Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Carl's Two Cent's Worth

Carl's Two Cents Plain, on Locust Street, bills itself as St. Louis' only authentic New York-style deli. The establishment dates back to the golden days of Gaslight Square, when Jack Karl and his partner opened the place. An old news clip, framed and hanging on one of the place's cluttered walls shows Carl hoisting a beer at the Gaslight location in the early 1960s. I recall an old column by retired Post-Dispatch reporter Joe Pollack that waxed nostalic on the deli and the reporter's mutual recollection of Jack Ruby's Carousel Club in Dallas, pre 1963. Carl still works behind the counter and offers free advice with the pastrami sandwiches. On the day I visted recently, the first words I overheard him say concerned his opinion on the urban renewal going on around him. Carl's position: "Fuck downtown."