The Jew And The Carrot

Pastrami With Side of Drama at Carnegie Deli

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
Flickr/ joseph a

Who knew leafy greens could be so telling?

The romaine lettuce you’ll see these days on plates at the Carnegie Deli aren’t just a sign owner Marian Levine has stopped using iceberg lettuce. These leaves mean that she has also gotten rid of Sanford “Sandy” Levine, her philandering husband of 22 years. (Apparently Sandy, who used to run the deli’s daily operations before his wife learned of his 15-year affair with one of the deli’s waitresses, refused to update to romaine.)

Romaine is now on the menu, and Sandy and his paramour, Penkae (Kay) Siricharoen, have exited the famous delicatessen, but Marian is far from happy. Perhaps even worse than having taken Marian’s husband, Siricharoen has allegedly helped herself to Carnegie Deli inventory and recipes.

“They’re stealing my food!” Marian told the New York Post this week. As the daughter of Milton Parker, who bought the business with a partner back in 1976, she is highly proprietary of the secrets that make Carnegie Deli’s signature pastrami, corned beef and cheesecake what they are.

The Post reports that Sandy, who Marian admits was an excellent front-of-the-house man, basically ensconced his employee-lover in an apartment above the restaurant, showered her with expensive gifts, and bankrolled the opening of her restaurant in Queens right under his unsuspecting wife’s nose.

While Sandy left the home he shared with Marian at the end of 2012, only now is it coming to light how large a bite his affair with Sirichoaroen took out of the family-run business.

It seems the most devastating revelation for Marian was that there is a Carnegie knock-off called New York Cheese Cake (its former name was Carnegie Deli Thailand) in Bangkok owned by none other than Siricharoen’s family members. Unbeknownst to Marian, Sandy had arranged for his mistress’s relatives visiting from Thailand to tour the Carnegie Deli’s New Jersey plant, where it cures its meats and bakes its cheesecakes. Siricharoen has also allegedly removed thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from the deli and shipped it to Thailand.

It seems the doppelganger deli mimics the real thing not only in taste, but also in style. A 2010 blog post quoted by the Post stated that the restaurant in Bangkok served overstuffed sandwiches you can’t easily get your hands or mouth around. Sound familiar?

Marian, reeling from these revelations, but with no interest in being treated like chopped liver, is lawyering up and slapping Sandy and Siricharoen with a crop of lawsuits.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: carnegie deli, pastrami

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.