The food was good and there was plenty of it, a real Yiddishe spread, as my mother might have it. A nouveau spread, really, since we were in one of those places that have recently sprung to bring a modern touch to trad Jew deli. There’s a similar joint in Brooklyn called Mile End and the people behind it have a relationship with these guys, been, for instance, on deli retreats with them and the others in their tribe. They love to cure their own meats, make their own dogs and pickle vegetables with their fists in the pickling liquid. It’s laudable and the results are sound.

This particular place was called DGS Delicatessen, the name an update, in the manner of the food itself, of “District Grocery Stores,” an old time Jewish outfit that once inhabited the building, or maybe the one next door. I have no idea if the congressman knew that store, but I do know he used to gather the Super troops at a venerable deli not far off. When it closed, this seemed the best available alternative.

Still, maybe the ways in which DGS pastrami is more artful than ample are emblematic of the changes in politics itself, perhaps the reason Waxman decided to retire. Maybe he didn’t want to serve in a nouveau Congress with comparatively paltry sandwiches, presented in a style he found — if slightly — unfamiliar.


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