A new deli has officially opened and I’ve been as excited as my 4-year old was when we told him about our trip to Disney World. I’m the guy who wrote about My Deli Despair almost exactly one year ago.
So when I heard that a ballsy Jew named David Weinstein was going to open a real Jewish deli, I barely could contain the aforementioned excitement. After Andy Morantz and I held the 1st (and maybe last) Chopped Liver Spread-a-Pa-Looza, my options actually decreased. We ate all of that liver at the beginning of August. The aftertaste from the stuff we got from Mort’s and Crossroads is still there – I just can’t get rid of it. Seriously.
Our new deli is called Rye Delicatessen and Bar. I’ll just call it Rye Deli because delicatessen is just one of those words that gives me trouble. I had the chance to speak with owner David Weinstein about the opening and why he thought it would be a good idea to give the Jewish deli another shot right here in Minneapolis.
Weinstein is a real estate attorney from the East Coast who loves bagels and bialys. He also is a dead ringer for my brother – also a lawyer and also named David. Like me, he was a little disappointed by our selection in town. So, after eyeing a vacant space on Hennepin Ave for a while, he decided to concoct a plan with local restaurant veteran Tobie Nidetz. The goal is to have a real neighborhood spot – akin to the Jewish delis of old. You know, bagels and coffee in the morning, a corned beef sandwich for lunch, and maybe a drink after work. Well, maybe that last part isn’t very deli-ish – but 10 beers on tap sure does sound nice.
Before I stepped foot in the place, two things stood out for me:
1. Everything is being made from scratch – like my grandma’s kitchen. That is what I want in a deli. I don’t want my corned beef made in some factory in New Jersey like all the others.
2. Rye Deli is clearly a Jewish establishment. As Jeremy Iggers wrote last week, Rye Deli is not hiding from its Jewishness. Sorry Rabbi Avi – I know it’s not kosher. But, at least they call it lox and not smoked salmon.
So without any further adieu, here my take after visit #1. Remember folks, restaurants need some time to get their collective act together, so I’m cutting Rye Deli some slack.I hope that subsequent visits will get better each time.
The space is great and I think it works for the concept. The bar looked great and each stool was taken. It is not full service – customers order at the counter and the food is brought to the table. I first noticed the whitefish and lox in the refrigerated case. The whitefish made me relax a bit, but then a bit of chaos ensued. Apparently, the lunch rush was more than anticipated (which is good!) – so quite a few menu items were out. Out were the corned beef, the smoked meat, the chopped liver, the black and white cookies, and the pickles (all things I had hoped to try).
The staff was great and super friendly, but I think a few episodes of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm should be mandatory for new hires. A-rugula is something that goes in a salad, not a delicious rolled dough pastry. I should say that I was a little distracted by my son and by the Honorable Alan Page – who didn’t seem thrilled at the prospect of a sandwich other than corned beef.
Braised brisket: In lieu of the smoked meats, I went for the braised brisket sandwich. The rye bread was delicious, so that’s a good start. The brisket was ok – a little thick for my taste, but still ok. Frankly, I wouldn’t ever choose brisket over corned beef, so I’m not concerned. (5 out of 10)
Mish Mash: A nice bowl of chicken soup with everything (you know, carrot, matzo ball, kreplach). I think they nailed it and let me tell you why. Most restaurant chicken soups are quite clear and the broth is secondary to what you put in it. My grandmother’s soup was darker and you could actually taste the chicken. (9 out 10)
Noodle Kugel: A lot of kugels tend to fall apart, but this version held up well. It also wasn’t too sweet, which I like. (8 out of 10)
Bialy: I know that David Weinstein was pretty proud of his bagels and bialys, so I had to try one. For the record, this was the first time I’ve ever even seen a bialy in the Twin Cities. Really really good – I would trek over to Rye just for these. They even have the little bits of onion in the center. The burger buns are made from the same dough, so I;m looking forward to one of those really soon. (9 out of 10)
Turkey: Real. Roasted. Turkey. That’s all you need to know. (8.5 out of 10)
Cole Slaw: The delis I grew up in always had amazing cole slaw. I was a little disappointed here, but again, I hope it wil improve. (6 out of 10)
Rugelach: In lieu of the black and white, I got a few of these. Again, A-rugula is a salad ingredient. They were fine – but I really look forward to those black and whites. (6 out of 10)
Corned Beef: My new BFF, David, was kind enough to bring over a few slices once a new brisket was ready. This is not the corned beef I grew up with – thin sliced and melt-in-your-mouth. This is cut quite thick and far more hearty. More like the corned beef I expect to get at an Irish pub. It was very good and it certainly has potential. I look forward to an actual sandwich for a more accurate portrayal. (7 out of 10)
So there you have Part I. I’ll be back soon – but I’ll give them a few weeks before I write Part II. By the way, the prices are quite nice – far more reasonable than Mort’s and what I would expect from a neighborhood restaurant and bar.
