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Sarges, In Memoriam

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Does anyone know if the fire at Sarge's was a real fire or a "fire"? I mean...are they going to reopen some day or is it gone for good? Tonight I schlepped 1/2 hour out of my way in this crazy weather to Katz's because my daughter wasn't feeling well and I always used to get chicken in the pot for her from Sarge's when she was sick and she'd feel better. (And a pastrami sandwich for us so we'd feel better, too.) So tonight I went to Katz's (2nd Ave Deli was too far from where I now work). Bleck! First of all, I think the stupid ticket/ wait in multiple lines system is stupidly inefficient (don't get me started on cash only at that overpriced joint). The pastrami was kind of dry/not marbled and there was literally about half as much as we'd get at Sarge's. Sarge's always added some extra rye which was great since our whole family of four could eat one sandwich. I had to ask for the extra bread (I believe I was charged), it was as dry as day old bread, and had no real rye flavor. I can't even discuss the matzoh soup. It was brown, salty and flavorless, whereas Sarge's matzoh or chicken in the pot were both so flavorful and lovely. What a bummer! Is there anywhere left that makes that kind of amazing deli? I have been underwhelmed by 2nd Ave as well (though it sure beats Katz's. ) Please someone be kind and tell me a lie. Tell me Sarge's will be back some day. I can't imagine NYC without it.

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      1. re: thegforceny

        Thank goodness! I'm one of their biggest fans and miss them!

      2. Sounds like you need to ask for your pastrami to be juicy at Katz's. Although it also sounds like you won't be back. More for me!

        1. Katz's is not cash only--if you want to use a credit card you can pay at the back counter.

          2 Replies
          1. re: iluvcookies

            I will confirm that Katz's is not cash only. If you sit at a table with waiter/waitress service you can pay with a credit card and avoid the long line to pay. You give up the extra meat you get from tipping the counter guy, but you get plenty of meat anyway. My tip: get table service and avoid paying with cash, waiting on line to get food, waiting to pay.
            On another note: I hated Sarge's , the food was horrible.

            1. re: foodwhisperer

              I was never a fan of Sarge's either... and I think the lines are part of Katz's charm.
              But it takes all kinds to make the world go round.

          2. Summer has come and gone and Sarge's still isn't open. Are they really gonna re-open?

            9 Replies
            1. re: GoodGravy

              This is from their Facebook page of 2 days ago:

              "To our loyal customers: Although we had anticipated reopening by the fall of 2013 we have experienced delays in the rebuilding process due to bureaucratic red tape and the inevitable complexities of doing construction in New York City. We are coming down to the wire and anticipate re-opening in the very near future to provide you with the same great food, and even better service then we have for the past 50 years. Thank you for all of the interest that you have shown. Stay tuned for more updates!!"

              1. re: ellenost

                Thanks for the excellent news! I hope the food, prices and people are the same.

                1. re: ellenost

                  My sister just emailed me that Sarge's has re-opened; she saw it from a bus (she lives in the neighborhood; I moved uptown six years ago). Has anyone passed by Sarge's recently to confirm?

                  1. re: ellenost

                    It was still closed when I looked in late November, and the website hasn't changed.

                    1. re: mbfant

                      Has anyone passed by Sarge's this week?

                      1. re: ellenost

                        Sorry, it was too good to be true. Just called the restaurant and their message says they're still under construction.

                        1. re: ellenost

                          I just went by earlier today, but was on the other side of the street- there's a neon sign that says open 24/7 but i couldn't tell if they were really open....

                    2. re: ellenost

                      Sarge's delivered through Seamless. Check the site now & then to see if Sarge's has re-appeared on Seamless' list (as of five minutes ago, it has not).

                  2. re: GoodGravy

                    About a week ago it still said "soon to open." Certainly looks like theyhave done a lot of work in there.

                  3. I walked by the other day and they are definitely rebuilding. I had a fantastic meal there just a few days before the fire.
                    I do miss my 3 AM pastrami sammiches.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Motosport

                      I walked by yesterday- construction workers coming and going, looks like a busy work site

                      1. re: Motosport

                        I passed by this afternoon: NYPD-blue plywood facade has now been replaced by ugly Trumponian glass doors.
                        That constitutes progress, I suppose. Can't see it opening before Thanksgiving, but maybe by Christmas.

                        EDIT: Does anyone know what's going up two corners north, where Byblos and Frontier used to be?

                      2. I hated Sarge's, IMO I thought they had the worst of everything. Most memorable terrible dish was the kishka.
                        Speaking of fires.... Gabilla's knishes had a fire, therefore the city has been without those square knishes for quite awhile now and it looks like its going to be months more.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                          Did you give Sarge's a few tries?

                          I've had meals there that you would have swore came from a random corner deli serving microwaved Boar's Head....but I've also had really great deli from them that rival anyone else in the city. Sarge's seemed to suffer management issues and the food sometimes suffered. I miss their hey day when they had the takeout counter next door. Everything was delicious.

                          1. re: Humbucker

                            Wonderful news; thanks for sharing!

                            1. re: ellenost

                              Yesssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can get my pastrami fix at 3 AM again.

                            2. re: Humbucker

                              Alright! Now I can stop overpaying PJ Bernstein's for whitefish salad and resume overpaying Sarge's. Which is better, anyway.

                            3. I suggest that anyone who posts about the reincarnated restaurant start a new thread. This one started as an obituary.

                              1. Sarge's is alive and well.

                                Looks pretty much the same, only cleaner, brighter, and a little more narrow seating. You could walk in and never know they were closed for a year. The same staff are back, the autograph pictures by the front counter are the same, and the trays of Wellington knishes are fresh. Nice to see the place not just reopened but getting the polish it needed. Looks like they're off to doing good business already.

                                1. Sarge's sent out an email that they were re-opening on 3/6/14. My friend and I went finally got out to see the place on 3/15/14(@1AM) and ordered a tongue sandwich for him, chopped liver/tongue/brisket sandwich for me and shared an egg cream drink and the "Souper" soup: broth with matzoh ball, noodles and a kreplach. Also had dill and half sour pickles, coleslaw. Yum - it was good to be back!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Judyluvs

                                    Beautiful photo! Need to get my pastrami "fix" at Sarge's very soon!

                                  2. Just an outside view of the storefront.