Like most Carroll Gardeners, I have from time to time patronized Joe's Superette and Frank's Gourmet Deli, two delis that lie within a block of each other on Smith Street. Frank's is just your conventional deli, with the usual selection of drinks and groceries. Joe's is known for its sandwiches and peerless homemade prosciutto balls.
Little did I think that these two old world Carroll Gardens businesses had anything to do with each other. Then I was sent a link to a link to a Facebook page called Old School Carroll Gardens. Under a photo of Frank's, I found an intriguing thread of comments from former neighborhood residents.
One Angelo DiTrento opened a can of worms by remembering, "Frank use to work for Joe's many years ago." Then Karen Conroy said, "FRANK WAS A DELIVERY BOY FOR JOE.............BEFORE ALL THE RIVALRY." Rivalry? What's this? "I remember when Frank worked for Joe at Joe's Superette," Mark A. King confirmed. Then Anna Guida Mazunni added, tantalizingly, "YEP THEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE."
This is getting good. What else? Rick Ciretta fills us in: "I remember that frank came here from italy and worked for joe...then i dont know how he got the money to buy a deli right next to joe ...then all of a sudden frank was loaded.. hmmm ..and joe never went any further ...frank started owning all of smith street somehow."
Wow. Serious intrigue.
I've always liked Joe's (good vibe), and I never liked Frank's (bad vibe). Of course, neither is owned by the Joe's people or Franks people anymore. But perhaps I was picking up on ancient karma.