On paper, Junior’s seemed the perfect complement to a jaunt with the boys over the Brooklyn Bridge to see the artisanal Nets in their Jay Z-inspired new digs, a far cry from their swampy arena of yesteryear, now nearly forgotten, like Kris and Kim’s Kwikee Knuptials.
Everyone recognizes the restaurant’s name, but no one remembers exactly why, nor for what they are famous. Egg creams? Cheesecake? Reuben sandwiches?
Any discussion of Junior’s has my in-laws waxing poetic. Was it the site of their first date? Proposal? First kiss? All of this and my rosy, fairy dust-infused glasses had me hankering for a hunk of Junior’s deli-icious history.
We giddily entered the landmark establishment only to rapidly deflate upon taking in the throngs of people and noisy din. We could have done without the 30-minute wait for someone to take our order. They must have felt badly, though, because they turned our lunch order for four into food for twelve. Our 15-pound plates loaded to the hilt with three-inch thick beets and a side of cholesterol left us wanting for less.
(The food they must throw out!)
My Reuben wasn’t so bad, but the six-inch vertical on that bad boy rendered my palate a bloody mess. Thankfully we had enough bread to soak up my arterial discharge and still feed an Ethiopian family for a year.
Sy Applebaum, we did your Brooklyn proud. We lined our bellies with Junior’s signature grease. We cheered on your Nets in their three-point victory over the Sixers. We warmed your seats until your return. And, hopefully, we dragged a little of that cool Brooktown flavor back over the bridge to Joisey.
(Or, maybe it was just reflux.)