Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Food Wars @ 97 Orchard Street

A few months ago the Travel Channel show "Food Wars" filmed a scene at the Tenement Museum. For the episode pitting the pastrami of Second Avenue Deli against that of Katz's, the producers wanted a "meeting of the minds" to take place somewhere on the Lower East Side - a place where the owners of the two restaurants could meet to discuss the rules of the contest. Because of our connection to the history of the neighborhood, the Tenement Museum was a perfect choice!

Any film or tv producers out there who might be reading this know that it's pretty hard to shoot inside 97 Orchard Street. For one thing, it's dark - almost every film shoot requires extra lighting. It's also busy all day, every day, with the hundreds of school kids, tour groups, and public visitors who come to see the museum daily. For a film crew with a tight schedule, that usually means we can't accommodate the production. But for the "Food Wars" crew, we worked out a great alternative - filming on the roof!

You can see in the background the lovely streetscape of Allen Street. It was cold and rainy the day we filmed - you can see the talent wearing plastic rain smocks and carrying umbrellas - but the crew pushed through and got the scene they needed. It was fun to meet the owners & operators of both iconic delis, who swapped gossip about other restaurateurs, DOH inspections, and the Lower East Side back in the day.

You can watch some video snippets from the episode here, and catch the show on The Travel Channel to find out who won the big showdown!

- posted by Kate

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