Isaac, I picked out holes in your testimony. They were gaping, actually. You seem to forget what I do for a living. If waxing philosophical will help you save face, I’m down w/ that. I learned dealing w/ some pretty bad dudes in Leavenworth, @ an early age, w/ men you sometimes have to allow them to save face. From now on, when I think of Nice, I will think of that guy who ate the best BBQ ever there. Finally, I walk 10-12 miles a day. I don’t need any encouragement in that regard. Your dismissiveness and faux coolness is pure French. Too bad your old man wasn’t stationed in Italy instead of France. You would have better social skills, a better understanding about food, and truly cool. Because people envy Italians, and wish they were.

    1. Nick – as much as people do not like the French, no one that I know thinks Italians are cool.

  6. Nick

    There was a time in my late teens and early twenties when I hitched all over Canada and the US. I ate in the out of the way places and worked a little along the way. I was told, too many times to remember, that this was the quintessential-that was not the word used-place for BBQ, ribs, whatever. The food always varied very little, but vary it did. I did manage to eat in places like Ben’s in Montreal and the Carnegie in New York. When I went to school in LA I ate at some Deli’s there. There was an all night brewery in the industrial district in downtown LA called Gorky’s. They had on occasion the best cabbage rolls I ever tasted. On other occasions they sucked. The beer was OK. They opened another one on Melrose after they were discovered and it was all downhill from there.

    I have to laugh when you bring in words like integrity and other totally unrelated convictions into the dialogue. I have eaten in some of the best restaurants in France, the US and Colombia. There is a reason why Michelin gives stars and forks to restaurants. The stars are for the decor and service. The forks are for the food. A restaurant can have one star and three forks or three stars and one fork. Chefs change and nothing can equal the early part of the curve when a chef is trying to ‘make it’. In other words the whole culinary world is in a constant state of flux. When you add the individual(s), in this case you and me, it is impossible to compare and contrast the best this or the best that. There is only, ‘The best BBQ I have ever tasted.’ and ‘The best BBQ you have ever tasted.’ The moment in the life of the taster, the setting, the chef’s control, etc all factor in. So, ease off a little on the authority and integrity stuff and go take a walk on that wonderful beach of yours.

    Regarding Pizza, it is also about moments in time and restaurants. Again in Nice, on the Rue de Pietons there were three Pizza restaurants owned by the same guy. They were all in sight of each other. At the entry there was a huge beehive oven with mammoth sloppy crispy crust pizzas and lasagnas cooking away. There was almost too much variety. You could have anything from a simple cheese pizza to one with sausage and eggs on it. You got a half circle. On the side board were several bottles of olive oil. On one end the bottle had hot peppers. As you went down the line the peppers were more dissolved until at the other end the olive oil had pepper sludge in the bottom. So, from a little hot to fiery hot. Those pizzas with mugs of Spaten Beer were the best Pizzas I ever had. The worst were the duck and mango garbage going on in LA in the 90s. I’ve had the New York, Chicago, and other ‘city’ pizzas and it’s all good. The custom pizzas at Le Quebec, La Quatre Saisons, and the other one, were outrageous.

  7. Darren

    ‘Planking’ Salmon is one way, but as with all fish it has to be done to the precise moment. Salmon is more forgiving than most fish but still, from the point of perfect ‘doneness’ as quickly as possible to the taste buds makes all the difference. One way to grill Salmon is to take the fish, cut it in two halves and let one half soak, briefly, in a soy sauce/lime juice mix (you can experiment until the cows come home with the soak and the brevity). Then place the slab skin down on the grill and cover the fish with a tent of aluminum foil. When the oil starts to bubble up on top-it’s OK to lift the foil to check-the fish is in the area of being done. The timing is all about the bubbling oil. Then you can use a pancake lifter to separate the fish from the skin which will stay glued to the grill. The result will always change a little depending on the soak-what you mix and how long. Don’t let the Salmon stay in the soak too long-five to ten minutes max.