My to-eat list:
- a full corned beef/smoked meat sandwich
- black and white cookie
- chopped liver
- grilled salami sandwich
- breakfast sandwiches
- matzo fried walleye
In the meantime, if you head over to Rye Deli, let me know what you think and what you eat when you get there. Until next time…
I also went on Tuesday. They were all out of knishes, but I did get a corned beef and a smoked beef sandwich. Both were hand-sliced, so much thicker, and both served warm, they way they were meant to be. Both had incredible flavor. The kugel was rich and laden with golden raisins – a true treat.
Rabbi Olitzsky is right, what’s the point in striving for a JEWISH deli if it is not going to be kosher???? I guess it’s just to fill in for the Lincoln Del. Shame on David. Either do it RIGHT or don’t do it at all.
Steve – there is absolutely no shame in opening a non-kosher restaurant. As I’ve said in previous posts, the world has different types of Jews and we should all respect each other.
There is a reason why the Twin Cities does not have a kosher deli – it simply cannot support one. If it could, it would. One of the things that’s appealing about Rye is that a sandwich doesn’t cost $15 – which is what it would cost if David Weinstein had to support the kosher meat racket…I mean industry.
If anything, he should be applauded for attempting to create a little more community in a city that truly needs it.
I agree with that — anyone can open any restaurant they want, but I don’t agree that a restaurant won’t be supported. A good restaurant will stay open and bad one won’t. You don’t need the Jewish community to support a kosher restaurant if it is really a great restaurant.
What we really need is someone to step forward and open an amazing establishment that is kosher. Some of my favorite kosher restaurants in NYC were patronized by a greater number of people who didn’t keep kosher, who weren’t Jewish or who were completely unaware the place was kosher — they just wanted to dine at a fine establishment!
And in terms of cost, there are many ways to make things affordable…and kosher–and by the way, in NYC, the non-kosher delis have $15 sandwiches too.
I hope all goes well for David and I wish him luck. But the real need in town, again, is not deli, it’s good, quality kosher food. Kansas City has a Jewish community a third of our size and has at least twice if not three times as many kosher restaurants…
Wow, even their webpage says “dill pickle”. Not even KOSHER DILL??? How pathetic.
Nice piece. As usual. I’m kind of shocked that you are actually going to eat chopped liver so soon after…well…you know what. But I can’t wait to try Rye.
Thanks for the helpful review, Jeff…I can’t wait to try Rye!!
JEFF – THANKS
David wants to know if you mean real smoked beef (as in canadian)?
And do they have pastrami?
Yes to the smoked meat. No to the pastrami.
No pastrami, real smoked beef ala Canada …
Wow to know that a real deli exists in the Twin City Area, when I visit my daughter at Hamline the family will look forward to a little bit of Jewishness in Middle-America. Not having pastrami is like Nathans of Coney Island without fries.
Jeff, the FB headline suggests that you wet your pants in anticipation of the opening of Rye. For us to better understand this significance, could you please share with us other things that have caused you to wet your pants. On behalf of everyone, I thank you in advance.
Of course, that was a figure of speech. But, figuratively speaking, I will indulge you a bit.
-the opening of Target Field
-every year at the State Fair
-sometime in late Spring when it hits 60 degrees for the first time
I agree with you Rabbi – those within our community who long for more kosher options should step up to the plate (pun very intended) and figure out a way to make it happen. In the meantime, rather than having a ‘kosher community’ and a ‘treyf eating community’ – we should focus on being one vibrant Jewish community instead of having all of this infighting.
