The Book Find Club (1946)

The Book Find Club (1946)

Found this mailer card in an old book.

Here’s a little history>

The Book Find Club (1946):

In The Cultural Front, Michael Denning identifies the Book Find Club as a Popular Front institution. Its eclectic selection of books in 1946 covered the left side of the political spectrum from New Deal liberal to Stalinist. It also included books by writers not considered particularly political and was heavy on political exposes.
Its founder, George Braziller, fits the profile of the “proletarian intellectual.” He was a decade younger than most of the cohort and forced to drop out of high school in the tenth grade during the Depression. When he started the book club in 1940, he was 24 and working as a shipping clerk. According to an article on book clubs by John K, Hutchens that ran on the front page of the New York Times Book Review on March 31, Braziller’s initial capitalization was $25 and an inventory of remaindered books. By 1946 his club had 70,000 members and his eye for books allowed him to guarantee publishers a sale of 60,000 for the titles he chose, according to Hutchens. He would rent the plates and then manufacture his own editions, keeping costs very low. The article noted that he was offering his May selection, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Age of Jackson to members at $1.35, less than half the price of the Little, Brown trade edition.
The April selection was Theodore Dreiser’s novel The Bulwark about the deleterious effects of material success on a Philadelphia Quaker family. It had been published posthumously. Dreiser was definitely to the left politically and John Howard Lawson, cultural commissar of the Hollywood wing of the Party, claimed to have won his deathbed return to the Communist Party, which he had left some years earlier. This week The Bulwark was on the Times best seller list although most critics agreed it was not the equal of the author’s best works.
Braziller had served in the Army in Europe. According to his later recollections his first postwar choice for the club was Arthur Miller’s novel Focus, the club’s February selection. This story about anti-Semitism was a first novel from Miller, who would soon become a famous playwright. At this time Miller was very active in left-wing cultural groups like Stage For Action. Charles Poore in the above linked New York Times review found the novel more a lecture on Antisemitism than a satisfying work of fiction. The display ad that ran in the Times for the club edition offered new members the additional free choice of one of the other recent club selections. They included:
Cross Section 1945, an anthology edited by Edwin Seaver of previously unpublished novelettes, stories and poems by 35 American authors. Cross Section came out annually between 1943 and 1948. Seaver was also an editor at Direction, a member of the literary left, a writer and advocate of the proletarian novel.
These Are the Russians a sympathetic but balanced profile of the Russian people by Michael Lauterbach, who had been the Time magazine Moscow correspondent in 1943 to 1944 after the Soviet defeat of the German Army. Here is the Time review.
A dual selection of The Folded Leaf, a critically hailed novel by New Yorker editor William Maxwell, identified in the ad as a coming of age story of a “sensitive boy” and Dark Legend, a true story by psychiatrist Frederick Wortham of a 17 year old who murdered his mother. The Folded Leaf is still in print. Wortham was famous for his later attacks on comic books as a cause of violent behavior in impressionable children.
The Plot Against the Peace was a piece of left wing political paranoia by Michael Sayers and Albert E. Kahn that warned that Nazis with friends in high places in the US were setting plans in motion for a third world war that would return them to power in Europe. This scenario was promulgated as fact at many meetings of the Far Left in 1946. This was the Stalinist conspiracy theory to counter the Right Wing conspiracy theory that saw the Communists running the State Department. Essentially it suspected anyone who criticized Stalin or the Soviet Union ‘s foreign policy of being in on the Fascist plot.
An ad that ran in May noted that among the books that had been Book Find selections in the past were:
Strange Fruit, Southern writer Lillian Smith’s controversial 1944 novel about an interracial affair. Jose Ferrer had directed a stage adaptation of the novel that had closed in January after a brief run on Broadway.
Undercover by John Roy Carlson (the pen name of Avedia Derounian) was an expose of anti-Semitism in the isolationist movement. Selections had appeared in several magazines before it was published as a book. Carlson’s investigation had been sponsored by the Friends of Democracy, a church group that sought to expose extremism on both sides of the political spectrum, and the Anti-Defamation League. Carlson had posed as a pro-fascist, anti-Semitic Italian-American and infiltrated a number of America First groups. His book linked the anti-Semites to several isolationist Senators and congressmen who retaliated by demanding that Derounian and the sponsoring groups be investigated as un-American. It was the top non-fiction best seller of 1944. In 1946 writing again as John Roy Carlson, Derounian published The Plotters. His brother Steven Derounian was a conservative Republican congressman from Long Island during the Nixon era and ardent supporter of Barry Goldwater.
George Washington Carver, a biography by Rackham Holt, was an uncritical hagiography that was published in 1943, the year the educator died, and helped enshrine his image in the postwar world.
Argentine Diary: The Inside Story of the Coming of Fascism was by Ray Josephs who had been a gossip columnist and news magazine stringer in Buenos Aires, While living in Argentina, he befriended a young actress, Eva Duarte, who became better known as Evita Peron. He used his inside connections to report on the political turmoil inside this ostensibly neutral country. He later became a prominent PR exec.
The Cross and the Arrow was a 1944 novel by screenwriter Albert Maltz about a Gestapo investigation of a minor act of sabotage in a small German village. In 1946 Maltz would become an unintentional center of controversy among his fellow Communists. In the February issue of New Masses he had written an article meant to be a refutation of the cultural policies of the recently deposed party leader Earl Browder. However, the article seemed to imply that Communist writers should have greater artistic freedom than they had under Browder. This greatly infuriated the rigidly Stalinist Party leadership. Maltz was subjected to a reeducation session conducted by John Howard Lawson and the rest of his Hollywood cell for daring to even suggest such a thing. Fully chastened, he recanted in an article published in both New Masses and the Daily Worker that April. Lawson’s group, including Maltz, became known as the Hollywood Ten when they were dragged before HUAC and then imprisoned for failing to cooperate with the committee.

