The other day I was in a common predicament of mine; What do I want to eat for lunch? I usually answer with a go-to meal that I end up settling for. I end up getting a couple slices of pizza, Chinese food, or a sub sandwich. None of these things were hitting me. I felt that I needed something that was more of a treat; something I hadn’t had in a while.
After thinking about it for about an hour, I realized that the Jewish half of my stomach hadn’t been appeased in quite some time. We are in the middle of that major holiday draught that occurs between Passover in the spring and Rosh Hashanah in the fall. This made me decide to go to one of Baltimore’s best Delis: Attman’s.
I planned on going all out. Everything I ate was going to be one of my favorite items to eat during meals I have with the Jewish side of my family. I was going to stop just short of putting on my yarmulke and tallis for this meal. Having decided on my plan, I set out on my journey to the nearly 100 year old deli.
I met a friend out front of Attman’s around 1 PM. The place was busy enough to make it hard to enter the door, and was even busier when I left. Personally I love it when lunch spots are busy. During the work week people look forward to their lunch hour and cherish their choice of eatery. When you walk up to a crowded lunch counter, you know you’re great shape.
We got in line, but didn’t have to wait very long. Within 5 minutes one of the Attman’s team behind the counter was taking our order. My friend went traditional, but opted for a ‘combo’ sandwich; corned beef and turkey pastrami on rye with mustard, which he said he thoroughly enjoyed. The couple minutes I had looking at menu boards while waiting were definitely needed. I was glad to be prepared when my turn came.
I chose a Lox o’ Luck. Lox, onion, lettuce, tomato, and a cream cheese schmear. I got 2 potato latkes as a side dish. The only reason that I didn’t get matzoh ball soup too is that it was about 127 degrees outside, and I was already on fire. I did, however, make sure to grab an ice cold can of Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry Soda. No meal at the deli would be complete without it.
As I walked to the end of the counter to pay I fell prey to one of the greatest marketing schemes of all time; desserts at the end of the deli counter. The first person to use this tactic may just be the smartest man who ever lived. I didn’t feel too bad this time because I happened to spy something that I didn’t expect; black-bottoms. For those who don’t know, black-bottoms are essentially chocolate and cream cheese swirl cupcakes. The reason that I was so excited is because I hadn’t had them since my great Aunt Marie died about 15 years ago. I was psyched. I added that to my tab, paid my bill and went to sit down in the dinning room.
As soon as I started in on my makeshift Jewish holiday meal, I knew I had made the right choice. A slice of pepperoni or chicken fried rice just wouldn’t have cut it that day. The Lox o’ Luck had perfectly smoked salmon on a great bagel with the perfect ratio of toppings. The latkes were handmade and tasty. I washed each bite down with black cherry soda and was in heaven.
In line with society’s norms, I saved my cupcake for last. I unwrapped half of the black-bottom and eagerly took a bite. It was amazing. I live for those mind-blowing moments when a familiar taste from the past touches your lips once again. It was like being back at my great aunts house in Pikesville. I was ecstatic that the treat lived up to the high standards that had been ingrained in me from a young age. It was suiting end to a great lunch at Attman’s Delicatessen.