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As for the food at Generations, for the most part, it is good and generous, though a tad greasier and saltier than that of the other delis I visit. This is especially true of the chicken soup, pastrami and turkey. Oh yeah, and the French fries cool off much too soon.
Yet I like the Scottwich, a buttery sandwich of grilled pastrami, onion and melted cheese. And I also like a fabulous dessert (also sold elsewhere) called Wunderbar. This chocolate-chip cheesecake on a stick, hand-dipped in dark chocolate, is sinfully rich and, I imagine, highly addictive. Indeed, our waiter confesses he has not yet tried this frozen dessert, but tells us, "I had a lady come in here yesterday who was desperate for one." Wunderbar also makes a frozen chocolate-covered cherry confection. I advise the weak-willed to steer clear of these temptations on a stick.
The decor of Generations is plain. Wood paneling is prominent and hand-lettered Day-Glo signs listing food items provide most of the wall decoration. Unfortunately, the restaurant is not as clean as it could be. The floor needs sweeping and the tables need wiping. No major infractions, mind you, but a good washing wouldn't hurt.
Scott's Generations serves dinner six nights a week. The offerings are more diverse than Munch a Bagel's, but similar: meat loaf, stuffed flounder, chicken-in-a-pot, flanken-in-a-pot, stuffed peppers, and of course, brisket and stuffed cabbage. All are priced at $9.95 and include salad, soup and a choice of two other side orders.
So what are you waiting for? We should send you an engraved invitation?
I'm not going to spend too much time kvetching about the last two delis in this roundup. Katz Delicatessen & Sandwich Shop may have been a fine noshery once upon a time, but that time has come and gone. The restaurant is a shadow of its former self, and a grimy one. I can feel grit under my shoes.
For regulars, I'm sure the wood-paneled restaurant, complete with a counter and stools, has a homey, welcoming feel. Many meet and greet the waitresses and crew like old friends.
But my dining accomplice and I are not known here. And so, once our food is delivered, we are on our own. When we are finished, we must flag our waitress for our check. She is not busy with tables, mind you, just gossiping with fellow employees about Martina Navratilova's 100-mile-per-hour serve. I am not impressed with my sandwich, nor with the cranberry-sauce-size container of coleslaw and sliver of limp pickle. When I ask for a takeout container for my half sandwich, our waitress deposits a sheet of wax paper and a wax-paper sandwich bag on the table. "I guess they don't want to encourage leftovers," I say to my accomplice.
I would have tried the Wunderbar here, but no one seemed to care if we stayed or left . . . so we left.
Finally, I will never understand what keeps Nosh-A-Rye open. My lunch in this dingy restaurant couldn't end soon enough. Our sandwiches are the stingiest I've ever been served in an allegedly kosher-style Jewish deli. I receive two tablespoons of uninspired chicken salad and some worn-out stubs of iceberg lettuce pressed between two thin slices of rye bread. Institutional-looking coleslaw and tired pickles complete the picture. My accomplice's pastrami with melted cheese on an onion roll is measly for $4.45.
But no matter, I'm in a hurry to escape Nosh-A-Rye's aging linoleum, cracked menus and grease-darkened walls. Regrettably, before I pay the bill and slip outside into the sunlight, I happen to look under our table and spot a layer of grunge that sickens me.
Nosh-A-Rye must have a devoted following to stay in business all these years. All I can say is, these customers must be living in a nostalgic haze. Who would want to eat in such a place?
Munch a Bagel, 5114 North Seventh Street, Phoenix, 264-1975. Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
Scott's Generations, 5539 North Seventh Street, Phoenix, 277-3078. Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday.
Katz Delicatessen & Sandwich Shop, 5144 North Central, Phoenix, 277-8814. Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday and Saturday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday.
Nosh-A-Rye, 3947 East Camelback, Phoenix, 956-8781. Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday.
®MDBU¯munch a bagel
In its new digs across Seventh Street from the old location, Munch a Bagel is shiny and new and enlarged.
We're talking serious salami here--enough for a week's worth of normal sandwiches.
The first question the waitresses ask you is, "Coffee?"
This chocolate-chip cheesecake hand-dipped in dark chocolate on a stick is sinfully rich and, I imagine, highly addictive.
Katz Delicatessen may have been a fine noshery once upon a time, but that time has come and gone.
Our sandwiches are the stingiest I've ever been served in an allegedly Kosher-style Jewish deli.
TAKING HIS LUMPS JOE MYERS MOVES OFF THE... v9-18-91