Need Help Adding to Your Shabbat or Holiday Table?

Tried and true shopping recommendations from T&V members

Mike Cohn

 

   When the holidays come around, that’s when our shul regulars go shopping for their favorite Jewish foods. Oftentimes those places are the same spots they visit year-round for the best bagels, herring, lox, ruggelach and other goodies.

   There are a number of institutions that have been around for generations, like Russ & Daughters and Kossar’s Bialys on the Lower East Side, and Barney Greengrass and Zabar’s on the Upper West Side, along with newer places like the Holyland Market, which stocks Israeli items, in the East Village.

   We asked our shul goers for their favorite places to get their food for the Jewish holidays, particularly around the New Year, along with recommendations on where they like to buy baked goods year-round and catering services.

   For those of you inspired by our Green Team’s effort to help us be more environmentally aware, you will appreciate the suggestions for buying local and for one excellent source for kosher, grass-fed, organic meat.

 

Manhattan Offerings:

Eva Heinemann says, “I don’t know about anyone else, but for Pesach, I go to Seasons. Trader Joe’s has a good kosher selection. So does Fine Fare on the Lower East Side.”

Ellen Tabor goes further afield for her orders, with the help of the internet. “I get my kosher meat from Kol Farms in Maryland,” she says. “The meat is kosher, grass fed, organic and delicious. They deliver it timely and have a huge variety of products. Ordering is online and customer service is excellent and responsive. Heartily recommended!”

Virginia Liebowitz prefers to stay local. “The challah—for Shabbat and holidays—is delicious from 504 Grand Street, between Columbia and Willett Streets,” she writes. “The challah can be egg, water, or dietetic. The store also has traditional baked goods: mun cake, brown and white cookies, etc. Everything is strictly kosher. It is baked in Williamsburg and brought here. The store also sells rye, pumpernickel and pumpernickel raisin breads.

Jessica Friedman heads north for her favorites. “For the holidays, I usually find myself running up to Kosher Marketplace on the Upper West Side. But you really have to be careful,” she advises. “Last year I bought a cake that I thought was labeled $12 on the shelf. When I got it home, it turned out it was something like $60.”

Harriet Lutzker notes “some of my catering comes from either Murray’s on 15th Street and 1st Avenue, or Buddha Bodai on Mott Street, which is kosher vegetarian. I also use East Side Glatt on Grand Street. For challah and baked goods, I go to Moishe’s on the East Side.

Jessie Reagen Mann prefers several different sources for her bakery items. “Our baked goods mostly come from the Union Square Market—Bread Alone and Body and Soul (a vegan bakery) are my standbys. Bagel Boss has delicious challah.” However, she prefers to do most of the cooking herself. “The New York Times Passover Cookbook and my friend’s Gefilte Manifesto are our guides,” Jessie adds.

Janett Edelberg has two favorite spots. “For the very best holiday challah, Breads Bakery on Union Square,” she recommends. “For smoked fish, Russ & Daughters without question.”

Judy Hiller-Schwartz has several of her own “haimish shopping haunts” when she finds ingredients for her famous knishes and other goodies. She likes the Holyland Market for its Israeli grocery and pita bread. In Manhattan, she recommends East Side Glatt on Grand Street. “I think this is the only kosher butcher in Lower Manhattan. Prices are okay for Manhattan, but higher than Jersey and Queens.” Another option on Grand Street is East Side Kosher, a general kosher grocery that “has great jars of horseradish, which are much better than Gold’s brand.”

Also on Grand Street is the Pickle Guys, which has a large variety of pickles. “Don’t miss the fresh ground horseradish before Passover but avoid the pre-made horseradish the rest of the year,” Judy recommends. “Get that at East Side Kosher market above.”

There are two Moishe’s bakeries to choose from, Judy notes, one at 504 Grand Street and the other in the neighborhood at 115 2nd Ave. “I think they are cousins, but the stores are not directly related. Unfortunately, you must be careful there,” Judy advises. “You need to ask if the item is fresh that day. They also try to push too much on you.”

 

Brooklyn

If you want to go further afield into Brooklyn, try Pomegranate, the Kosher Whole Foods on Coney Island Ave offering a full selection of homemade and manufactured goods. Every Thursday, new homemade items are featured. Shop there or order on-line.

Harriet Lutzker recommends Gourmet Glatt on 13th Ave. and 39th Street in Brooklyn where she does most of her food shopping.

Two bakeries of note.  Cheryl Gross recommends Chiffon 430 Avenue P for challot and good tasting parve cakes. 

If you are interested in Middle Eastern baked goods, try Mansoura Bakery offering pastries and homemade candies.