Legendary Food: “An Ode To Manny’s Deli, Chicago”

NPR PodcastI’ve had lunch with politicians, clergy, reporters and people who’ve just been indicted at Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen in Chicago, and there’s a code of silence over the clatter: it doesn’t count.

The schmear of cream cheese thick enough to be a ski jump? No calories! Potato pancakes hefty as manhole covers?

No calories!

But the weeks of the shutdown became months. Even as businesses reopened, multitudes still work from home.

“That can’t pay our rent, insurance, our payroll,” says Dan Raskin. “We can’t go on like that.”

When a family business is forced to close, people lose their livelihoods, families lose support, and a city loses revenue and vitality. A landmark like Manny’s is also a link to history. You can point to where Barack Obama talked politics over pastrami, Oprah had apple sauce on her latkes, and where your grandfather went when he got tired of dieting.

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