Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Eisenberg's? U-Bet!

I went back to Eisenberg’s recently for yet another perfect tuna sandwich on toasted rye. This time, owner Josh Konecky was there, presiding over the cash register in Hawaiian-style shirt, writing out to-go orders on brown paper bags. I had one question I really wanted to ask him: “Most people nowadays when they buy a place, they change it,” I said, “Why did you keep this place the same?”

He looked at me like I had just asked the most ridiculous question in the world, then he shrugged and said, “Why change it? When I bought the place, people kept saying, you’re not gonna change it, are you? I told them, I’m just gonna clean it up a bit. And they’d say, Don’t clean it up too much!”

Josh did have to make a few changes. The exhaust system used to blow out the front and legally it has to blow out the back, which is too bad, because blowing out the front was good for business. “Fifteen years ago it was the smell of bacon on the street that brought me in,” Josh said. He’s also got a broken seltzer fountain that he’s trying to get replaced without losing the vintage 1940s look of it. Sadly, that means (for now anyway) all egg creams have to be made with bottled seltzer. But what syrup does Eisenberg’s use?

“Fox’s, of course. U-Bet,” Josh told me, as if there could be no other syrup.

“Did you know," I said conspiratorially, "the Stage Deli uses Hershey’s."

“Hershey’s?” he said, incredulous, “And what do they charge, four dollars for an egg cream?”


Rambler said...

Saw the article in the Times and am enjoying reading you. I share similar concerns. I don't docuement the way you do (and kudos for that), but I often babble on my blog about the city now vs. the "good old days."

Alas, things are more complicated than that. I like that I can run in Riverside Park and its clean. Yet I miss grit and danger. Guess I'll just have to rent movies for that now...probably sounds awful to say I voted for Ferrar just because I knew the city would inch back closer to hell if he won.

Keep posting.


Anonymous said...

Jeremiah -

Nice write-up. Thanks so much. Just to let you know, the seltzer siphon has been repaired, (YAY) so stop in for a not-bottled-seltzer egg cream.


Jeremiah Moss said...

jk, glad to hear you're back in bubbles--thanks for reading!