Eating lunch at Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop always fills me with a particularly New Yorky sense of well-being. Everyone around me seems to be content and chipper as well. I thought about this recently as I sat at the counter and munched my BLT. Here are some of the reasons why I think this is:
*Eisenberg's has remarkably high ceilings. The place is airy. With the roof not crushing down upon you, your head (and mind) feels free and unburdened.
*Eisenberg's is always packed. This contributes to a happy metropolitan buzz about the place. It's not a din, because you can easily talk above it. It's the buzz of urban worker bees.
*The owner is always there, hovering near the cash register. Thus, you feel he cares. Every diner wants to feel cares for.
*The counter staff always takes your order right away, and part of that order (the drink, the soup, the fries) usually arrives within 60 seconds.
*It's a narrow place, and therefore, democratic. You can see everyone and everyone can see you. No one's sitting at the best table, because there is no best table.
*It's cheap. You do not part with too much money.
*No one is wearing the wrong thing here. Jeans. A suit and tie. It all works.
*The staff allows you to tell the cashier what you had, as opposed to presenting you with a check that proves what you had. Thus, you feel trusted and ever-so-slightly empowered.