Schmacon and eggs.
No, really. Chicago-area deli owner Howard Bender has rolled out , “an all-muscle cut of uncured beef that’s sliced thin, marinated and smoked using spices that include celery powder and sea salt,” according to the Illinois Daily Herald.
Until recently, the bacon stand-in was only available at Bender’s Schmaltz Deli. Now, non-pork-eaters can find it at supermarkets around Naperville, Illinois, where Bender’s based.
Arab and Jewish Chefs Cooking Together in Haifa
Arab cuisine is flourishing in Israel — and some of its biggest champions are Jewish, according to an AP story in Haaretz.
Transcending a grim political situation, Jewish and Arab chefs came together last week to celebrate Arab food at a Haifa festival. And Arab-Israeli chef Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, who founded the festival (she won Israeli Masterchef in 2014), plans to open a cooking school in her northern hometown.” Jews and Arabs can learn about each other’s cooking traditions,” she says.
Tipping a Top Hat to Tradition
In Fort Lauderdale, three-month-old Top Hat Deli “is reinventing the Jewish deli for a new generation,” raves New Times. Think reuben egg rolls, bacon ramen and pastrami burgers.
“We’re doing the usual deli food different, and that’s the idea,” co-owner Eliot Wolf tells the paper. “The Jewish deli as we know it is dying. So this is my tribute to the memories I had growing up, a way to preserve tradition and keep the nostalgia going.”
The older generation doesn’t always get it, Wolf says, “but my kids do.”
Top Hat Delicatessen, 415 NE Third St., Fort Lauderdale.
Just Like Mamaleh Used to Make
Boston’s about to get a more traditional Jewish deli, if the name’s any clue.
The team behind now-shuttered hotspots Hungry Mother and State Park will open Mamaleh’s Delicatessen this spring.
Co-owner Rachel Miller Munzer tells Eater her menu will include classics like pastrami, corned beef, lox, pickles, whitefish salad, knishes, matzo-ball soup, and more, and there’ll be a soda fountain. “As much will be made in-house as possible,” she promises. Stay tuned.
Mamaleh’s Delicatessen, One Kendall Square, Boston, phone/web site TBA.
Lean, Clean Pastrami in Melbourne
It’s only a few weeks old, but Miss Ruben’s Canteen is already making a strong case for Melbourne’s best pastrami on rye, says Australia’s Broadsheet.
“It’s a leaner sandwich than you’ll get from Katz’s at 3 a.m. — whether or not that’s a plus or a minus is up to you,” writes the Broadsheet. Owner Amanda Rubèn agrees. “It’s probably a bit cleaner than what you’d eat in a New York deli, but it tastes just as good and it’s healthier,” she proclaims.
On Friday nights, there’s chopped liver and matzo-ball soup.
Miss Ruben’s Canteen, 76 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea, Melbourne, Australia, 03 9042 5933. (No web site.)
Jewish Deli Before London Theater
Legend has it that Mishkin’s sits on the site of a restaurant once owned by a Ukrainian orphan named Ezra Mishkin. Along with some nouvelle-British experiments, its menu includes chopped liver, roasted eggplant, pickled herring and turkey schnitzel.
‘Jewish-Style’ Burger Subs Pastrami for Bacon (Keeps Cheese)
“When you’re a restaurant inspired by Jewish deli traditions and there’s no pork in house, how do you interpret the classic American burger? Simple: On Todd Ginsberg’s dinner menu you’ll find a burger where crispy house-made pastrami subs in for bacon, making for a “ ‘different, and very delicious, experience,’ ” Zagat raves.
Cuckoo for Chinese on Christmas
We don’t usually quote publicists, but we had to share the schtick we got from a rep for Cuckoo Kitchen, a new meal-kit delivery service:
“What’s more kosher than eating Chinese food on Christmas? A long-standing tradition in the Jewish community has been to nosh on Chinese food during the holiday, and Cuckoo Kitchen continues the custom. ‘Oy vey, the wait is 30 minutes,’ will no longer be uttered, there will be no need to schlep to a restaurant in the cold, no standing in line, no sitting with strangers and no tipping.”
Give them credit for tailoring their pitch.
FYI, the deadline for placing an order with Cuckoo Kitchen and getting the delivery in time for Christmas is Wednesday, December 23rd, at 4 p.m.
Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward.