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Jul 1, 2006 05:24 PM

Is there Potato Nik ANYWHERE in Manhatten?

My mom raves to me about how when she was little, she would buy Potato Nik from vendors in Manhatten. Now we can't find it anywhere!

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  1. Potato Nik is another name for Potato Kugel which is a staple at Jewish delis. Although not a New Yorker, I would try Kosher or Jewish style delis with take-out counters such as Park East (Park Ave in the 70's or 80's), Zabars, and there are some butchers on West 72nd Street.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sherry f

      Actually Potato Kugel and Potatonik are two different dishes.

      1. re: sherry f

        Potatonik and Potato kugel are 2 different items. Potatonik is made with yeast. Absolutely, one of the most delicious foods to eat.

      2. The real definition of potato nik is not just one giant latke or even potato kugel, although it has devolved into that.

        I've had actual potato nik (not for 30 years). It is far more yeast bread-like and has a definite, intense flavor of black pepper in addition to onion and potato but the most distinct difference is the texture. It is much more like a yeast bread than a baked pudding of eggs, onions and potatoes. It probably contains much more flour than latkes or kugel and obviously uses yeast for the leavening rather than baking powder and soda.

        I'd venture a guess that you will not be able to find any to buy in NYC if you want the authentic potato nik as opposed to just potato kugel.

        12 Replies
        1. re: rose

          Rose, I definitely agree with you, as my mom sits next to me nodding her head. I've had kugel and knish plenty of times, and it's definitely a completely different food. I actually have had it once, and it was soo good. My grandparents found it somewhere, but they can't remember where they got it from!!! Thanks for your response though.

          1. re: juliehf

            I also agree that potatonik is nothing like kugel.

            Call Gertel's, the Jewish bakery on the LES, to see if they make it. Tel.: 212-982-3250

            Also, perhaps posting your request on the kosher and Outer Boroughs boards might yield some positive results.

            1. re: rose

              Mother's Bake Shop in Riverdale makes potatonik-usually for holidays and sometimes for Shabbos. Delicious!

              1. re: rose

                Agreed. When I was a child, my parents would take me to Yonah Schimmel's on the LES near Katz's and they made a Potato Nik. When I got married and moved to DC, we would stop there on the way back to bring some home with us. That was over 30 years ago, though. Maybe they still make them?

                1. re: rose

                  Many people refer to potato nik as potato kugel. Even though they are different. I am guilty of it myself. Katz's has potato kugel. Pomagranite kosher supermarket in Brooklyn has Potato nik and potato kugel.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    I never heard of potato nik as a kid, but after seeing this photo, and Bittman's easy-looking (and yeast-less) recipe, I plan to make it soon:


                    1. re: erica

                      I saw the article and recipe after clicking on the link, but no picture showed up. I ate some last month ( kugel).I've eaten potato nik many times. I ate potato latkes last night.

                        1. re: erica

                          Wow, I know I've had potato ink many times, but the picture doesn't even look familiar to me.

                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                            I've never seen this, either; reminds me of a cross between latkes and Catalan trinxat.

                          2. re: erica

                            This looks like a potato kugel to me.

                  2. We actually had some on Passover. This was in Queens and it came from a local place. I think it might have been Mauzone's on Main St. There are a ton of Kosher places in the Kew Gardens Hills area. I would start there. Or you can try to make it yourself. there seem to be a lot of recipes online.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CornflakeGirl

                      Potatonik is made with yeast(,so it amy not be eaten on Passover.

                    2. Mother's Bakery, on 235th St in Riverdale, used to sell Potato Nik on Fridays only. You'll have to call to see if they still do.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: aunteejoy

                        Thanks for posting this. I called them 2 days ago, and ordered 10 for Rosh Ha Shannah.

                      2. Zadie's Bakery in Fair Lawn, NJ was making it, I think on Thursdays. It was so delicious, it was worth the trip. I just made three loaves myself using George Greenstein's recipe from "Secrets of a Jewish Baker." Easy process, great result.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rruben1

                          Thank You so much for the information about Zadie's Bakery. I always buy their Challah in the supermarket. We drove to Zadie's specifically for the potatonik, DEFINITELY worth the trip. I bought one, tasted it and bought 4 more right away. Delicious-just enough pepper. Great aromatoo. Theyonly make them on Wednesdays in the afternoon. The salesperson said that they can be frozen.