A new addition to that community is Rye Deli – and even though it’s not kosher, it should be supported by all of us.
Remember that Eichmann never asked anyone on line if they were kosher or not.
Oh no you didn’t! You played the Eichmann card?
I also find your pant peeing consistent and impressive …
I heard there was going to be a Jewish deli and as a misplaced New Yorker, I was all excited, but this is not what I had in mind. I wanted a place where i could get _kosher_ cold cuts not trefe meat masquerading as something else. Sorry to be so negative here, but calling it a Jewish deli is misleading. It is not Jewish, it’s trefe.
I am relieved it’s called Rye Deli because that’s a nice name. Just don’t call it Jewish cuz it ain’t.
I’m not kosher. Does that make me not Jewish?
While I love the wifely person, I find her post a tad scary. It feels like she’s in essence saying those who keep kosher are Jewish, those who do not should not be called or considered Jewish.
Taking it a step further, we have Orthodox considering Conservative treif, Conservative considering Reform treif. What a wonderful community we are left with . . . where’s the lulav and etrog when ya need one?
I didn’t say that. I said it was misleading, a case of morit ayin. Call it Jewish style, call it New York style, call it whatever, but do not mislead people into thinking (even for one New York minute) that this food is permitted. It is not.
As someone who happens to keep kosher, when I first heard about the deli, I was as excited as everyone else. There is the implication that it was kosher. When gentile friends invited me to dine there, one of them said, “At last, a place we can do where you can eat meat!” If you wear a Mogen David around your neck, like Madonna, it _implies_ you are Jewish….but we all know she is not.
Have a good shabbos.
Again, Jewish does not automatically = kosher. I was back for a third time yesterday and had some tzimmes along with my kosher salami sandwich. Come on – that’s as Jewish as you get. Jewish food eaten by a Jew in a restaurant owned by Jews and packed with Jewish customers.
Not once in anything I read or heard prior to the opening gave an illusion of being kosher. If I’m wrong, please send that info to me – I’d be curious to see it.
From the Rye Deli Menu:
“KNIFE AND FORK REUBEN
Open faced corned beef or smoked meat, rye, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese 11.99”
“WELL BUILT BURGER
Grass fed chuck, toasted bialy, aged cheddar, lettuce, tomato, burnt onion, plum tomato ketchup 7.99”
“GRILLED BACON EGG ONION AND TOMATO
Challah, burnt onions 5.99”
I stand corrected. Yep, those are all things my bubbe served at her table, all classically Jewish foods. I don’t see how I could ever have mistaken this for anything BUT a Jewish restaurant.
Please accept my apologies.
PS: oh, yeah….this is also on the Rye Deli website:
“Anytime a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies.” – Milton Berle
I wonder what he would say about the grilled bacon on challah.
Again, Jewish does not automatically = kosher.
Perhaps your bubbe wouldn’t partake in a juicy cheeseburger( served on a very Jewish bialy) or bacon, eggs, onion, and tomato (served on very Jewish challah), but many others would.
I’ve been to many kosher restaurants that are not Jewish at all. Jewish Mexican? Jewish Italian? Jewish steakhouse? There was no tzimmes, chopped liver, challah, bialys, kugel, corned beef, kreplach, bagels, rugelach, lox, borscht, etc etc etc. at any of those. Not very Jewish at all, but based on the super dry steaks and lack of parmigana on the chicken parmigana, most certainly kosher.
My favorite Hebrew school teacher, Mrs. Davidoff, told us all the time – a Jew is a Jew is a Jew.
Same goes for Jewish food.
You’re leaving something out – they’re called taste buds. Pastrami on white just doesn’t taste good – I once tried it to see if Uncle Miltie was right.. Bacon, eggs, burnt onions, and tomato on challah is probably a delicious combination. I’ll try it the next time I’m there and report back.
Gee, you aren’t getting it, are you?
This isn’t about being Jewish or your personal Jewish observance. This is about PERCEPTION.
That’s the whole thing. Really.
I don’t care if you think a bialy is Jewish (it’s not) or if Manny, Moe, or Izzy eat mu shu pork. It’s not about that either. It’s about the PERCEPTION that this place is JEWISH ergo kosher (it is not.)