The Book Find Club was one of many niche book clubs in the Forties that sought to emulate, on a smaller scale. the success of Book-of-the-Month Club and the Literary Guild. Book clubs accounted for much of book sales in 1946, particularly outside the major cities. Their influence extended well beyond their membership since club promotions usually turned their selections into top sellers in bookstores and department stores as well. The Book Find Club was among the more financially successful alternative clubs. In 1948 it had a big hit with Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead.

In 1955 Braziller, having sold the club to Time-Life, went on to found George Braziller Inc., a highly prestigious publishing firm known particularly for its books on art and architecture and for the acclaimed international writers in its stable.

(Taken from the interweb> In Progress New York City April 1946)

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Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica

A Very Special Dinner Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica!

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“To receive a guest is to take charge of their happiness
during the entire time they are under your roof.”
– Fernand Point

SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR DINING! And a Birthday Party for my Mom!

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A fancy restaurant, a private dining room, 13 good friends and family, champagne, wine, great food, gifts, love, conversation and congratulation, and a good time was had by all!

Saturday evening, we had a 7:00pm reservation for a private dinner party at Melisse restaurant for my mother’s birthday. And it was “FABULOUS”!

We drove over the hill on the 405 freeway and down Wilshire boulevard to 11th Street in Santa Monica. Then we drove around for 15 minutes looking for a place to park before we finally gave up and valet parked in the lot behind the restaurant ($8.50 + tip).

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We were the last to arrive at 7:20pm, and because we were asked to take pictures, that was the first order of business after saying hello to everyone. The pictures of the party guests and the Guest of Honor, some pictures of the restaurant, and pictures of the excellent food came out pretty good. We were worried because it was dark in the private dining room and we chose to use the flash on our cheap LG phone even though we had brought our mini iPad camera.

“Melisse is both a two Michelin Star Award winning restaurant and the recipient of Zagats highly coveted top rated restaurant in Los Angeles since 2003.” – Open Table

“Simply superb in every way”, this “refined” “gastronomical wonder” in Santa Monica from Josiah Citrin “defines fine dining”with “inspired”“artful” French-American tasting menus and “spectacular” wine pairings – all “seamlessly” presented by an “intuitive”“world-class” staff in a “chic yet soothing” setting; prices are “not for the faint of heart”, but the “state of bliss” that ensues is “worth every penny.” – Zagat (4.8 out of 5)

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GOOGLE REVIEWS: 4.5 Stars! (141 reviews)
#38 on LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s 2017 “101 Best Restaurants” list.

Seasonal French-American cuisine!

We have eaten here before and it was one of the most amazing meals we have ever enjoyed! Read about in our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse” (see the link below). And we were very excited about dining here for Mom’s “Big Birthday” party!
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On The Menu: 1993 Dom Perignon champagne, crab amuse bouche, egg caviar, Maine lobster, dry aged prime New York steak or Spanish turbot (fish), choice of fresh baked bread & butter, red & white wine, chocolate L’Opéra cake, lemon soufflé with fruit & vanilla ice cream and 4 different petit fors:

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A Vintage Vintage! 1993 Dom Perignon Champagne – Cheers!

Let’s begin with a Dom Perignon 1993 Champagne to toast the Guest of Honor!

We began with a champagne toast! Found a bottle of Dom Perignon vintage 1993 tucked away recently. Didn’t know if it would still be good after 25 years. Opened it for the party and it was excellent! So we toasted the Guest of Honor and then we made everyone pose for the “toast picture” (as seen above) taken by our Host.

