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Mail order knishes???

sasha1 Oct 19, 2006 05:35 PM

When I was a kid, I had the best cheese, cherry, and potato knishes from some little mom and pop place on the boardwalk at Brighton Beach, in NYC. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the place. But I crave them.

I tried to satisfy the craving last year by ordering from Yonah Schmimmel (I've probably killed the name), and they were horrible. I got cheese, and cheese and cherry. The first had the cheese baked into the dough, and shaped into a pretzel. Very weird. And both suffered from a sickly sweetness that I couldn't get over. After paying about $70 (omg) for a dozen of these beasts, I threw most of them away.

I want a nice doughy outside, with a sweet but not sacharrin white cheese filling (or oniony potato filling). Where to turn?

  1. n
    niki rothman Oct 20, 2006 12:21 AM

    Russ and Daughters in NYC and possibly Zabar's. Check websites.

    1. j
      Just Larry Oct 20, 2006 02:50 AM

      Yonah Schimmel (sp?)

      1. steinpilz Oct 20, 2006 03:45 AM

        "If wishes were knishes, Yonah Schimmel would be a millionaire."


        That's a famous phrase in NYC. As you know, they will mail their famous knishes... I'd say try again, or give them a call and vent.

        1. s
          sasha1 Oct 20, 2006 05:34 PM

          I can't try them again. It's too expensive a mistake to make twice. It's not as though I am claiming they went bad en route, or that someone accidently spilled a vat of sugar into the filling. I think they tasted just as they were supposed to, and I didn't like em. The first two suggestions - I will check out.

          Btw, does anyone know the place on the boardwalk at Brighton Beach I am remembering?

          3 Replies
          1. re: sasha1
            Just Larry Dec 11, 2006 11:30 AM

            I was recently in New York and went to Yona Shimmel. I ordered the Kasha Knish. The filling was tasteless and the shell was limp. I asked if they had gravy and was told only mustard and ketchup. I ate 2 bites, my wife ate 1 bite and we left. The owner asked if we wanted to take it with us and I said no. A real waste of time.

            1. re: sasha1
              CindyJ Dec 11, 2006 05:03 PM

              Brighton Beach was a bit removed from my East Flatbush neighborhood, but I do remember buying a knish off the cart from the "knish man" on my way back to school after lunch. I'd sprinkle it liberally with salt from the shaker and I'd make it last until the schoolyard bell rang, because back in those days we dared not bring food into school with us.

              1. re: sasha1
                rockycat Dec 15, 2006 02:46 PM

                Absoslutely! It was Hirsch's and it was near Brighton 4th St. I grew up walking distance from there and my dad still lives in the area. They had the best kasha knishes I ever had. Much better than Mrs. Stahl's on the Avenue (Brighton Beach Avenue to outsiders).

                Hirsch's sat empty for years. Now all the Boardwalk restaurants are Russian. Change - embrace it or die.

                Tough to get a decent knish anymore and I cannot recommend Yonah Schimmel. Most delis now microwave their potato knishes. If I wanted a handful of lukewarm mushy mashed potatoes, that's what I'd order. If you don't griddle it, I don't want it.

              2. n
                Nancy Berry Oct 20, 2006 06:58 PM

                Were you thinking of Mrs. Stahl's Knishes? They've been in Brighton Beach for a long time (since 1935.) There are recipes on the web that claim to be clones of Mrs. Stahl's knish recipe, but I have no idea how accurate they are.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nancy Berry
                  MarkG Mar 10, 2007 09:35 PM

                  mrs stahls is dead and gone. it is i think a dunkin donuts today.

                2. n
                  Nancy Berry Oct 20, 2006 07:06 PM

                  I found another possibility. According to http://www.coneyisland.com/cgi-bin/ya...
                  there was also a knish place called Shatzkin's in Brighton Beach.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Nancy Berry
                    rockycat Dec 15, 2006 02:47 PM

                    Shatzkin's was a very bad chain. I genuinely hope they're finally out of business.

                    1. re: Nancy Berry
                      MarkG Mar 10, 2007 09:36 PM

                      doesnt exist any more to the best of my knowlege G!!

                    2. s
                      shauben2007 Oct 21, 2006 12:44 AM

                      Cherry, Cheese ? I think you are talking about blintzes, not knishes.


                      P.S. You might wan't to ask for opinions in the Kosher forum.

                      P.P.S. Yonah Schmimmel are some of the best Knishes I've ever had.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: shauben2007
                        sasha1 Nov 3, 2006 11:06 PM

                        Nope, knishes.

                        1. re: shauben2007
                          Candy Dec 11, 2006 03:22 PM

                          I have been to that knish place and cherry cheese was available. It has been over 30 years but I do remember the knishes. My sister who was living in Brighton Beach at the time took me there when I came to visit. She went for cherry cheese I always liked potato.