Kosher is not a cuisine; it indicates dietary laws are observed. There are restaurants of many nationalities that observe dietary laws (not here, of course, but in other pockets of civilization.) They are not all JEWISH cuisine. Kosher Chinese restaurants are just that, places that adhere to kashrut and serve Chinese food for people who observe dietary laws. It’s not JEWISH food, it’s CHINESE food.
Observe, don’t observe, whatever. That’s between you and the Holy One. As for the rest of us poor schnooks who do observe kashrut, we shall continue to hope that one day a KOSHER deli will appear. And you will be under no obligation to dine there _just_ because it’s kosher Jewish.
I’d love to continue this debate, but I have to finish seasoning the KOSHER fleishig Mexican chili and then get the KOSHER parve Tex-Mex cornbread started.
For the umpteenth time, Jewish does not = kosher. It’s 2011 and they are two separate things. More Jews on this Earth are not kosher than those who are. It doesn’t make any of us “less” Jewish than you. Similarly, Rye is no less Jewish than any other Jewish deli just because it serves delicious bacon on its egg sandwiches. Jews eat bacon too. Good, quality Jews mind you.
Your perception was therefore just based on a lack of information or false hope. I still have not seen anything (from you or elsewhere) that implied Rye would be kosher.
A correction – the bialy is certainly Jewish. The sheer common sense of it all is that you can’t find one anywhere else in the Twin Cities. And a super quick Wikipedia search tells the following story:
Bialy, a Yiddish word short for bialystoker kuchen, from Białystok, a city in Poland, is a small roll that is a traditional dish in Polish Ashkenazi cuisine.
Can you dispute that?
In conclusion, and more to the point of the good Rabbi from earlier in this comment thread, a kosher deli will never just APPEAR in the Twin Cities. To be blunt, put your money where your mouth is. Or find someone else’s money. If a kosher deli was a financially viable option here, it would already exist. I would LOVE one…trust me.
In the meantime (and in reality), I’ll be hitting up Rye and feeling very Jewish about it.
This article caused me to find and start reading the definitive treatise on this topic:
Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen
David Sax describes in great detail the evolution of the Jewish deli. He also explains why the kosher deli is almost extinct especially outside NYC. It is simply uneconomical despite Rabbi O’s wish. If you don’t believe me, read the book. I was interested to learn that the demise of the (NYC) 2nd Ave deli in 2006 was finally caused by a rent increase similar to Fishman’s final straw. Late breaking news: the 2nd Ave deli has re-opened. See http://savethedeli.com
You said it yourself…a bialy is Polish. But like so many eastern European foods, it is a common food eaten amongst Jews of eastern European origin. We also like Chinese food and a lot of us own woks. Based on your way of thinking, that makes egg rolls Jewish food, not Chinese.
And if you think halacha is outmoded in 2011, fine, you think it’s outmoded. I don’t. And gee, I’m not even orthodox. But seeing that you do think it’s irrelevant, please keep your judgements on the observance of halacha to yourself. Your choice not to observe precludes you from having an opinion on the topic _in relation_ to those of us who do. As mentioned earlier, that’s between you and the Holy One, and not subject to anyone’s approval but your own. Please accord the rest of us the same respect.
To each his/her own, Mr. Mandell. Enjoy your bacon sandwich.
Wait a second – bialy is a Yiddish word for a traditional food item in Polish-Jewish cuisine and it’s not Jewish? Huh?
If egg rolls were popularized by Jews in Eastern Europe and egg + roll were Yiddish words and egg rolls were only available at the Rye Deli, then yes, it would be the same thing.
And wait another second – I never said outmoded. What I said was being Jewish and being kosher are two entirely different things. I’ll say it yet again: Jewish does not automatically = kosher. You are free to observe any ancient laws you wish. It doesn’t mean the rest of us are any less Jewish because we don’t.
I am not and have not judged you or anyone else for keeping kosher. I admire anyone with conviction. What I will judge is anyone who talks down to those who disagree with their own chosen observances.
It is clear by your comments that you don’t think Rye Deli is a Jewish establishment solely because it is not kosher. I am taking personal offense to that because I’m not kosher. Therefore, you don’t think I’m Jewish.
