Deli Man

Review: Matt Mungle

Deli Man is open for business at most art house theaters but make sure you don’t see it on an empty stomach. You will be salivating by the time it is over. Part Food Network and part History Channel this documentary is an entertaining, humorous, and upbeat look at the history of delicatessens in the United States.

The film is chopped full of stories from current deli owners and the people who visit them. You will learn about the menus, the food, and what drives these food merchants to carry on. It truly is a cultural piece that perfectly blends the current with the past. The owners love what they do and the passion translates wonderfully to the screen. This passion will have you smiling and engaged the entire time.

Celebs like Larry King and Jerry Stiller – who are frequent deli customers – chime in to talk about their personal experiences with these family businesses. Third generation deli owner Ziggy Gruber will keep you in stitches as you follow him through his daily chores. His ability to toss in the Yiddish dialogue with common vernacular makes him an old school spirit.

It is note worthy how seamlessly director Erik Anjou blends the German Jewish history into the Deli story. They are one in the same and share a similar heartbeat. As the music carries the story from clip to clip the Jewish immigrant style transports the viewer into the mindset of this culture. It is undoubtedly one of the most fun and fascinating documentaries I have watched in some time. A must see!

Rated PG-13 for some brief language it is a safe film for all ages and groups.

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100 min | Documentary