Try reading these sentences aloud, preferably with lute music in the background.
O! Manny’s, who art thou?
From whence did you set your head
Upon the Lump Seat of a cow?
For your meats are of the animals dead,
And together a tapestry wind
A beauteous taste, of which I spake,
That defamishes hunger for all time.
These elements together bind,
And a great restaurant it does make.
Listen, you all, as we spin our rhyme.
For Manny’s resides in a land
Untrodden by the Feet of Age
And for years unnumbered it did sell its brand,
To the Young, the Lost, and the Elderly Sage
We find its appeal universal.
When you enter Manny’s, it’s as if
You’ve sprung from the singular womb
And suffered some divine reversal
Flung free off the ordinary cliff
To plumb culinary secrets in the lunchtime gloom.
When the glow of the street doth fade,
And you arrive, surrounded, in queue,
The food before you is laid
Endless indeed in purview.
A man is assembling a sandwich
With a fervent and practiced air
He slaps down a brick of pastrami.
You grab a meatloaf, you grab a kinish,
You dutifully pay your fare,
And to your window’d table you flee.
And the people! O! The people!
The people who here feed.
They are as a magnificent steeple.
For from gustatory heights Manny’s serves Chicago’s need,
And the variety of people is unmatched,
With Hispanics, Blacks, and Slovaks
All eating the dish of the Jew.
Their clothing—some is elegant, some is patched
Some emerge from manors, and still more from shacks
They all assemble here with you.
Manny’s is the portal to a life not had
Through food indeed, it alters the Soul.
Take your boyfriend. Take your dad.
The price even works for those on the dole.
Mad leftovers you will receive—
You will take them home in many a bag.
And to eat again is so sweet
But when they are gone you will grieve.
And when your stomach doth sag
Return to Manny’s to eat,
And now this Ode is complete.