Cheerio: A fitting goodbye Sendoff: After nine years on the air, there should be a theme to build a 'Seinfeld' party around. But there's no theme. Why isn't there a theme? It's not right that there isn't a theme. Someone should come up with a theme.


Got your multiple boxes of cereal ready? Ovaltine in case a Bania shows up and Bosco for a George? And don't forget the silverware and china in case anyone wants to eat a Snickers.

Food figured often in "Seinfeld." The terminally adolescent gang tended to eat true to form, heavy on the Pez and Jujyfruits slice of the food pyramid and ordering the same meal after meal at Monk's diner. But this puts the hosts of various "Seinfeld" send-off parties tomorrow night in something of a quandary: What exactly is Seinfood, which you, of course, will want to serve if you've invited friends over for a Seinfete.

"They're not gourmets," says Nancy Tabor, a marketing communications consultant who has invited friends and co-workers to her Baltimore condo to watch both the preview show and the final episode itself. "So I was thinking of subs or deli. And I'll have a Big Salad in honor of Elaine."

Tabor, who has rented a Big (screen) TV for her 20 some guests, also has been trying to get "Soup Nazi" soup from Al Yeganeh, he of the New York take-out that figured into a memorable episode. And she'll have chips -- but no double-dipping allowed.

And, of course, chocolate babka.

"Oh, I did see that one, where they went to the bakery to get one for a party but then they didn't serve it," said Dolores (please, no jokes about what that rhymes with) Hergenroeder, whose family owns the Woodlea bakery on Belair Road in Northeast Baltimore.

Hergenroeder, who rarely sees "Seinfeld" because, like most bakers, she has to be up before dawn to get the rolls rolling, has advice for party givers: Don't delay the way Jerry did and end up with cinnamon instead of chocolate babka. Call ahead. Woodlea usually makes cinnamon babka, which is very popular, but if you call in advance, it'll make chocolate for you.

"The funny episode was when he stole that woman's marble rye," says Jody Rosoff, owner of the Pariser's kosher bakery across town on Reisterstown Road. Pariser's sells both the babka and the rye, and suggests calling ahead as well in case there's a "Seinfeld"-induced rush.

You probably won't want to serve some of "Seinfeld's" trademark food: The pizza by Poppie, the hand-washing-challenged chef. The Beef-A-Reeno Kramer bought in huge quantities that resulted in an odoriferous ride in a certain hansom cab. George's big hunks of cheese -- yuck! At least Kenny Rogers Roasters, which Kramer became obsessed with, remains open here even as it's scaled back elsewhere in the country.

But it turns out that the show about nothing offers about the same as far as inspiration for sending it off in party style. How exactly would you dress like Jerry? Do you really want to put a half-eaten eclair on top of your garbage pail for George-types to eat? And if you wear your urban sombrero, how will anyone else see the TV screen?

New York, home to the show's characters, is the place to be for the showiest celebrations.

Tom's Restaurant, the real-life Monk's at 112th Street and Broadway, has been booked for the night by Maxim, a men's magazine, for an invitation-only party. Other locales that have figured into various episodes, like Mendy's restaurant and the New York Health & Racquet Club, are having promotions as well.

But, in rather Krameresque fashion -- i.e., big plan, bigger crash -- a couple of massive outdoor bashes have been scuttled. There was the notion to shut down Times Square for a street party and viewing on the big TV screen there. Mayor Rudy Giuliani nixed that for its chaos potential. Then there was the Fuji Film party, first scheduled for Bryant Park, but that too was squelched.

For smaller-scaled events, Sherri Foxman, the self-proclaimed Party Girl on the Internet, offers her expertise.

Foxman, a party planner in Cleveland, has been selling a "Sein-Off Party Pack" for $35 plus $6.50 shipping via her Web site: http: // It includes invitations, cocktail napkins engraved with "We SEINED off on May 14, 1998," tissues for weepers and your choice of black carnation boutonnieres or "Sein-off" yarmulkes, a trivia contest, a recipe for chocolate babka and a guest book.

Foxman offers tips even if you don't buy her kit: She suggests the theme of "My Best Friends' Funeral." Everyone wears black and there's a buffet.

"It really was hard to come up with a concept to tie it all together," Foxman says. "There's really nothing to kind of grab onto."

Nothing works for Tabor, who decided to call her event "The Party About Nothing." An illustrator friend did caricatures for the invitations, and Tabor reports a good RSVP-with-pleasure rate of return.

Tabor, who in the past has held Sunday brunches to watch and discuss "The McLaughlin Group," says she decided against going too theme-y for her party. She will ask guests at the door to write their guesses for the plot of the final episode to see who comes closest. But she decided against much more, such as having guests show up as a minor character. Too much pressure. Too un-Seinfeld.

Instead she'll stock up on some Snapple. Buy some Junior Mints. Yada, yada, yada.

Pub Date: 5/13/98

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