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“On the nose, this wine opens with notes of red-fleshed peaches, rapidly evolving into cashew nuts and dried herbs. The aromatic experience finishes on a note of lightly toasted brioche. On the palate, it offers a host of well-orchestrated, precise and full-bodied tastes. The initial density becomes creamy, while the long finish ends on a note of glazed citrus fruit.” – Winemaker notes

The unique Dom Perignon style: a rich creamy mousse, fine bubbles, a spirited, crisp opening leading into a broad palette of aromas and tastes, the delicacy of substance itself. Each Cuvee Dom Perignon is cellar-aged for 6 to 8 years.

And then a bottle of fine Chardonnay (white wine) for the egg caviar and lobster courses.

NOTE: Melisse has a fantastic, world-class wine list, however the “Good Stuff” is very expensive (repeat, very expensive), so we brought our own bottles of wine and champagne and paid the corkage fee for each one we opened.

BIG THANKS TO CHEF JOSIE AND THE ENTIRE STAFF AT MELISSE! Everything was excellent. The food was 5 star quality and cooked perfectly. And the service was done with professional precision and attention to detail not found in most restaurants.

NOTE: The red wine, a Pra’ Amarone della Valpolicella (aka Amarone) is a rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried Corvina Rondinella grapes and other red grape varieties. Valpolicella is located in the province of Verona, in the Veneto region near Venice. Italy.

“Dark ruby. Very refined nose offers aromas and flavors of spicy dark plum, chocolate-covered cherry and minerals, lifted by strong floral accents (especially lavender and peony). Multilayered and very suave, boasting a long and tactile finish, leaving behind a strong impression of grace and refinement. A very elegant, smooth Amarone of noteworthy depth and complexity but also impeccable balance (you can’t tell this clocks in at 16.5% alcohol).” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous (scored a rating of 94)

Read our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse”
(Right click and “Open in New Window”> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/

Melisse Restaurant1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 melisse.com

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Chef Josiah Citrin, in his Santa Monica restaurant Mélisse. Citrin is celebrating Mélisse’s 15 year anniversary in 2014 (photo by Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)

NOTE: A meal at Melisse is a real dining experience and it’s expensive! $$$$$
If you can afford it, we recommend this restaurant as a destination in Los Angeles. The menu changes constantly and they have different tasting and course menus available.

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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NOTE: The photo of Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines is a fantastic gift!

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405 Freeway north into the Sepulveda Pass at night

Kilroy Was Here!

Kilroy Was Here!

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“Kilroy Was Here” engraved on the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.

“Maybe you’ve bumped into Kilroy. He’s a bald (or balding) gentleman with a big nose, drawn peeking over a wall. Next to him is usually the phrase “Kilroy was here.” He can be found all over the world, and went viral long before social media or the Internet were around, finding his way through the theaters of war with American troops during World War II. (One of his most daring appearances may have been at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. During the summit, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin had exclusive use of a VIP bathroom. One day, Stalin reportedly used the facilities, and came out demanding to know from one of his aides who Kilroy was, having found the drawing on one of the walls.)”

“Kilroy Was Here” is a WWII slogan and graffiti by the American Army, the drawing based on the British “Mr Chad”, and sometimes coupled with images of pregnant women.

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1940s Vintage WWII “Kilroy Was Here” Hartland Plastics Pregnant Girl Figurine 

“Kilroy doesn’t appear to have originated entirely with U.S. servicemen, though. A similar doodle, known as Mr. Chad, was scrawled throughout Britain as a comment on shortages and rations during the war. Chad was similar in appearance to Kilroy, but was accompanied by a different message: “Wot? No tea?” (or whatever other goods were in short supply at the moment). Chad predates Kilroy by a few years, and may have been the created by British cartoonist George Chatterton in the late 1930s. As best as anyone can tell, at some point during the war, American soldiers borrowed Mr. Chad’s image and married it to their own name and phrase, ‘Kilroy was here.'”

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had already been wherever American soldiers went. It became a challenge for the troops to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (on top of Mt. Everest and the Statue of Liberty, on the underside of the Arch De Triumphe and even scrawled in the dust on the moon)

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Wisconsin Historical Markers: The Highground WWII Tribute: Kilroy Was Here

“If the man in the drawing was a variation of Mr. Chad, then where did the name Kilroy come from? While the Oxford English Dictionary writes Kilroy off as a mythical person, dozen of real people claimed to be the doodle’s namesake in 1946, when the American Transit Association (ATA) held a radio contest to establish the origin of the phrase. One of them was James J. Kilroy, who worked as at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts during the war inspecting the work done by others on the tanks and hulls of warships. As Kilroy explained to the ATA:

I started my new job with enthusiasm, carefully surveying every inner bottom and tank before issuing a contract. I was thoroughly upset to find that practically every test leader [the head of a work crew] I met wanted me to go down and look over his job with him, and, when I explained to him that I had already checked the job and could not spare the time to crawl through one of those tanks again, he would accuse me of not having looked the job over. I was getting sick of of being accused of not looking the jobs over and one day as I came through the manhole of a tank i had just surveyed, I angrily marked with yellow crayon on the tank top, where the tester could see it, ‘Kilroy was here.’ The following day, a test gang leader approached me with a grin on his face and said, ‘I see you looked my job over.’ I nodded in agreement.