Please understand what you’re saying. It’s just wrong.
Let me put it to you this way – since you didn’t get the Eichmann reference. If Rye Deli existed in much of Europe in the late 1930s, a large yellow Star of David would have been painted in the front window before the glass was shattered.
I never said you weren’t Jewish or were less Jewish or anything of the sort. In fact, I specifically said this was between you and G-d only and NO ONE has the right to comment, so stop trying to make this personal. Frankly is has NOTHING to do with your personal life. Your choice is your choice and none of my business, as I have said repeatedly. You can call yourself a chabadnik for all I care because I don’t.
The bottom line is that kosher is kosher is kosher and no amount of calling non-kosher Jewish will make it fundamentally Jewish. It can be Jewish style or kosher style, but if it is not kosher slaughtered and not soaked and salted, it is not permissible under the laws of kashrut. Period. End of statement.
If you want to compare yourself to a piece of meat, Mr. Mandell, that is your choice.
As for RYE, I truly wish them well. It sounds like a lovely place and from what I hear the food is quite good. I really do wish they had kosher meat. That’s all.
Rye Deli should not be considered Jewish because it is not kosher.
If it’s not kosher it’s not Jewish
Therefore you think I’m not Jewish. Think about it. That IS what you’re saying. You are saying very clearly that there is only one way to be considered Jewish and its by keeping kosher.
Please tell me that the Nazis would have skipped over Rye Deli it isn’t kosher. Please.
This all reminds me of one of my favorite sayings: “two Jews, three opinions.” I’m Jewish, but I don’t keep kosher, and as someone who grew up with Katz’s Delicatessan on the Lower East Side whenever we went down to Orchard Street, as well as my great local options in Queens, I definitely miss the flavor AND the character (the latter probably even more) of a real Jewish Deli. Now if the staff starts insulting the customers like they used to do at Ratner’s, THAT would be the extra schmaltz on the herring. ;0)
Ben’s Best on Queens Blvd. is still the real deal. No trip to the old neighborhood is complete with a trip to Ben’s Best.
I grew up in Flushing (if you knew where Adventurer’s Inn was, you know where I lived–I could see the Van Wyck and Shea Stadium from my apartment window), so missed that one, but now I’ll have to make it a must see the next time I go home. ;0) Thanks for the tip!
I know exactly where that is. Sadly, Queens is down to 3 delis. At one time there was at least one in every neighborhood.
Go to Ben’s Best and tell Jay I sent you.
This is one of those conversations where finding common ground is very difficult, because it involves the intersection of Jewish identity with Jewish religiosity.
I think that one point of view is that food traditionally consumed by Jewish people in their communities is “Jewish Food.” From this perspective, Jewish Food can be understood as a cuisine. And for many of us this is a cuisine with deep cultural relevance that validates our identity as Jews.
Another point of view is that food eaten by observant Jews (i.e., those who keep the laws of Kashrut) is “Jewish Food.” Any food that does not meet this standard, or I should say meet *one of the standards* observed by different religious communities, cannot be accurately called Jewish Food, regardless of its cultural characteristics.
There can be a lot that comes into play in conversations like this. We may feel that our identity as Jews or our religious values are not appreciated or respected by those who hold different views.
Something tells me that this difficult conversation will not be resolved in the space of one restaurant review and it’s reader comments. Perhaps it may be useful to remember another Jewish value: shalom bayit, “peace at home.” While this is usually described as referring to the domestic relationship between spouses and within the family, I wonder if stretching it a bit to encompass our Jewish community might not be a good idea.
By the way, I remain appreciative of Jeff’s review and I’m still totally going to try Rye.
You hit the nail on the head. There are those who consider
‘being Jewish’ an identity, culture, and tradition. And then there are those who consider it solely a religion. The former’s Jewishness is directly tied to the foods we eat.
As I said in a previous comment, a kosher steakhouse is not really Jewish per se. They serve steaks. No foodie or culinary expert would classify steak as a Jewish food.
There is always going to be a divide among the observant and everyone else. Frankly, I have always found the observant to be far more exclusionary than the not-so-observant.
