Jewish food is my favorite, and there is no better place to find it than in NYC. Just the other day, I was wandering around the depths of the internet at 5 AM (jet lag is relentless) and I stumbled upon a list of the "10 Best Jewish Delis in NYC." I'm relieved someone took the time to compile this list, because everyone has those days when they just need a good bagel with lox. One of the eateries on this list is the famous 2nd Ave Deli. Today, I visited the Upper East Side location to see if this kosher kitchen lives up to its hype!
At 2nd Ave Deli, they're famous for their classic matzoh ball soup, or as they call it, "Jewish Penicillin." Matzoh ball soup has been a staple in my diet for as long as I can remember, and 2nd Ave's take on the timeless dish did not disappoint. I especially like that they allow you to choose between noodles, kasha, or rice (although everyone knows noodles are the right answer). The soup is prepared in a metal bowl and mixed in to the matzoh ball soup by the waiter right in front of your eyes! I appreciate this special touch because when the matzoh ball sits in the soup it begins to disintegrate., but this technique minimizes that possibility!
I ordered my soup with a side of challah toast. It was a little too toasty for my liking (I'm a fan of fluffy challah), but it was still quite yummy.
Another classic Jewish dish is challah french toast. This sweet breakfast meal has been popping up in eateries all over Manhattan, and to be frank, I'm not thrilled about it. Challah is a delicate bread that should only be handled by those who truly understand it (specifically, Jewish grandmothers and kosher delis). I've had my fair share of challah french toast at trendy brunch spots across the city, but this was the first time I tasted a non-homemade version of the dish and actually enjoyed it. It tastes as crisp and flavorful as it looks. I applaud and highly recommend 2nd Ave Deli's french toast.
Additionally, for all you pickle lovers out there, you'll be happy to know that 2nd Ave Deli brings a giant plate of pickles to your table as you wait for your meal. And, at the end of the meal, they serve you egg cream shooters!
Overall, my meal at 2nd Ave Deli was satisfying and delicious. The prices were a little higher than necessary, but that's Manhattan for you! I'm glad I was able to check out this homey restaurant, and I would say it deserves its spot on the list of best kosher delis in NYC.