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Jewish comfort food at its best

Posted by Rachel Kossman  October 20, 2011 08:00 AM

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Warning: This post doesn't exactly fall into the nightlife category. Although you can head to Zaftigs for dinner (they're open nightly until 10 PM) I'd recommend this delicatessen for brunch the morning after your night out. Complete with all sorts of comfort foods, this meal is delectable, regardless of whether you're hungover or not.

As a young Jewish woman, nothing says comfort food to me more than homemade matzoh ball soup. Or made from scratch potato latkes. Or bagels, topped with cream cheese, lox, tomatoes and onions. So you can imagine, when I heard there was a Jewish deli in Coolidge Corner I had yet to try, I jumped on the first chance I got to meet a friend for brunch there.

That's right, I'm talking about Zaftigs. Don't ask me how I managed to survive 5 years in Boston without stepping foot inside this incredible restaurant. Blame the fact that I lived on the E line instead of the C, or that I was stuck in the South End, Boylston Street bubble. Regardless, I'm so glad I've been enlightened.

brunch.jpgMy friend Steve and I arrived on a Sunday morning at around noon and put our names on the waiting list. We were told it'd be a half an hour wait, but we were seated after only 20 minutes. We ordered the potato latkes as an appetizer (yes, you can order appetizers at brunch!) to split, and they easily could have served as my meal, even though we were sharing. The actual pancakes were thick but the potatoes were thinly grated the way I like, and the patties were crispy on the outside. The homemade applesauce on the side was a fabulous addition.

Steve and I both opted for the Lenox omlette, comprised of sundried tomatoes, chives and goat cheese. As Steve said, each omelet had a "entire goat's worth of cheese in it" - not exactly healthy, but it's my favorite so I didn't complain! I added lox to mine, which was a great decision. Our waitress was sweet and attentive, despite every table in the restaurant being full. When she had an extra mimosa that would have otherwise gone in the trash, she offered it to us on the house. (I didn't even tell her I was blogging, I swear!)

The second time I went back was with a group of girlfriends. There were 5 of us, and as a result we waited over an hour for a table. I was smart enough to do a Starbucks run on my walk to the restaurant from the train, and we were all grateful to have the caffeine as we sat in the adjacent park. We were all definitely hungry and ready for our table by the time we were finally called. On that trip, I ordered the Empire Eggs (pictured) -- a twist on eggs benedict made with two potato latkes topped with lox, poached eggs, spinach and hollandaise sauce with a side of fruit and potatoes. To. Die. For. I could only eat one latke/egg combination as I was absolutely stuffed, but the second one made a great dinner later that night! My friends ordered a make your own omelette, challah french toast, the potato latkes with lox and the banana stuffed french toast and all of their selections were a hit.

As someone who doesn't eat red meat, I haven't tried their pastrami or other selection of meat sandwiches, but I've heard great things about those too. As Steve says, "pretty much anything you order off this menu will be the most delicious thing you've ever eaten." And Steve is a great eater and a trusted friend, so I'll take his opinion in stride ;) The menu has dozens of selections, so even the pickiest eaters can find something.

I have to say one tick against Zaftigs is the price - definitely not the cheapest meal around, but I'd say as a once-in-a-while, stuff-your-face occasion, it's worth every penny! So if you haven't been, go! Or if you have, comment and let me know what your favorite item on the menu is!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

About the author

Rachel Kossman is a California girl and New England transplant who graduated from Northeastern University in 2011. She has a penchant for discovering new restaurants and bars, devouring Mexican food, More »

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