Eastern European / New York / Restaurants/Bars

Sammy’s Roumanian

I’ve heard of Sammy’s Roumanian, but I finally got to experience it last week.  Wowzas.  Growing up in Savannah, GA, I didn’t get to go to many bar mitzvahs, but I made up for it last Thursday.  I’m not exaggerating.  It’s a bar mitzvah for grown ups.  Let me set the scene:

  • Walk in the front door of this LES “steakhouse” and you’re suddenly in what looks to be a church basement somewhere in the 1960s.  I’m pretty sure there’s asbestos lurking beneath the ceiling tiles.  Pictures and business cards cover every inch of the wall and rafters so you feel like you’ve walked into a friends house.  That friend is likely the smelly kid in class because the whole place is skeevy, but I now think that’s part of it’s charm.
  • For those un-initiated, aka: non-Jews (or in the case of moi, a Jew who grew up around all non-Jews), there is a Yiddish dictionary on the table.  I found it quite helpful.
  • There is a dj in the corner on a keyboard who provides the majority of the vocals himself.
  • We had a nice long table with several bottles of vodka in blocks of ice that helped us get the party going.  It gave us the push we needed to get up and dance the hora.  That’s right, the hora.  One engaged girl was even lifted in the chair by the men in the group.
  • After dancing, we sat down for a meal of full-on Jew food:
    • Pickles and pickled tomatoes
    • Latkes
    • Roast Chicken
    • Steak
    • Home-fried silver dollar potatoes
    • And the dish of the evening: chopped liver.  It was mixed tableside (with a nice bottle of animal fat) so I’m thinking it’s the poor man’s caesar salad.  Most of the people in our group shied away from this one, but I had no fear.  I have to admit, it looked gross but didn’t taste too bad.  However, between this dish and the garlic-filled steak, your breath will not be in the best shape, so bring lots of gum and maintain a safe distance from potential suitors.

It was a ridiculous evening.  I highly recommend pulling a group together and having a Sammy’s bar mitzvah party.  It’s all the good times you remember from when you were 13…plus a TON of alcohol.

Dictionary
DJ and Decorations
Mixing Chopped Liver
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