January 13, 2010 | 1:30 pm
Posted by Brad A. Greenberg
Robert Faturechi, a young reporter at the Los Angeles Times who I gave some play on GetReligion last fall, has a great story in today’s paper. It’s about the double-dipping waiters at two of L.A.‘s famous Jewish delis:
Salvador Lopez, a waiter at Langer’s, has the routine down pat. After a hectic lunch shift serving sandwiches on rye at the pastrami mecca next to MacArthur Park, he negotiates a series of surface streets—up Normandie, across Beverly—to make his way into the Fairfax district.
He beelines into the locker room of another renowned Jewish deli, shedding the signature Langer’s bow tie for a tight-fitting black T-shirt that reads: I ♥ Canter’s.
Lopez is not a delicatessen double agent, funneling trade secrets on Russian dressing and blintzes. The 29-year-old is one of several waiters who openly works at two of the delis that compete for the title of Los Angeles’ best.
The delis’ unique shared employee pool speaks to the changing demographics of their neighborhoods. Langer’s, surrounded by drug dealers and vendors selling fake IDs, is open for lunch only. Canter’s, in a once-sleepy neighborhood now home to cafes and clubs, draws a younger crowd well into the wee hours.
Sharing workers makes sense, the deli owners say, because top talent is rare. A good waiter who understands the makings of a mean Reuben is hard to find.
“It has nothing to do at all with Canter’s and I getting along,” said Norm Langer, who took over running the deli from his late father. “It requires manual dexterity. It requires caring. It requires knowledge. Every sandwich is its own work of art.”
We welcome your feedback.
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.
12.10.13 at 11:33 am | Some 35 years after the LDS dropped the ban, the. . .
12.5.13 at 7:11 am | In some of the most astounding news I've heard. . .
12.3.13 at 7:11 am | The Supreme Court granted certiorari in ...
11.25.13 at 8:55 am | Judge Crabb ruled that the clergy housing. . .
11.23.13 at 7:46 pm | A time-lapse starting with Hinduism in 5,000 BC. . .
11.16.13 at 10:41 am | His kebab cafe on hard times, Zablon Simintov. . .
11.13.11 at 3:43 pm | Forensic anthropology may have something new to. . . (317)
11.21.11 at 11:30 pm | Julian Edelman has been playing O, D and special. . . (164)
12.10.13 at 11:33 am | Some 35 years after the LDS dropped the ban, the. . . (131)