Many of years we have made it a custom to visit Manhattan, either before or right after Christmas. Just to see the Christmas lights and show windows of the department stores on the Fifth Avenue, to have a meal and come home filled with holiday spirit. It was four of us, our son and daughter-in-love in the tow. A fifty- five minute train ride to the City and we hopped into the subway right from the Penn Station and took to midtown, 57th Street. The weather was just perfectly nippy but we did not really want to walk tens of blocks as Carnegie Deli was the choice of the eatery this year at 55th and 7th Avenue. We plan well ahead, and decided on this restaurant about an hour before! There was quite a long line in front of the deli, but it seemed to move fast. Through the windows the place did not look hectic and a hostess was outside asking the size of each party, keeping track, the line seemed to move fast.
Once inside the deli, the service was good and nobody was rushing the guests. Above is my choice of the meal, roast beef sandwich, with side order of sweet delicious cole slaw. The meat just about melted in my mouth, soft and delicious flavor with out any seasonings. The Hubby’s choice was pastrami sandwich, local’s favorite choice. Pickles were provided complimentary, pickled and half-pickled, New York style. A sealed glass of Pinot Grigio, 187 ml was my drink. I don’t know it white wine really was a gourmet choice, but not bad. (I found out today that the same glass that cost me $9.90 is also for sale at our local merchant at $2.90.) For dessert, a slice of their famous cheese cake, strawberry. Needless to say half the sandwich and half the cake came home for next day’s lunch. The portions were huge, that is one of their trade marks. But the biggest interest is the hundreds, maybe thousands of autographed photos that cover the walls of famous people, movie stars, musicians, politician, all who have eaten there. We were sitting with Matt Damon, Bon Jovi, Ray Romano. Everybody loves Raymond, of course. Gloria Estefan, Mayor Bloomberg…. And we were sitting tightly next to two ladies, one true Manhattanite judged by her dialect and her friend, plus mother and son from Michigan rushing to a Broadway show after their meal.
From there we walked to Rockefeller Center and admired the humongous, the 85-foot tall, 90-year-old Norway Spruce is adorned with 45,000 LED lights. In 1986 were had a chance to see the tree lighting closer, our two children were part of the show then, playing children from Lapland dressed with authentic Lapp costumes. Were mingled then with Kiri Tekanawa, Peter Allen and some other Broadway stars. Kids were treated like true stars, the hot chocolate flew by just for asking, food and pampering was part of the deal. Now the place was full of people, sightseers and ice skaters, local and tourists. From there we walked via Times Square, waiving to ourselves on the giant screen, to Macy*s department store. Home a little past midnight, we were full and happy. It felt like a holiday tradition well accomplished.