The scene: our living room. Craig is sneezing, coughing, blowing his nose. He’s not happy. He’s feeling unwell. Me? I’m ok, I’ve avoided the cold so far. But I am sympathetic, I am suggesting he buy cold medicine, and then I suggest what my mother and grandmother would undoubtedly suggest if they were in the room too: “Chicken Soup.”
As it happens, Craig is reading New York Magazine and stumbles across an article about the best soups in New York and a big full-page spread about The 2nd Ave. Deli’s chicken soup. For years, I’ve declared that chicken soup my favorite in the city; when it was close to NYU (before it was relocated), I would go there religiously if I ever felt unwell. And this article, called “Deliverence,” was all about how the 2nd Ave. Deli will now deliver a tub of chicken soup to your door in 30 minutes. It would cost $22.95 plus delivery charges, a ridiculous price to pay for any other soup; but this is the 2nd Ave. Deli chicken soup we’re talking about, a cold-killing elixir stronger than any medicine a doctor would prescribe. I lifted the phone, I dialed the numbers, and 30 minutes later…
…there it was.
A big tub of golden soup with a big fat matzoh ball, little diamond noodles, like Jewish confetti, big fat coins of carrot (how do they find carrots so big?) and half a chicken’s various parts (drumstick, thigh, breast). Also, a container of coleslaw, pickles, and rye bread with both mustard and Thousand Island dressing for spreading. In other words: almost enough food to call it dinner.
First things first, heating the soup. I poured it into my Dutch Oven and heated it on low heat so it came up gently. Soon, it was steaming and ready for the patient:
I ladled the soup into bowls, brought the rest to the table, and there it was: the most restorative dinner a sick person could possibly eat, right there in our apartment.
Craig slurped gratefully. “This is just what I needed,” he said, healing instantly.
“Jewish Penicillin,” I replied.
And it’s true: not only did Craig get better a few days later, but I never caught his cold. So for little more than $30, we both avoided trips to the doctor and ate a four-star deli meal without leaving our door. Now, when we get sick, we no longer have to navigate our way to midtown Manhattan for the cure; the cure, it turns out, will come to us.
The 2nd Ave. Deli Delivery
Or, if you’re feeling well enough to travel, go to:
162 East 33rd Street between Lexington & 3rd Ave.