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Deli Man: Starring Ziggy Gruber


Houston delicatessen owner Ziggy Gruber and his Post Oak restaurant, Kenny and Ziggy’s are starring in a movie. Erik Greenberg Anjou, a New York-based independent filmmaker, was in town last week with his production crew working on the documentary which is tentatively titled: Deli Man.

The director choose Ziggy Gruber as his star because of his outgoing personality and because he is may be the only third generation Jewish deli man who is still actively running a restaurant. The unlikely Texas location is part of the movie’s appeal. “The fact that the best New York Deli in the country is located in Houston blows people’s minds,” chuckles Ziggy Gruber.

According to the director, “Ziggy’s story, including his move from New York’s Lower East Side to Texas in an effort to continue the family business and tradition, is emblematic of the wider story of the Jewish delicatessen; its storied if not heart-stopping delicacies and its reflection of the migration and development of both Eastern European and American Jews.”

Erik Greenberg Anjou’s previous films cover subjects as varied as college football history and abstract expressionist painting, but his particular interest is in Jewish culture and its perpetuation. Two of his projects – A Cantor’s Tale (www.acantorstale.com) and The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground (www.klezdoc.com) – have found an enthusiastic home on the film festival circuit and on PBS affiliates.

The film is schedule for release in a about a year. We’ll keep you posted.

5 comments to Deli Man: Starring Ziggy Gruber

  • What a wonderful, beautiful story! Can hardly wait for the movie!

  • Marv Alpert

    The film left out the Karz’s Deli and Ben’s deli, both iconic masterpieces by which all other delis are measured.

  • Kenny and Ziggy’s is great. It is the follow-up act to the original Houston deli, Alfred’s. Alfred’s was fabulous.

  • I just watched the trailer and I think I remember I saw Ziggy on Diners Drive ins and dives- What he is doing and the film maker is pricelessly important. I cook for personal enjoyment and to show my family and friends love. The smells of Jewish cooking are like none other. I never worked in a deli-I have eaten in many some better than others. I am 61 and my cholesterol is down. I would love to work in a deli- for free just to feel the ancestry- My dad on Sunday’s cooked and made corned beef, chopped liver, helzel, knaidlach,meat blintzes and of course schmaltz to name a few- gribbenes with salt….HEAVEN.. we used to spread schmaltz and salt it on a piece pf motzah- but oh so not healthy but who cares. What memories. Thank you sincerely for making the film. I wish I could somehow be involved to help. I will gladly pre-order a few copies. l’Shalom and Happy Chanukah

  • This is a really late post for this thread, but, for anyone interested, Deli Man (the movie) is well into post production now. Take a look at the official movie site: http://www.delimanmovie.com

    A documentary about the inspired owner-operators who keep the mouth-watering food and tradition of Jewish deli in America alive.

    It is looking delicious!

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