Kilroy provided the ATA with corroborating statements from men he worked with at the shipyard, and said that he assumed that shipyard workers who had seen his mark and then joined the military took the phrase with them and began writing it in Europe. He won the contest and the grand prize, a full-size trolley street car. Just a few days before Christmas, the 12-ton car was delivered to Kilroy’s home in Halifax, MA, where it was attached to the house and used as living space for six of his nine children.”

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The “Kilroy Trolley Car” photo from the Boston American, December 23, 1946. Thanks to Brian Fitzgerald (James Kilroy’s grandson)

“Kilroy Was Here” is written in two locations on the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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“Clap my hands and jump for joy; I was here before Kilroy.
Sorry to spoil your little joke; I was here, but my pencil broke.” ~Kilroy
(from A Diller, a Dollar: Rhymes and Sayings For the Ten O’clock Scholar 1955)

Kilroy can also be seen at the end of my favorite WWII film “Kelly’s Heroes”>

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Spoiler Alert! Kilroy Was Here in “Kelly’s Heroes”

The 1983 Styx album titled “Kilroy Was Here” was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song, “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” ends with the line “I’m Kilroy.”

NOTE: sometimes we answer questions in the groups we are in on facebookand sometimes they become Blog Posts. We have insomnia and cannot sleep again.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

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Check out these ceramic mugs with Kilroy!

First time in New York City?

First time in New York City — highlights?

NOTE: This is another long dormant “unfinished draft” that was originally posted on another site and now has been updated and posted.

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Manhattan, New York City, New York

Q: What would you recommend to do in the city for a first time visitor, and what deli would you say is the best?

A: What to do in New York City? It’s the Big Apple baby!
Start with Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

Put on your comfortable walking shoes, check the weather report, and hit the streets of NYC walking! There’s so much to see (people, places and things) and so much history on display as you walk around the city. We once walked from Central Park to Battery Park!

Visit Central Park! www.centralparknyc.org

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Alice in Wonderland – Central Park, NYC (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Take a NYC Taxicab Ride!

See the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Plaza,  Washington Square Park, SoHo, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, the Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center/9-11 Memorial, Wall Street and Battery Park

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“Prometheus” Rockefeller Center – NYC (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

See the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal

Visit Liberty Island and/or Ellis Island (ride the ferry, see the sights)

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Liberty Island & Ellis Island – New York/New Jersey (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

The world famous Carnegie Deli is closed. RIP 1937-2016

Katz’s Delicatessen (the “When Harry Met Sally” Diner)
205 East Houston Street,
on the sw corner of Houston & Ludlow on the Lower East Side
Zagat gave Katz’s a food rating of 4.5 out of 5,
and ranked the restaurant as the number one deli in NYC in 2016.

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Katz’s Delicatessen in NYC (photo by Alex Lozupone)

Also try Famous Original Ray’s Pizza and Zabar’s for classic NYC food experiences.

Visit Broadway and the Theater District!
See a big budget “Broadway Musical”
See Times Square and eat at Sardi’s (make a reservation) to complete the experience!

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TKTS Booth in Times Square, NYC (not my pic)

Same-Day Theatre Tickets at Up To 50% Off!
TKTS Discount Booths operates four TKTS Discount Booths in NYC,
including the flagship location in Times Square.
7th Ave, New York, NY 10036

See an Off-Broadway play (the weirder, the better) in a “black box” theatre.

and Ride the NYC Subway!

 

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NYC – View from the top of the World Trade Center (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Happy 4th of July! Have a Celebration!

Happy 4th of July Friends!

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“America is great because she is good.
If America ceases to be good,
America will cease to be great.” – 
Alexis De Tocqueville

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Have a Celebration! Wave that Flag! Have a SAFE Holiday!

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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! CELEBRATE FREEDOM & LIBERTY!

Time to BBQ, Party, Celebrate, Watch Fireworks and Have a Real Good Time!

“So, then, to every man his chance – to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity – to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him – this, seeker, is the promise of America.” – Thomas Wolfe

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“America! What a country!” – Yakov Smirnoff in “Brewster’s Millions”

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LADY LIBERTY in NYC! Let Freedom Ring! Happy Birthday USA!

