My Ode to Dee's Deli of Milford

The saying is what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. The same applies to the old New Haven Register Milford bureau on New Haven Avenue. 

The bureau, which I began in on Nov. 2000, closed in February 2008. When the 15 of us moved into the cozy confines of the Register’s main building in New Haven we left behind a lot of memories. 
The bureau was filled with people of all ages and backgrounds, but the one thing that united us was lunch. At least three times a week we’d go to Dee’s Deli, which was literally next door to us

I was in love with their chicken cutlet wrap. Back then I shelled out $8 for a monstrosity of a wrap, but it was so good. Yes, I’d get the same thing daily. Why switch when it’s perfect. 

My friend Phil Helsel, who is now the online producer at the New York Post, would buy lunch with us once a week. It was always Dee’s famous Reuben. It was so famous because there was so much meat and butter piled high that just a few bites in, the bread would evaporate and you were left holding the meat instead of the bread. It may sound sick, but it was Heaven. Jim Tinley blogged about Dee's Reuben.

The legend of Dee’s spawned the very short lived but popularMeat blog, which extolled the virtues of eating meat. Honestly, we also did it as a joke because our big boss, Helen Bennett Harvey started a blog called Vegging Out. It was all in fun. 

It’s pretty clear we were a very tight nit group even as the characters constantly changed in the Milford bureau. We always took time to eat together, which kept us close, and most importantly kept the work environment fun. Again some things we can’t talk about! 

As the years went by media company’s made cut backs and we closed the Milford office and moved into New Haven. It was very difficult for me. 

On our last day in Milford, ironically Valentine’s Day Feb. 14, 2008, the remaining 15 people left in the office decided to partake in a Reuben pact. 

I remember calling in the order to Dee’s. I think it was like 15 Reuben’s and sweet potato fries. It was unreal. Everyone gathered in the lunchroom around a small table with old couches and ate the Reuben’s.
It was a sight to behold to see Gabriella eat a whole Dee’s Reuben. I think that day helped convert her to becoming a vegetarian. 

That was a tough day as we moved our computers to New Haven, and Dee’s and her friendly staff helped make it a little better even though we may have been taking years off our lives. 

And I will never forget Dee, and how when she learned we were leaving Milford she made dozens of cookies for the office as a way of saying thank you for all of the years of patronage. 

In reality it’s me who wants to thank Dee not only for the delicious food, but the fact it helped bring everyone in the bureau closer together.

Thank you Dee’s Deli,

Brian McCready
New Haven Register
Metro Editor


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