The sun shown through my window onto the living room floor where my son was playing.
“Let’s go for a walk,” I said to him. At first there was some grumbling, whining and an official kid complaint was registered. But for being the second day of winter, it was a balmy 57 degrees out. The sun was warm and soon enough he was skipping down the sidewalk.
“Where would you like to go for lunch?” I asked, “and no McDonald’s.” A little more skipping and we decided to go to Kitzel’s Jewish Deli.
“What do you want?” I asked him, peering into the deli case. “Challah Bread Pudding?”
“No….” He was completely taken with the Dreidels, the menorahs and the colorful books on Judaism for kids. “Mom, can we be Jewish?”
“If you are Jewish you can’t eat bacon.”
“Ok. Never mind then.”
“How about latkes?”
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah!”
Kitzle’s Jewish Deli is evolving. Some of the walls remain blank except for an invitation for local artist to submit their work for display. The current menu is written in sharpy, on a very long piece of butcher paper taped hastily to one of the pillars in the restaurant. Large, cavernous and obviously not a fancy designer restaurant, when you enter you can tell that it is a labor of love.
We ordered our Latkes and sat down at the bar. At each place was a small little Dreidel for kids to play with. In the corner near the window a children’s table sits surrounded by plenty of room to play. In the middle of the restaurant are long, communal tables much like you would see in a cafeteria. But you will find no memamin tops here, no hard plastic chairs. The wooden tables and miss-matched chairs invite you to sit, chat and enjoy old friends or new acquaintances. Kitzel’ has the East Coast Bustle of a big city deli and a real Oly attitude when it comes to community.
After a bit the baker came out to our seat. “I’m sorry,” he apologized. I assumed he was going to tell me that they were out of Latkes, after all they had been cleaned out of Bagels already. Instant success comes with challenges. “It’s taking a bit longer because we just started a new batch from scratch. But they will be out soon.” I assured him that no apologies were necessary for taking the time to make my food well.
The Latkes were served with traditional applesauce and sour cream. The were moist, rich and just the right size treat. I am looking forward to trying their Perogies and dreaming that they will be as good as the ones my little Polish aunt makes. I don’t know about you, but I am happy to see some diversity coming to Oly. It’s just what Downtown needed.