                          1. re: shauben2007
                            MarkG Mar 10, 2007 09:37 PM

                            when mrs stahls was in business, they sold dessert knishes with cheese/fruit filling.

                          2. s
                            shauben2007 Oct 21, 2006 12:54 AM

                            Yonah Schimmel - http://www.knishery.com

                            Red Cabbage
                            Sweet Potato


                            Hope this helps,

                            1. steinpilz Oct 21, 2006 12:46 PM

                              Here's an unusual knish:


                              1. coll Dec 11, 2006 01:02 PM

                                I grew up on Gabila knishes so don't know if this helps, but I like to get the plain ones, cut them in half and toast, then I put cheese inside to melt and make a sandwich. They're easy to mailorder, one place I know is foodsofnewyork.com (sorry my cut and paste isn't working for some reason) and they shouldn't cost more than $15 or 20 for a box of 30 (although I guess there's shipping involved). They're square so don't know if you're looking for a specific shape. My sister in San Diego has to have some every once in a while or she'll waste away!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: coll
                                  niki rothman Dec 11, 2006 02:58 PM

                                  Yikes! Sorry, but you are way off - tasteofnewyork.com sells 30 gabilla's knishes for $85! That's out of my league. I got all excited when you said $15 or $20 - where did you get that price? I'd really be interested if you could give another, cheaper source or did I miss something on the website - they said that $85 price was actually a $4 off discount too. OY!!!

                                  1. re: niki rothman
                                    coll Dec 11, 2006 04:21 PM

                                    I guess that's what they sell them for to the locals, sorry. I guess they figure they can get whatever they want from people that can't get them anywhere else! Hope that includes shipping at least, they probably overnight it. Gee, even the grocery stores around here sell them 3 for $1. I buy cases wholesale for my sister, and it's definitely under $20. But then again I have to fly out there to give them to her....

                                2. p
                                  Produce Addict Dec 11, 2006 03:08 PM

                                  Yonah Shimmels are horrible! If you didn't like them once I say don't try them again. Also Mrs Stahls is out of business. I like Gabilla, and I've seen them in the frozen section of the supermarket, but they are not transcendent and I dont think they are what you are looking for since they are not doughy outside (more crusty). My rec: knish nosh http://www.knishnosh.com/ . Their knishes are delicious.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Produce Addict
                                    niki rothman Dec 11, 2006 06:26 PM

                                    Unless I'm misreading their order page Knishnosh is $2.50 oer knish. That's too much. Also, I notice theyy are the rpound ones with the thin crust. Actually, I've got to admit I presfer the old school push cart style square knishes that must weigh a pound each. You usually squirt ballpark yellow mustard on them - Ummm....nice and geasy! Now, that brings back fond memories of a quick NYC sidewalk nosh! Does anybody know where to order those square brick style potato knishes with the heavy greasy thick crust?

                                  2. c
                                    claire de lunacy Dec 11, 2006 03:29 PM

                                    I believe shauben is right. I lived a block from Yonah Shimmel for 15 years, and they had no sweet knishes: only blintzes were made with cherry or other fruit filling, and are a different shape. THeir round knishes are baked, and other square knishes with the crispy coating are all deep fried. I always loved their knishes: a prefect snack on a cold day! And the lox and herring and smoked fish at Russ and Daughters down the street are to die for... Ahh, I miss the Lower East Side...

                                    1. i
                                      ira Dec 14, 2006 06:42 PM

                                      Mrs. Stahls were the best and most famous Brooklyn knishes, and better than Yonah Schimmels.

                                      1. Adrienne Mar 8, 2007 12:11 PM

                                        I don't think it's any cheaper but Carnegie will freeze-pack food and ship it, and I tried this with their knishes and they come back to life wonderfully after a few minutes in the oven.

                                        1. d
                                          deanmc430 Mar 10, 2007 05:26 AM

                                          I grew up in Sunset Park and Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and now live in the Far NW suburbs of Chicago. While I can certainly get a decent version of a Knish from Max & Bennie's here, I long for the taste of a Shatzkin's Knish. I remember as a child in the sixties we used to buy them from a walking/hawking vendor on the beach @ Brighton Beach. They developed into a chain and began serving a variety of Knishes from stores in the King's Plaza Mall in Flatbush and there was one on Knapp St. in Sheepshead Baynear the Belt Parkway; there may have been other locations. I would love to hear from anyone who has any idea whether any Shatzkin's still survive OR any outfits selling a similar style knish.; perhaps even a decent recipe on-line.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: deanmc430
                                            lennytone Jul 24, 2012 05:43 PM

                                            I, too, was a fan of Shatzkin's! Loved to buy a knish and a soda on the beach. I liked Mrs. Stahl's for second place, especially once Shatzkin's was gone. Yonah Schimmel's are OK, but just the potato, and Knish Nosh will also do. But I am here in knish-less Southern Oregon.