“Laughter is America’s most important export.” – Walt Disney

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USA! USA! USA!

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” – George Washington

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4th of July Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl!

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Dallas, Texas! Red, White & Boom!

“In America, anyone can become President.
That’s the problem”
– George Carlin RIP

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Happy Independence Day!

“We should keep steadily before our minds the fact that Americanism is a question of principle, of purpose, of idealism, of character; that it is not a matter of birthplace, or creed, or line of descent.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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“Boop-Oop-A-Doop!”

“Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their f***ing skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!” – Bill Hicks RIP

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“Wave that flag, wave it wide and high!
Summertime done come and gone, my oh my!” – Grateful Dead “U.S. Blues”

 

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Pizza Time! Mulberry Street Pizza!

Pizza Time! Mulberry Street Pizza!

Richie Palmer’s Mulberry Street Pizzeria of Beverly Hills est. 1991

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Pizza from Mulberry Street Pizzeria

Thursday night pizza delivery for dinner: $33 + $1.50 tip (~$4.25 per slice)
Not cheap! High quality very large pizza and it was delivered “on time”.

On The Menu: Pizza with pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese.
(and they only have one size – very large)

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Pizza from Mulberry Street Pizzeria

Real New York style thin-crust pizza with pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese!

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Pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage and Extra Cheese from Mulberry Street Pizzeria

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Mulberry Street Pizzeria 17040 Ventura Blvd., Encino, CA 818-906-8881
(there are also other locations in Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills)
http://www.mulberrypizzeria.com 

 

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They also have a line of Mulberry Street retail food products
available for purchase in-store or online:

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We haven’t written a new restaurant Blog in a long time.
We have written a lot about food lately:

Where’s the Beef
Superbowl 51 with recipes for chicken wings & meatballs

Fun Cooking Recipes posts and Pages (see sidebar)
including Disney Secret Recipes and Kenny Rogers Cookbook Blogs!

And we have updated a few of our past restaurant Blogs recently too.

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE BLOGS!>

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20S

Sushi Time at Okumura http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Xm

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Pp

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20z

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino  http://wp.me/p3dhVM-13W

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc 

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

“Where’s The Beef?”

“Where’s The Beef?”

WARNING! Vegans and Vegetarians may want to skip this Blog.

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Clara Peller asks “Where’s The Beef?” in 1984

Beef is the name for meat from cattle.
Beef can be harvested from bulls, cows, heifers or steers.

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Habit Burger Grill – Double BBQ Bacon Charburger with Cheese!

“Let’s Play Know Your Cuts of Meat!” – David Letterman

Beef muscle (MEAT) is cut into roasts, short ribs or steaks.
Cuts: filet mignon, sirloin steak, rump steak, rib steak, rib eye steak, hanger steak, etc.
Some cuts are processed (corned beef and beef jerky) and trimmings are ground, minced or used in sausages. Blood is used in some varieties of blood sausage.
Other parts: the oxtail, liver, tongue, tripe from the reticulum or rumen, glands (the pancreas and thymus are called sweetbreads), the heart, the brain, the kidneys and testicles (called calf friesprairie oysters or Rocky Mountain oysters in the U.S.) are eaten too. Some intestines are cooked and eaten, but more often they are cleaned and used as natural sausage casings. The bones are used for making beef stock and gelatin.

Beef is the third most consumed meat in the world, accounting for about 25% of meat production worldwide (after pork 38% and poultry 30%).

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“Where’s The Beef?”

Beef is first divided into primal cuts during butchering.
Primal cuts are large pieces of meat initially separated from the animal’s carcass.
Steaks and other subdivisions are cut from these basic sections.

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Steak! (Before)

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Steak! (After)

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Steak-On-A-Stake at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

“Beef….it’s what’s for dinner.”

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Porcini-Rubbed Ribeye and Fingerling Potatoes at Mozza Osteria in Hollywood

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$29 Room Service Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

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Steak Diane at Yoshi’s in San Francisco

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Steak Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

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Bone-in Ribeye Steak w/fries at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

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2 AM Pastrami Sandwich at Tommy’s Joynt in San Francisco!

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Christmas Dinner! Prime Rib (perfectly done) at a Friend’s in North Hollywood

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Bite-Size Short Rib & Cheese Slider at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire

 

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Spicy Beef Panang at Chan Dara in Larchmont Village, California

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Cooking (All You Can Eat) Beef at AYCE GOGI in Van Nuys, California

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In-N-Out Burger Double-Double With Cheese!

