I met three members of the Canter family last Thursday when they unveiled their new menu. Marc Canter and his sister Jacqueline greeted me near the Kibitz Room. Soon their cousin, Terri Bloomgarden, joined us.
Look again – it’s not your typical grilled cheese – it’s a grilled mac n’ cheese, loaded with sharp cheddar and bacon bits. Yum yum. (photo by Jill Weinlein)
They were eager for me to try a few of their new grilled deli-style paninis. The new menu also features new breakfast items and specialty cocktails. “People were asking for different items on a sandwich and less meat. We discovered that less meat, doesn’t mean less flavor,” Terri said. They created about 14 different panini melt sandwiches to appeal to their customer’s requests.
“One can still get our thick corned beef or pastrami Canter’s sandwich, but now they have an option to order it panini-style,” Terri said.
The three of them grew nostalgic when Bloomgarden shared with me that at the age of three, while sitting in her grandmother’s lap (founder Jennie Canter), she passed out matchbooks to the customers with the Canter’s logo on it.
“We used to have a cigarette machine and everyone who bought cigarettes needed matches,” she said.
She also remembers when Hubert Humphrey ran for President and came into Canter’s for a meal. While working in the bakery, Bloomgarden tried to give Mr. Humphrey a free Danish. He looked at her and said, “No thanks, I pay for everything I get.”
Marc Canter, Jaqueline Canter, center, and Terri Bloomgarden show off some new items on the revamped Canter’s menu, most notably 14 new grilled panini sadwiches. (photo by Jill Weinlein)
Now Terri’s grandson, Milo, comes into Canter’s with his mother Deena to visit and eat some chopped liver, lox, or enjoy a bowl of hot matzo ball soup. The two year old is the fifth generation of Canter’s setting foot into this iconic restaurant.
Instead of passing out matches, Terri’s daughter stamped parking tickets for customers when she was a little girl. Later, she worked as a hostess, then in the bakery and as a waitress.
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