Some of the comments on this thread prove my point – that a non-kosher Jewish deli isn’t really Jewish or should be labeled Jewish-style.
Let me guess, if Rye changed its mind and became kosher, would it be less Jewish if I could get my bacon-less egg sandwich on a Saturday morning?
So much to say…I’ll keep it brief:
1) Perception. In a ‘Jewish restaurant’ do we expect that everything in it is Jewish? I would, or else deem it off that it is there. When a Jewish establishment serves bacon, will not the unitiated assume it is traditionally Jewish? Why isn’t the BLT part of the Holiday table along with the tzimmes? I’m not saying that kashrut makes the Jew. What I am agreeing with is the notion that addidng the word ‘style’ would be the way to go here.
2) Was Fishman’s kosher? I miss their challah. Very much. very, very much.
Thanks Michael for the comment.
Where I come from all of the kosher restaurants have the word kosher (in English or in Hebrew) as part of their sign/awning/window decor – so it is abundantly clear.
If it doesn’t have the word, there’s a good chance, it’s not.
I think adding the word ‘style’ is again, insulting. Jewish-style? What is that? So the tzimmes is Jewish-style, but not really Jewish because there is bacon in the building? It’s more confusing.
As for Fishman’s – kosher and now an Edina Realty office.
Fishman’s was most definitely kosher. The loss of their cinnamon challah is felt across the cities. Would that someone would take up that mantle!
I wrote multiple email and website postings asking for just that, but no replies. I also asked for the recipe so that we could bake it at home. No reply. We weep at the poor quality of our local alternatives, but sadly, no reply.
Jeff, your logic is faulty.
The adjective “Jewish” when applied to a person is not the same as when applied to a restaurant. A Jewish person was traditionally (biblically) someone born of a Jewish mother or converted by the “proper” authority. The Reform movement redefined a Jewish person to be someone with a Jewish ancestor (the American Indian model) or converted. Same adjective, many different opinions.
What makes a deli Jewish? Is it the owner or the patrons or the food? What is traditional Jewish food? Certainly is WAS kosher a long time ago but not so much any more. It NEVER was pork or shellfish or mixing milk & meat. A deli that is Jewish-owned and Jewish-operated and patronized by Jews that serves these products is not a Jewish deli, it’s a deli that serves lots of Jewish-style food and a bunch of treyfe stuff too.
I beg to differ. I know plenty of people who were born to a Jewish mother and who could care less about being Jewish. And conversely, I know plenty more people not born to a Jewish mother who follow the customs and traditions of our culture to a t. All Jewish.
As for the deli, please tell me what you consider Jewish foods or Jewish cuisine. The delicious tzimmes I ate at Rye Deli was not Jewish, but the tzimmes I ate at a kosher deli in Queens is Jewish? It’s the same dish my friend. Both Jewish. Does that mean that when I make my grandmother’s chicken soup in my non-kosher kitchen it’s not Jewish – but Jewish-style chicken soup? If only she were alive to hear that one.
Jewish-style might be the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
And yet, even in the face of your angry use of insulting adjectives, some of us would prefer its use when mixing bacon and tzimmes on the same ‘Jewish’ menu. Let us agree to disagree, but shall we do it with a bit more kindness, please?
They dont got no kosher deli in Minneapolis?
I just re-read what I wrote again and I don’t see any insulting adjectives.
The only insulting words I see are those that imply (or say explicitly) anything not kosher is less than Jewish.
But you’re right, we can all agree to disagree since none of us are the real Jewish police (although some obviously think they are).
I’m a little afraid of the backlash I’ll receive when I go to Rye Deli in a couple of weeks and order the latkes – with sour cream!
I was just responding to, “Jewish-style might be the dumbest thing I have ever heard.” It is in the past- not to worry.
Manny is right; We are nothing if not passionate about our food.
Jeff, you’ve been put through quite a ringer. What started out as a simple write-up on a positive addition to our community has ended up as an argument on the definition on what “it” is.
Teddy runs a glorious kosher restaurant, “Little Tel Aviv.” Great food, all dairy. Yet would you consider it Jewish food, or would you consider it Israeli food. “Shish” in St. Paul serves the same food, plus meat. Clearly not Jewish food. Mid-Eastern. If you’re from the area, would you consider Little Tel Aviv Jewish or Israeli?