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Wagyu Beef (on a hot stone) – Dinner Party at N/Naka in West Los Angeles

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Bone-In Ribeye Steak at Patina at the Hollywood Bowl

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Beef For Sale at The Butcher Shop in Eagle Point, Oregon

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Cheeseburger and Fries for Lunch at the Four Seasons Westlake Village

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Steak Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

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Steak Sandwich and Fries at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Choose Your Steak for Dinner at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

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Chili Burger from Tommy’s at Universal City in Los Angeles

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Steak Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Oregon

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Best Pastrami Sandwich in San Francisco at Tommy’s Joynt

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Home Cooked Bone-In Ribeye Steak with Sautéed Red Onion

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Cooking Beef Behind the Glass at The Stand in Encino, California

 

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Steak-On-A-Steak!

 

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Filet Mignon at Le Sanglier in Tarzana, California

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Bacon Cheeseburger & Fries at Karl Strauss Brewery in Downtown Los Angeles

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Prime Rib at the Sunday Brunch at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset in West Los Angeles

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Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Steak) at Versailles Cuban Food in Encino

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Crusted Filet Steak at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills

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BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Lunch at Jasper’s in Medford, Oregon

 

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Sloppy Joe!

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1/2 of the Cote de Boeuf at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica

 

 

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NSFW Meat Humor:

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In-N-Out Burger: “Quality You Can Taste!”

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Fogo De Chao Churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse


How did “Where’s The Beef?” become a part of the American vocabulary and an all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea, event or product?

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Clara Peller (August 4, 1902 – August 11, 1987) was a manicurist and American character actress. Born on August 4, 1902 in Russia, she came to the United States at the age of 5 with an uncle and lived in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of 81, Clara starred in the 1984 “Where’s The Beef?” advertising campaign for Wendy’s restaurants, created by the Dancer Fitzgerald Sample advertising agency.
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At age 80, Clara was hired as a manicurist for a television commercial set in a Chicago barbershop. Impressed by her no-nonsense manners and unique voice, the agency signed her. She was hard of hearing and had emphysema, which limited her ability to speak long lines of dialogue, and she appeared in many TV commercials. She first attracted attention as a comical cleaning lady in an ad for the new Massachusetts State Lottery game “Megabucks” in the late 1970s and later became a national cultural phenomenon  in a series of commercials for the Wendy’s Restaurant chain.

First aired on January 10, 1984, the Wendy’s commercial “Fluffy Bun” portrayed a fictional competitor “Home of the Big Bun” where three elderly ladies are complaining about an enormous hamburger bun containing a tiny hamburger patty. Two of the women comment on the size of the bun and they are interrupted by Peller’s character, who looks around in vain  while making the outraged demand: “Where’s The Beef?”

“Where’s The Beef?” became a catchphrase (before viral video) across the United States.
The actress made the three-word phrase a cultural phenomenon, achieved Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes of fame” and became an instant star. Sequels to the spots featured her yelling her famous line in various scenes and her face and the slogan were merchandised on shirts, hats, buttons, mugs, glasses, bumper stickers, frisbees, games, a commemorative plate, and all sorts of other products. Nashville songwriter and DJ Coyote McCloud wrote and performed a hit song entitled “Where’s the Beef?” released as a promotional single for Wendy’s featuring Clara Peller.

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“Where’s The Beef?” – The Game!

Wendy’s sales jumped 31% to $945 million in 1985 worldwide. Wendy’s Senior VP of Communications Denny Lynch said at the time that “with Clara we accomplished as much in five weeks as we did in 14½ years.” Former Vice-President Walter Mondale also used the line in his bid for the Democratic nomination in the 1984 presidential campaign.

The campaign ended in 1985 when Clara did a commercial for Campbell’s Prego pasta sauce, where she declares “I found it! I really found it!” After the Prego commercial aired, Wendy’s management decided to terminate her contract. Clara’s response: “I’ve made them millions and they don’t appreciate me.” Following her termination and the conclusion of the “Where’s The Beef?” campaign, Wendy’s suffered a 2 year sales slump and consumer awareness of the Wendy’s brand did not recover for another five years!

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NOTE: According to an A&E biography, “Where’s The Beef?” was actually an error made by Clara who was supposed to say “Where’s all the beef?” And another story says the line was shortened because of her emphysema.

Clara was paid scale for the first commercial and claimed she only made about $30,000 from the commercials, but Wendy’s claimed she was paid about $500,000 for her work. Clara also appeared in other commercials, did interviews and guest spots (including a cameo on “Saturday Night Live” in April 1984), made other appearances, and she had a small role in the feature film “Moving Violations.”

Clara Peller died in on August 11, 1987, one week after her 85th birthday.

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“Where’s The Beef?”



Ladyfingers Recipe for the Feast of St. Stephen and to celebrate Boxing Day!