    Other ways are stuffing the fish and baking it wrapped in aluminum foil, again depends on what you stuff it with. Try baking crab on top of Salmon, etc.

    Like all food it varies and there is no authority to it except the taste buds.

  8. Nick Spinelli,

    If you are around the St. Louis area the thin crust is on me! Imos is my personal favorite, but it depends on the location as its grown as a franchise.

    There are several great local restaurants that bail te thin crust too.

    Now what’s the opinion on southern food? Soul, fried, etc.

  9. Darren, In the Midwest, that type pizza you described in called St. Louis style pizza, the cracker like crust being the earmark. We have some Mound City regulars here who will hopefully stop in on this great food thread. I am not a snob. It is not my cup o’ tea, but when in St. Louis, I will join a group of locals and enjoy some pizza.

  10. I am new to grilling fish. By new, I mean the past 20 years. I appreciate all tips. I know what I don’t know. A sign of wisdom.

  11. I agree pizza’s preference stems from where the beholder lived as a youngster.

    For me the best pizza formerly was at Abby’s Pizza. Originally it was made on a sort of cracker like crust which emphasized the toppings. The ideal temperature was just when the pepperoni began to curl upward and its edges slightly singed.

    Unfortunately Abby’s became corporate and committed an act of pure blasphemy when they went from a regular pizza oven to that heretic flash cooking grill with a conveyor belt. They changed the pizza to have a doughy version that lacked flavor like that favored by lemmings who consider Olive Garden to be excellent Italian food.

  12. Isaac, We used to go crabbing on the Jersey shore. A case of beer was required to break the monotony. A friend of mine dubbed it “The sport of Kings.”

  13. Speaking of salmon, a good way to make it is to remove the scales, place it upon a cedar plank and to make certain it does not dry.

    For trout, especially smaller fish, gut it then leave it otherwise whole then fry it in a cast iron pan using butter (I don’t however use butter and substitute olive oil)

    For generic and truly healthier fish you can avoid the sticking issue by crumpling aluminum foil, unraveling it, and cook the fish on top of this within an oven. Cover the top loosely with foil until the last five minutes. The crumples hold the fish so that it does not have a flat area where sticking occurs. I leave the skin/scales on. Salmon steaks are nice for grilling.

  14. Isaac, Now you are changing your testimony. Originally, you stated on 4/27/15 @ 7:38p that you have eaten BBQ in “Alabama, Louisiana, Darkest Oakland and other places.” Well, if you indeed have been to “Texas, Memphis, KC and St. Louis” as you now state, and know BBQ like I do, THOSE ARE THE PLACES would should have mentioned originally, not Oakland. Another big red flag.

    This is taking a turn away from food and into psychology. You are dug in, bro. I don’t like this turn we’ve taken. I will answer your question. No, I have never been to Nice and had the BBQ there. I have never eaten Italian in West Texas. I have never eaten Chinese in Whitehorse, Alaska. I have never eaten seafood in Des Moines, Iowa. Is it possible I could get decent varieties of those foods in those venues. Yes. Is it possible I could get “the best” examples of those foods in those locations. Vegas has the odds @ 10,000,000-1.

    Let me take BBQ out of this discussion for a minute and go to pizza. I may have had this discussion w/ you? I now pretty much refuse to enter into discussions w/ people about pizza. I come from the part of the country where, by any objective standard, is the best. It’s what I grew up on. It must be cooked in a brick oven @ least 800 degrees. It must be simple. The crust must be a bit charred. There are other qualities, but I’ll leave it @ that. Understanding human nature even better than food, I know the best pizza for people is what they grew up eating. Even if it’s Pizza Hut, that’s “the best” and they would pass a polygraph. You would pass a polygraph on this Nice BBQ thing. Here’s the irony. I grew up in New England where they KNOW NOTHING about BBQ. They boil the freakin’ chicken before BBQing it. They put BBQ sauce on it as soon as they put it on the grill! Yes, for people in New England, BBQ chicken is black. I moved to KC in the early 70’s and was schooled in this art of cooking. Over the past 40 years I have gotten better and better @ BBQing. But, I am never going to be as good @ it as the old black men who taught me. I will never know as much as them.

