How Do You Define Luxury?

I often find that the word luxury is misused, which is why I hesitate to use this word when describing the garters in my shop or when describing them in person. I think it’s not only an over-used word, but whenever I encounter the word luxury in day to day life it feels like code for “marketing gimmick.”

Earlier this summer, D and I ate at Al’s Deli* in Evanston and I’ve been trying to put my finger on what I enjoyed about the experience. The closest correlation I can make is walking into a family member’s home and they make me lunch. The sandwich (smoked turkey on seven grain bread) has a degree of care in it’s assembly and earnestness. The quality of everything is very good, but I don’t feel the deli is trying to market itself as ‘fancy’ or ‘luxury’ (although I haven’t tried, I know you can get special add-ons at extra cost). This deli is not trying to sell me on the ‘new thing’. It’s honest. There’s something hospitable about it too. The sandwiches are generous, enough to share. Last time we were there, I noticed a cookbook about macaroons on the back counter behind one of the deli cases and based on that, decided to try a chocolate one. I don’t have much to compare it with, but the macaroon was incredibly decadent and clearly made with high quality chocolate. Although not the cheapest sandwich shop, I feel like I’m getting what I pay for at this place, which these days is rare. If it were within my means to do so, I’d probably be there much more often. For now, it’s the perfect cheap date for us. Quality shouldn’t have to be a luxury.

*If you click over to the website, make sure you mute your computer first, there’s music.

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