LADYFINGERS RECIPE
(from “The Joy of Cooking”)

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*for the Feast of St. Stephen and to celebrate Boxing Day*
Makes about 30 Small Cakes

“Saint Stephen with a rose
In and out of the garden he goes
Country garland in the wind and the rain
Wherever he goes the people all complain”

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Have ingredients at about 75 degrees.

Sift: 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Sift before measuring: 1/3 cup cake flour and Resift 3 times!

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
Beat until thick and lemon colored

2 egg whites
Whip until stiff, but not dry

Add and Fold the sifted sugar gradually into the whipped egg whites.
Beat the mixture until it thickens again.
Add and Fold in the egg yolk mixture and:
Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Add and Fold in the sifted cake flour.

Shape the dough into oblongs with a paper tube
Place the dough on ungreased paper on a baking sheet;
or pour into greased ladyfinger molds.

Bake about 12 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove the baking sheet from oven.
Immediately slide the parchment paper (with the ladyfingers) onto a wire rack.
Let cool for just a minute and remove them from the paper using a flat spatula or knife.
Cool completely on wire rack. (If they cool before removing them, they may stick and are hard to remove without breaking)

Ladyfingers are best fresh on the day they are made. To freeze, place in a plastic bag between layers of wax or parchment paper and store frozen for up to one month.

Ladyfingers are long, thin sponge cakes shaped like a large finger. Also known as Boudoir biscuits, sponge biscuits, sponge fingers, Naples biscuits, Savoy biscuits and biscuits la cuiller. They can be served with desserts like ice creams, custards and coffees, and they are used as a component in other desserts. Ladyfingers can be either soft and cakey or dry and crispy, but they always have a sponge-like texture. Their texture makes them a perfect choice for soaking up flavors, which is why they are frequently used in other desserts. Ladyfingers are usually plain with a neutral taste, but can be flavored with any extract, a bit of citrus zest, cocoa or spice to give them a flavor that stands out.

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Tiramisu made with Ladyfingers

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“Stephen prosper in his time 
Well he may and he may decline
Did it matter? does it now? 
Stephen would answer if he only knew how”

St. Stephen’s Day (Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín),
commemorates the life of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death. The second day of Christmas is also called Boxing Day, Wren Day or Constitution Day.

St. Stephen’s Feast Day (Il giorno di Santo Stefano) is celebrated as a public holiday in Italy, the United Kingdom, most of Europe and Canada on December 26.

Traditionally in the United Kingdom, Boxing Day was a holiday when employers gave money, food, tools, cloth, clothing or other valuable goods to their employees. In modern times, Boxing Day is a bank holiday and a day for sporting events and the start of post-Christmas sales. Some schools, businesses and organization are closed for the entire week between Christmas and New Years Day.

St. Wenceslaus was a Bohemian prince born in 903 AD and killed in 938 AD. He is the patron Saint of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and his Feast is on September 28. The Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslaus” uses an old medieval melody about springtime, “Tempus adest florid” and mentions the Feast of St. Stephen:

“Good King Wenceslaus looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.”

St. Stephen was the first Deacon of the Christian church. A Deacon is supposed to care for the poor and St. Stephen’s Day is a day of charity for giving food, money and other items to servants, sevice workers, and the needy. St. Stephen is also the patron of stone masons, people with headaches and horses.

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St. Stephen was Stoned To Death

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“Saint Stephen” performed by the Grateful Dead
written by Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Robert Hunter
originally released on the 1969 studio album “Aoxomoxoa”
Saint Stephen/Not Fade Away/Saint Stephen/Morning Dew
Cornell University, Barton Hall, Ithaca, NY on 5/8/77 >

A recording of the Grateful Dead at Barton Hall, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on 5/8/77 was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2012!

“Did he doubt or did he try?
Answers aplenty in the bye and bye
Talk about your plenty, talk about your ills
One man gathers what another man spills”

and HAPPY BOXING DAY!

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Muhammad Ali RIP

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Deli in Encino

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

I’m a nice Jewish boy from the San Fernando Valley and it’s Wednesday night, so let’s have a “nosh” at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino!

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino – Deli  “To Go”

It used to be Fromin’s Deli (for years) and when they sold, they just changed the name and ownership. The menu is almost the same, the food is almost the same, some of the employees are the same, and the restaurant’s decor is exactly the same.

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Please Wait To be Seated at Uncle Bernie’s

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Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen – Dining Room

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Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen – Dining Room

When I was a young boy, we moved to Encino in the early 70’s, back before the valley and Ventura Blvd were fully developed.  It was a time of vacant lots. nurseries, a miniature golf course, The Oak Room, Monty’s Steak House, Jergen’s Market, Sam’s Liquor, Martex Pet Store, the Pony Express, and Lerner’s Gas station on the corner. Before there was a Plaza de Oro or a Town & Country shopping plaza, before the SavOn became Osco became CVS, before the SavOn Center was built….