    Now, my friend, I am going to make a statement against interest. Something a person w/ true self esteem and integrity will do. I travel this great country a lot. I have been to 47 states and Puerto Rico, hoping to make it all 50 in the next few years. I have mentioned to PaulS that I have had some of the best pizza I have ever eaten in Phoenix. Pizzeria Bianco is owned by an Italian guy from NYC. He grew up in a pizza culture. He moved to Phoenix and opened a small, classy, pizzeria. There are always lines. I have also stated here recently, I found Pizzeria Luigi in San Diego. It is owned by an Italian immigrant. Superb pizza. What do these 2 aberrations have in common. Both owners come from a pizza culture. A French chef, no matter how good, and I know your take on all things French, can have the requisite knowledge of BBQ to make “the best” BBQ. It is a chauvinistic statement made by a person w/ much French baggage, who knows maybe 10% of what I know about BBQ. And, I know about 10% about BBQ compared to what the men who taught me about BBQ. I have enough credibility and self esteem to not try and tell a Cajun about the best jambalaya. I will go back to what I said earlier, your tell was your classic haughty statement that these French chefs used “the best cuts of meat.” That is akin to someone saying the best pizza they ever tasted was cooked in a microwave by their mommy. Again, that person would pass a polygraph. They would simply be incorrect.

  15. Paul

    I agree. This is all about ownership. A fan owns the object of adoration. Food for me has always been about the taste and the environ. The simplest foods, prepared properly, and popped in the mouth immediately after cooking can often be the best. For several years I lived on the coast of Patricia Bay outside of Victoria. I had a couple of crab traps and a small skiff. My lunch would include a half hour fishing Dungeness Crabs out of the traps and smashing clams for bait then rebating the trap. By the time I got up to the cabin the water was boiling and in went the Dungees. A little lemon butter and herbs made for a crab dish that cannot be equalled in a restaurant regardless of the chef. The trip out and back, the sea air, and the fresh crab all work together. A friend of mine was a commercial fisherman. Between grilled salmon, smoked salmon, and poached salmon, stuff in a restaurant just doesn’t cut it any more. There are a few fine restaurants but it seems that the more ‘treatment’ a food gets the more it loses.

  16. Nick

    You continually argue my point for me. If you know real BBQ and make it, then that follows that you are one more example. The logical, rational, level headed conclusion is that BBQ is sourced from ‘way back somewhere’ and is interpreted differently where ever it is referred to as BBQ. It’s good to see us agree from time to time. At the Parc du Cimiez in Nice, for two weeks in July in the ’70s and ’80s you could get the best BBQ I ever tasted, up there tied with my friend’s Dad’s occasional successful experiment. The corn bread was exquisite. That is where I started putting chunks of Greek olives in my corn bread. A good friend who held ‘official’ BBQs showed me how to drizzle salsa into the cornbread. I have had Texas, Memphis, KC, and St. Louis BBQ. It’s all up there tied for first place. The question to really focus on is, “Were you ever in Nice and did you taste the BBQ at the Jazz Festival?”

    1. issac – I have a problem with “real” foods. Many because they have changed so many times since they started they aren’t real anymore. For instance, I do not think there is a tinker’s damn worth of difference between deep dish and thin crust pizza. It has one taste hot and one taste cold. That is the way God intended it.
      The type of wood you use to BBQ does make a difference in the taste, but they are all good. Each just tastes different. I prefer mesquite. The City next to us hold a BBQ tasting event every year. You pay $10 and you can taste BBQ from at least 50 different vendors. If you get there early enough you can sneak in. 😉

Comments are closed.