A Little Help From Your Friends

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Heroes do not take bows. I have a friend in Brooklyn, whom we’ll call Billy, who has a penchant for good, local food.  His favorite family-run deli on Grand Street in Little Italy was on the brink and he wanted to do something. So he sent an email to his friends and neighbors. These guys do good lasagna. And fresh buffalo mozzarella. Eggplant parm. Pru-schoot! Can you help out?

So Billy took some orders. He hopped in his car on a Sunday morning. And he brought the proprietors of Di Palo’s nearly $900 of newfound business.


That was a month ago. Di Palo’s, which has been hugging its little corner of New York since 1925, is hanging on. And Billy is now the cheese guy on a Brooklyn stoop. He didn’t stop there.

Turns out his friend Tamale Man down on Ludlow Street was opening his doors for a few hours a day to try to keep his business alive. Billy stepped in and the good people of his neighborhood were treated to some of the finest home-made tamales this side of Oaxaca. It was a bright Cinco de Mayo indeed.


There are a lot of people doing heroic things these days. Trust me, Billy would not consider himself one of them. I was gorging on tamales Rojas the other night and got to thinking, what could I do? So I decided to write this piece

Do you have a favorite local joint doing take-out that needs a shout-out? I’d love to help. It does not have to be NY-centric. They call it the worldwide web for a reason. Send me a great pic and a short sentence or two on why we MUST support this place. I will happily add it to this column.

I write for fun and have no skin in the game. Except to see local businesses survive and thrive. Food is my jam so please, send away. If we can keep one place cooking for another day, everybody wins. That is a message we could all use. Along with some great tamales and cheese.

Di Palo’s, 200 Grand Street, NYC.  Tel. for orders:  212-226-1033. Factory Tamal, 34 Ludlow Street, NYC. Tel. for orders: 917-691-5524


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