[Image credit: pbs.org]
I was on the phone with my dad the other day and he took the opportunity to let me know where he’d like us to eat next time he visits LA. He’s been watching a show called “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,” which is a program on PBS where Phil Rosenthal travels to cool places and eats good food. As someone who never had cable, I have a real soft spot for public television and all its unadorned sincerity.
My dad described every place referred to in this episode and explained exactly why he wanted to try them (“the way they prepare their calamari!” etc., etc.) and now, naturally, I’ve tasked myself with revisiting every place I’ve been to and pre-visiting all the places I haven’t. There’s a Seinfeld bit where the joke is that we always get another appetite so it’s fine to ruin one, which is true, but each one is especially important when you’re traveling, so I need to make sure they all count when my dad gets here. Seinfeld is one of those things I associate with my dad because it’s his favorite. Food is another.
I’ve been to a few of the places visited on the show, like Langers Deli. Pastrami is one of those foods my dad loves, but my hometown doesn’t have much of a Jewish deli scene. Don’t hold me to that, though, because I’m going off observational research done at 11 years old. When you’re from San Jose, you eat pastrami from Togo’s. It’s #9, and I didn’t have to look that up to know that. My dad knows that, my 7th grade P.E. teacher knows that. That’s what pastrami is there. Wait, is this just something everybody knows? Is this not special to the beloved city of my upbringing?
Like my father, I’d travel far and wide for something memorable to eat without a second thought. Now I really want to blow off work and get a Pastrami sandwich. It’s not even 9AM yet.