                                          2. e
                                            embee Mar 10, 2007 04:51 PM

                                            I think knishes are the kind of comfort food that you need to grow up with, and only that specific knish - no other - will satisfy a craving.

                                            Shatzkin's sold knishes on the boardwalk, though they eventually opened stores. The other knish place was Mrs Stahls, but they were on Brighton Beach Av near Coney Island Av, under the el curve.

                                            Gabila's knishes were sold everywhere and seem to be widely available today. I've even seen them in a few Toronto supermarkets. I'd describe the Gabila's knish of my childhood as a large deep fried square of cardboard with a pound of potato inside. It was instant heartburn for 10 cents, but no need for dinner that day. Others posting here like them, which is my point. If Gabila's aren't the ones you miss, they'll likely make you gag.

                                            Judging from their website, knish nosh knishes haven't changed. I used to love these, though I haven't had one since the seventies. Again, though, it's all about what YOU are missing.

                                            I make wonderful potato knishes with lots of caramelized onion wrapped in a puff pastry shell. They don't resemble anything from my childhood, though, and I still crave the potato knishes from a little store on Church Av in East Flatbush (which closed some time in the sixties).

                                            I can't point you to a specific recipe, but if you're willing to make your own, go crazy at


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: embee
                                              MarkG Mar 10, 2007 09:41 PM

                                              there was a post about a newark deli with supposedly good knishes but dont have the name handy.

                                            2. h
                                              howboy Mar 11, 2007 11:36 AM

                                              Supposedly the Knish Nosh in Queens is very good-I haven't tried them, but plan to. They do mail order, too.

                                              1. a
                                                aviator Mar 20, 2010 06:11 PM

                                                So what's the verdict? Where are the best mail order knishes? I grew up in NY but left when I was a teenager. I miss the knishes. I went back last week with my daughter for a few days and we had knishes at Ben's on 37th. They were perfect! Just how I remember them. Now I want to mail order some. Does anyone know who's knishes ben's sells?

                                                1. j
                                                  Jcohen552003 Mar 21, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                  Ok, I live upstate ny now but work down in NYC. Yonah Schimmel - STINKS PERIOD.
                                                  My grandmother lived in brooklyn and there use to be a knish shop across the street. Cheese, Cherry Cheese, Potato & Onion, Kasha. They were the best. They were made in long logs and cut into slices. There are a few good recipies on line. They old time ones have a lot of oil in them and water. For some reason the oil in the crust makes it bake into a crisp crust.

                                                  12 tbsp oil
                                                  12 tbsp water
                                                  2 cups flour

                                                  Mix all together and form into round ball. Let rest for a few minutes.
                                                  Then roll into long rectangle. Fill with mashed potatoes and onions. This is for 10 LBs of potatoes and 6 to 7 onions. Makes about 80 slices. Make in 2 to 3 batches so they fit on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 and watch for the pastry to brown. About 45 minutes.

                                                  For the filling just make some mashed potato and put in some well cooked onions ( very brown ) and a good amount of salt and pepper. Roll out the dough and fill in a log and bake. You must cut them out of the oven before the crust get hard. The slices needs mto be at least 1" thick. You can also slice them and then cook them.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Jcohen552003
                                                    coll Mar 21, 2010 04:08 PM

                                                    Thanks, I never thought to make them myself.

                                                  2. t
                                                    tom the goat Mar 22, 2010 02:53 AM

                                                    Maybe it was Jerry's Knishes. They were in Far Rockaway on the boardwalk in the 60''s and had wonderful fruit-filled knishes. Oh, how I wish I could get knishes like those again. They might have been in Bighton Beach too.

                                                    Why are the knishes available today so awful?

                                                    1. Motosport Jul 25, 2012 07:52 AM

                                                      Was that Gerrys/Jerrys knishes? They were outstanding. Loved getting them still warm from the oven.

                                                      1. b
                                                        belowchc Apr 3, 2014 03:38 PM

                                                        In Brighton Beach near 4th on the Boardwalk was Hirsch's Knishes- they were to die for! My aunt and uncle lived on Brighton 4th and I would especially spend the summers lying on the beach, enjoying the Tuesday night fireworks, eating knishes and pizza. I wish I could find out if this recipe or company ever continued - especially after the Russians took over. Around 10 years ago I went to Brighton and Coney Island - Brighton was nothing like I remembered. If anyone knows where I can get a good knish let me know.

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