Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2nd Avenue Deli's Cholesterol Victory

PASS THE TUMS! Get the angioplasty balloons ready! In what could have been called the "Heart-Attack Smack Down," the 2nd Avenue Deli has thwarted an attempt by the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas to get the name of their beloved "Instant Heart Attack" sandwich changed on the grounds of trademark infringement.

The "Instant Heart Attack" sandwich is a choice of corned beef, pastrami, or turkey served between two fried latkes. The Heart Attack Grill, famous for its gigantic “triple bypass” and “quadruple bypass” bacon cheeseburgers, and french fries cooked in pure lard, claimed that the 2nd Avenue Deli crossed a line by introducing cardiac-themed items to its renowned deli menu.

However, Judge Paul Engelmayer decreed that there was no possible way that the supersized sammies in question could be confused for each other. One is a kosher deli staple with a twist, the other a treyf-a-licious abomination, breaking two Jewish dietary laws at once – all it is lacking is a couple of fried shrimp on the side to complete the trifecta. Not much chance that the average Jew is going to have trouble differentiating between the two of them.

Furthermore, it was rules that the 2nd Avenue Deli can move forward with its plans to introduce another culinary monstrosity known as the “Triple Bypass” – three meat-stuffed latkes. "I'm really happy that we were vindicated," said Joshua Lebewohl, co-owner of the 2nd Avenue Deli. "This is a fight that was not of our choosing, and our customers are the true victors." Well, the customers’ cardiologists, at any rate.

As a frequent guest of the 2nd Avenue Deli, I always viewed the “Instant Heart Attack” as both wondrous and horrifying. I love the creativity, the boldness, and the absolute disregard for the health of the patrons. In a world where New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is attempting to ban the sale of beverages larger than 16 ounces, it is comforting to know that citizens can still give in to their animalistic instincts and order something with no redeeming nutritional value - a calorie-packed, raised middle finger to good health.

Now, as a deli-purist, I find the idea of latkes substituting for Jewish rye borders on the heretical – this is not what our forebearers envisioned, lo those many years ago when they first started curing meats. But with that said, the “Instant Heart Attack” has its place in NY deli-lore and I am happy that is shall remain that way for generations of cholesterol-seeking carnivores to come.