Zabar's clone in Eastern MA?
I don't love New York, but I do love Zabar's. Anybody know of something similar in the Boston area?
No, there is not. Sevan Bakery REMINDS me of a mini-Zabars (but all Armenian), since it is filled with lots of great cheeses, nuts, dried fruits, baked goods, etc. There are other places in Boston, Brookline, Watertown, etc. that are probably sort of Zabars-esque, but as far as I can tell, nothing in Boston comes close to the real Zabars.
Only someone who does not like NYC could imagine a Zabar's outside of NYC. Even EATS on the East Side does not compare.
Zabar's could only exist on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. If you truly like Zabar's, you must love NYC.
Bite the bullet and change your convictions.
Nowhere else in the world is there a critical mass of a certain kind of taste -- urban East European American Jewish -- with sufficient disposable income that is necessary to produce Zabar's. Zathmary in Brookline is simply an embarassment. The Armenian shops on Mt. Auburn St. in Watertown do not reach the high end pretensions of Zabar's.
God Bless Zabars. One of the reason I cannot even consider leaving the Upper West Side. But then, why would I? Great food, housing parks and transportation and easy access to the arts. What else? Done.
While certainly not Zabar's, Formaggio's is in some ways a micro version.
You could include it in a gourmand's W.Cambridge-Watertown loop: Formaggio's for cheese, salami, etc., Iggy's for bread (although there's also an excellent bread selection at Formaggio's), Arax and Sevan for olives, hummus, tabouleh, etc., and then across the street to Fastachi for dried fruit, nuts and chocolate.
No, still not Zabar's (and without the Jewish-American slant), but an awesome cornucopia. As a former Upper West Sider, I don't feel deprived.