Teitel Brothers, a corner grocery in the Bronx, is the sort of specialty store that retains the loyalty of its customers years, even decades, after they’ve left the neighborhood. On a Friday morning in January, both the weather and business are brisk, and Gilbert Teitel wants to prove the devotion of his customers. He has already introduced a middle-aged man from Yorktown, a town in Westchester County, New York; a younger woman from Yonkers, New York; and a mother who has driven down from Connecticut with her daughter. Now Teitel, who is 78 and the son of one of the two brothers who opened the store, looks across the store. “Do you want the lady with the mink coat?” he asks. Then he turns her way. “Lady with the mink coat!”
In the world of Jewish food, the iconic deli and the sustainable food movement seem like strange bedfellows. But in a post-Alice Waters world such is no longer the case, at least according to an article by Julia Moskin, “Can the Jewish Deli Be Reformed?” in today’s New York Times.