There is no Jewish without Torah, just as there is no Jewish without our traditions. Torah says blow a shofar on Rosh HaShanah. Tradition says yes, except if it falls on Shabbat. Go figure. Tradition is passed through smells and tastes. It is passed through the recipes of our mothers, and for those fortunate enough, our grandmothers. And, for 90% of us, those recipes are from Europe. Rye serves those foods. It serves Jewish food, food from our Jewish mishpocha.
Thank you, Jeff, for posting a column on the restaurant. We are nothing if not passionate about our food …
This is amazing.
Have Your Treyf and Eat It, Too
pork-flavored goose. . . mmmm!
for a different take on Rye, might I suggest Andrew Zimmern’s review. Everyone sees things differently, and reviewers are no exception. I am sorry Rye was not as positively reviewed by Mr. Zimmern. Kosher or not, it should be a nice addition to the roster of restaurants in the cities.
A great passionate discussion! For what it is worth Wifely Person – in my opinion – you are not missing anything at Rye. The bagels and bialys were profoundly mediocre at best – bready on the inside, not chewy, actually kind of weird. This is not in and of itself a bad thing because the service was soooooo bad I would get heartburn if I was compelled back to get decent bagels. Now, I’m a little picky being an H&H or Essa bagel type of girl but I’m not standing in line for at least 10 minutes, when there are only three people ahead of me to get a half dozen bagels if the bagels are not outstanding. Now I know bagels are not the end all and be all but if you don’t have a decent bagel what’s the point. I’m not going there for a cheeseburger or a bacon sandwich – but the bar looked very nice and since it is in my neighborhood I might meet folks for a drink there.
Are they the best bagels in the world? No. But when most Jews in the Twin Cities consider the mass-produced ones at Bruegger’s to be their best option, I’ll wait at Rye for a few minutes. The service at Rye is bound to get better – the bagels at Bruegger’s will only become more colorful.
The bialys are excellent and since most Minnesotans have never had one, it’s a welcome addition for sure. Try the grilled salami on a bialy and then let me know what you think.
FYI: I happen to be an Ess-A-Bagel guy which is good because H&H is not long for this world.
After eating several thousand bagels from all over NYC, my favorite bagels in the Twin Cities are from Seven Stars Coffee House. I’ll drive 15 minutes and wait for a few more if need be.
Thanks for the Seven Stars Coffee House recommendation I will check it out cause I just can’t handle mediocre bagels. I’m just sad cause I would have liked to have a place I wanted to walk to with the family for a nosh. I do like the Common Roots Cafe bagel with the understanding that it is not a NY bagel and thats ok. I’m all ready reduced to making my own pizza (because I’m a fanatic) and I think if I start boiling my own bagels the family will lose it. (H&H not long for this world! THE HORROR. I thought Brothers got their bagels from H&H?)
The “H&H” bagels that you get at Brothers or Mort’s are not what you get in Manhattan. They’re frozen and more like an H&H bagel’s bastard cousin.
Now onto pizza – after eating thousands of slices of New York pizza, I am endorsing Meda Pizza By The Slice as the best of the Twin Cities. And again, worth a drive and worth a wait. Convenience only goes so far if I want to preserve my taste buds and my psyche.
haha, great commentary about who is and who is not jewish. this could and has gone on forever.
to the point of the deli, i have been there 3 times and have found the food flavorless and unoriginal in terms of either nostalgic yumminess or nouvelle considerations. i don’t need to go back.
Dont they got no good food in Minnesota?
I am not sure that this discussion needs another opinion from a Jewish former New Yorker, but I will offer mine. I agree with the Rabbi that this community could use a new kosher restaurant. In the meantime, I am thrilled that David and Pam have opened Rye. I live nearby and eat there as often as I can. I have given my critiques, along with my appreciation for various items on the menu. They are working hard to make this a success, and many of us are committed to helping them get there. Although I typically fly my bagels in from H&H, I am buying at least some from Rye now. Aside from the fact that it is a Jewish establishment, it is terrific to have a new place to eat in the neighborhood. And it is always a pleasure to help nice people like Pam and David live their dream.