In 1903, the Jewish Daily Forward reported that the word "oysesn" had entered the Yiddish language. To dine out--not at a friend's or relative's house, but at an actual restaurant--had been unheard of in the old country (and up until that point, even the new).
I've been a "snowbird"--as opposed to a "snowflake"--for the last 19 years. "Snowflakes" generally originate from the Northeast U. S., Canada or other areas. But, instead of coming to Florida in October or November and staying until the end of the "season" in April, they come for shorter periods of time, yet come and go frequently. My husband and I spend the the winter months in Lake Worth, Florida.
I recently had the pleasure of reading "Jewish As A Second Languge," Expanded 2nd Edition, by Molly Katz.
I was quite amused to read that portion of her book that dealt with "What to bring to any restaurant."
Molly says to bring
1. A little sweater (in case the air conditioner is on) The Yiddish word for sweater is "sveter."
2. A matchbook (to put under the table leg if the table isn't steady)
3. A review of the place (so you can start to be disappointed--"antoysht"-- even before the bread comes
She also reminds us that "The first table offered is always inferior (near the kitchen, near the bathroom, or Godforbid near the air conditioner).
"Esn aroys" means "eating out" and the above-mentioned rules apply to eating at the "Balaboosta"--the Nolita (NY) restaurant that means "perfect housewife" in Yiddish. (Try the shrimp Kataif--wrapped in strands of phyllo). It also applies to eating in Ben's Deli in Boca Raton, Zaidy's in Cherry Creek, Denver. and Harold's New York Deli in Edison, NJ. They offer 26-ounce pastrami sandwiches and triple decker sandwiches, which are recommended to feed at least 6-8 people. The #5 Turkey, Corned Beef and Tongue sandwich costs $62.95.
The next time that you're sitting in the condo "estsimer" (dining room), be sure to share this wonderful joke:
Shlomo and Yetta are getting ready to go out to "mitog" (dinner).
Yetta comes out of the bedroom and says to Shlomo, "Darling, do you want me to wear this Chanel suit or shall I put on the Gucci outfit?"
"What do I care?" Shlomo replies.
Yetta then asks, "Darling, shall I wear my Rolex or my Cartier watch?"
"Who cares?" says Shlomo.
Yetta then says to Shlomo, "Darling, shall I wear my 5 carat pear or my 6 carat round 'diment'?"
To which Shlomo responds, "Hey, if you
don't get your act together, AND SOON,
we are going to miss the Early Bird Special."
Marjorie Wolfe still remembers eating with her parents at the original Wolfie Cohen's Rascal house on 172nd Street and Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.....at 4:30 in the afternoon.
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