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There was Fromin’s Delicatessen (in the space now occupied by Versailles Cuban Restaurant) and we had a credit account. On Sunday morning I would walk down and pick up the order we called in: bagels, lox and cream cheese for brunch. I learned the difference between a phosphate and an egg cream at Fromin’s, enjoyed many corned beef sandwiches, and discovered the joy of “New York” Jewish Delicatessen food. It was a staple of our home menu when I was growing up. Delicious chicken & matzoh ball soup, fried matzoh brie, potato & egg noodle kugel, pastrami & beef tongue, chopped liver, brisket, knish, knadle, kasha, knockwurst, smoked herring & salmon, bialys, dill pickles, rice pudding, black & white cookies and halvah bars were always enjoyed.

From the Frominsdeli.com website (with a little editing):

In the early 60’s, Arnie Fromin opened up a small deli in Encino. His son, Dennis, worked alongside him for many years until getting the entrepreneurial bug to run his own restaurant. In 1974, he opened Sports Deli in Century City which quickly became a favorite of locals and celebrities alike. A few years later, Dennis opened Fromin’s Restaurant in Santa Monica, followed shortly by the new Fromin’s Restaurant in Encino.

While growing up, in order to visit his Dad who worked seven days a week at the family deli, he would “allow” Dennis to put on an apron and wash pots and pans and peel potatoes. That was Dennis’ start in the business. By age thirteen, Dennis was working behind the deli counter after school and on weekends, getting a real-world education that would serve him well the rest of his life. All three of Dennis children worked in the Encino location.

During the 80’s, Dennis opened up two additional delicatessens in Rancho Mirage and Simi Valley. But the stress of running five restaurants took its toll on Dennis’ health and he decided to sell off all of the locations except the Santa Monica and Encino restaurants. In 1990, his longtime friend, Maurice Solomon, joined him as a partner and took over the Santa Monica location. By 2003, they decided to sell the Encino location (now operating under the Uncle Bernie’s name with no connection to Fromin’s) and concentrate on the Santa Monica restaurant, which has been a landmark on Wilshire Boulevard for over thirty years.

When Fromin’s moved to the new location, we remained loyal customers.

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Fromin’s Delicatessen at Ventura Blvd & White Oak Ave (from Loopnet.com)

There once was a Bagel Nosh and a Nathan’s Hot Dogs in the Plaza de Oro, the Oak Tree Deli opened and closed in the SavOn center, and Jerry’s Deli opened down Ventura Blvd at Petit Av when Dupar’s closed (and I think it was called something else between Dupar’s & Jerry’s). Label’s Table had a location in Tarzana (it moved to Topanga and Mulholland) and Mort’s Deli is still there next to Bea’s Bakery. Brent’s Deli is still in Northridge, but Solley’s on Van Nuys is now closed after all the years it was a valley hot spot for “NY deli”.

And finally they sold Fromin’s (after Arnie died it wasn’t quite the same) and changed the name. I’m glad not much has changed though, it always takes me back to my childhood.

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Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen at Ventura Blvd & White Oak Ave (from google maps)

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

There’s an extensive menu with lots of different food choices:

On the Menu: Hot Turkey open face sandwich with gravy, fries, cranberry sauce and a Dr Brown’s cream soda. My dining companion had a bowl of borscht and half a tuna salad sandwich on pumpernickel bread with cole slaw. And then we got a giant chocolate covered custard filled eclair and a big chocolate chip cookie for dessert.

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Hot Turkey open face sandwich w/gravy, fries, cranberry sauce

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A Big Bowl of Borscht with Sour Cream (Sorry, I don’t like borscht)

NOTE: I asked for dill pickles and extra gravy, but our server forgot to bring both!

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Giant Chocolate Covered Custard Filled Eclair

So dinner was good, the service was okay, the food was what it was supposed to be, and we took the eclair and a big chocolate chip cookie “to go”. The prices are better than Jerry’s, so dinner for two with tip was around $40 plus $10 for dessert. – “Such a deal!”

NOTE: They also have complete dinner specials, “early-bird” specials and a “senior citizen’s” menu. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and holiday dinners.

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Dessert Under Glass – Giant Chocolate Eclairs!

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Deli in Encino – Thank you, Come again.

Uncle Bernie’s17615 Ventura Blvd (at White Oak Av) Encino CA 91316 818-990-6346
http://www.uncleberniesdeli.com   Open 6:30am – 9pm daily

Fromin’s Delicatessen – 1832 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310) 829-5443
http://www.frominsdeli.com

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Wednesday’s San Fernando Valley Evening Sky