Hatteberg's People - Porubsky's Deli

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

On Hatteberg's People there is a new documentary film out about a little eatery in Topeka. It is called Porubsky's Deli and it has been in Topeka's Little Russia area since 1947. Governor's have eaten there as do every day people.

Charlie Purubsky's grandson Matt had the idea for the documentary and this weekend it began showing in Topeka theaters. I visited there
in 1990 and I thought since the spotlight is once again showing on it that you might like a taste of Porubsky's Deli.

Welcome to a family. It is a combination neighborhood grocery, tavern and a place where you can get what some say is the best chili and cold cuts in the area.

Charlie Porubsky has been serving chili since the 40s.

From the outside, newcomers might wonder what all the fuss is about. I can tell you. It just feels comfortable. Do you know how many bowls Charlie Jr. has served?

"Oh, I don't have any idea," Charlie Sr. says, "A week ago Thursday it rained and was cold we went through 55 to 58 gallons of chili in three hours. That's a lot of chili.

Blue collar to white collar, from dresses to overalls, the chili calls them all. In the store part of the operation is Charlie's wife, Lydia.

They may be on the other side of the tracks, but that is part of its charm. A famous Topeka deli is now immortalized in a new film.

Charlie Sr. and Lydia have passed on and Charlie Jr. now runs the place. But it is Charlie's grandson Matt who had the idea for the film about the deli.

The film debuted to a packed house last Thursday in Topeka and will be showing in Lawrence, Manhattan and again in Topeka later this month.

Saving a family history with a film. Good for Matt.

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