Monday, March 2, 2009

On Bubbies and Babka

The epic smoked meat counter. Take a number, or else.

Despite living in New York for nearly five years, I for some reason had never been to Zabar's until recently. Zabar's is something of an institution here, billed as "New York City's Gourmet Epicurean Empire!" It's been around since 1934, and currently takes up almost an entire city block on the Upper West Side. It's known for selling gourmet coffees and cheeses, plus smoked fish and other Jewish-style appetizings. And since the Upper West Side is populated almost exclusively by old Jews, I felt completely at home when I paid a visit.

Look, here we are at the Strudel and Knish Corner! YAY! They sell strudel at by the foot here. I ate six inches of cheese-filled before heading to the fish counter.

Where this guy grudgingly gave me many, many samples of lox (or, as my great grandmother Bibby used to say, "novie."). I also tried some pickled herring. I smelled great!

This woman cut me in line for the novie. Look at the indignant expression on her face! I almost slapped her. But then I was soothed by a sample of some chocolate babka.

Overall, a worthwhile adventure. As an added bonus, Zabar's in conveniently located next to H & H Bagels, which may very well be the finest bagel producer in the city. I concluded my visit by sloppily arranging a half pound of sable on a fresh onion bagel on the streetcorner. It wasn't the prettiest scene, and I reeked for the whole subway ride downtown, but there's nothing I love more than getting in touch with my cultural jostling with 50 other crotchety grandparents for a slice of smoked fish.

1 comment:

PaPa said...

YAY!!!! Jamie's stomach is no longer EMPTY!!!!