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May 4, 2007 09:46 AM

Leons Bakery gone?

Is it true? One of the remaining food icons of my childhood, gone!?? Was going to recommend it in the 7-layer cake thread; went to look up the address and found a blog entry that it was being shut down. Tried the phone # and its disconnected.

Now where will I go for babka and rugelach and yes, 7-layer cake on the way home from the beach?

Actually that's a serious question. What remaining Jewish, but not strictly orthodox (i.e., open on Saturdays) bakeries remain for my babka, seeded Rye, and challah fix?

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  1. Sad, but true, Leon's closed. The best alternative seems to be various bakeries in Little Odessa/Brighton Beach. Everyone has a personal fav. I myself like Bay Gourmet for rugelach and babka (Ave. Z/E.17th), for challah and a really good rye go to Ostrovitsky Bakery on Ave. J and I think it's East 14th street. The challah with raisins is sooooo good. It's worth the effort to fight the traffic and find parking (and DiFara's is only a few blocks away)!

    1. Getting very very tight in the old-fashioned bakery department...and what about the famous Teena's Cake Fair in Canarsie - is that also toast?

      Jeez, there used to be a babka, challah, rugelach, prune danish bakery everywhere. Used to love "N.E.Tell's" on Church Ave. & East 3rd Street and "Honey & Spice" on Clinton & Grand (Lower East Side) - fattening.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Mike R.

        Teena's is still around and kicking, great selection, good prices and helpful staff

        Tasty too


        1. re: Moley

          wow, Teena's Cake Fair! A flash from my youth, I had totally forgotten about that one. In fact I grew up right near there in Flatland's and that was one of our usual local bakeries. That, and but our main one was the one that was on Flatbush right off of Flatlands, whose name escapes me now. (Its gonna drive me crazy till I remember....they had the best Charlotte Russe, my childhood fave of course.)

          I will definitely check Teenas out, thanks for the reminder! Unfortunately its not nearly as convenient though as Leons was.

          1. re: jinx

            Holy Moly!!!!!!!!!!!! I was looking for pictures of a Black Forest thing led to another and I wound up on this sight. Leon's Bakerey Closing...of which I knew about =[
            -My father worked at all of these Bakeries!!!!!!!!! Leon's, Tina's; and then you'll started talking about Lord's!!!!!!!!!!! and Sterns,...and then at the end of the posts.,..Ebingers!!!!
            WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm all teary eyed.. The memories I have of all these absolutely wonderful bakeries, and the breads and pastries they made. My childhood consisted of a few bags and boxes filled with surprises, on our kitchen table, as we woke to go off to school every other day of my childhood. WOW!!! And sadly the standards today SUCK! the quality is not the same, probably never ever will one uses fresh ingredients anymore, and mostly the workers dont even know what youre asking for, even though they work there, so sad. Rainbow cookies, cheese pockets, rye bread, kaiser rolls, honey bread..............this lists are endless.. I later met the owners, in 2003-2004; who took over the bakery Leon;s fromr the 1st owners, mother and daughter in law shopoping in my store in FL., and they had also just sold it the year before. Small world. Glad to hear Tina's is still open, I have to do some quality conrol on my next visti. We'll see! Thanks for the memories.....godsgirl.

      2. RATS!... Now Leon's is gone as well????
        I agree... Bad, bad, news. Although I didn't get there very often, it was always a treat to be in the neighborhood and have an excuse to stop by for their pumpernickel raison bread and those yummy cookies. The store had changed hands a while ago and it was just not the same, but as part of a disappearing breed of wonderful bakeries, it will be missed.
        Will everyone kindly keep the rest of us informed if they come across any new bakery 'discoveries' making killer old world breads and ruggelach?

        1. Teena's Cake Fair is great. Don't forget about Lord's at the Junction (Flatbush and Nostrand); their rugelach -- to my taste -- has always been identical to Leon's. These bakeries are evaporating as fact as dairy/appetizer shops and kosher delis. I can get lox and whitefish at Fairways (amazing whitefish salad) and pastrami at Artie's, but for rugelach I'm testing recipes and "rolling my own".

          7 Replies
          1. re: filmoremike

            Wow! Talk about fond memories. The best rugelach I can remember were found at Stern's Bakery on ( I think) Ave "J" and Coney Island Ave. I've yet to find their equal...... They were perfect. :-}

            1. re: Tay

              Stern's Bakery on "J" & E12th, I believe, made such heavenly rugelach, buttery, buttery, buttery.

              1. re: Rmis32

                Funny... When I think of Stern's rugelach, I think cream cheese, cream cheese and more cream cheese. .:-)

              2. re: Tay

                Anyone have fond memories of Garden Bakery, on Ave P, betw E3-E4th. Long gone, but those Charlotte Russes will live in my heart forever.

                1. re: Rmis32

                  I recall those amazingly good pastries but I think my Dad used to get them at Lord's or a Bakery called Perry's . Made with, (gasp!) real whipped cream. Beyond delicious. :-)

                  1. re: Tay

                    How about Motel's, used to be in Bensonhurst on 65th street near Bay Parkway, they had great challah, and they made these cinnamon twists that were delish! And the big marble cookies, cheese danish god I can go on and on, YUM:)

              3. re: filmoremike

                Unfortunately teena,s is now gone also. Lords is still around and has some old favorites but went in for a chocolate cream pie that I was craving only to be told that they don't make them. Many of lords cake cater to the clientele in the area for example cakes with fruit like mango etc. haven't tried them yet.

              4. You can try The Cake Center on Ave. P around E 3rd.
                They've been there 50 years and are a very traditional
                Jewish bakery - they even have old fashioned Corn Bread.

                19 Replies
                1. re: mike in brooklyn

                  I'm shocked (In a good way!) that the Cake Center is still in business. My Dad used to get delicious baked goods there, including the Jewish style corn bread. When I've been in B'klyn I've always meant to stop in but the lack of parking there has always put me off and Leon's was easier parkingwise. Now tthat Leon's is no more, the desire to locate great, traditional Rugelach may be the deciding factor. Thanks so much for the posting! :-}

                  1. re: Tay

                    Glad this was revived! I am still missing Leon's. I'll have to check out the Cake Center. Still trying to remember the name of the place on Flatbush off Flatlands where we got the great Charlotte Russe in my childhood. But maybe it wasn't a Jewish bakery after all, that's possible.

                    1. re: jinx

                      Was the bakery on Flatbush off Flatlands called Ebbingers? (Maybe they were closer to Flatbush & N) They had great new Years cookies. I think that there was another bakery on the other side of Flatbush off Kings Highway. Don't recall its name though. Wow, childhood memories from Marine Park....Frank's Pizza, before it got so "fancy' & there actually was a Frank & his son Dino. The butcher with the sawdust on the floor...Henry's German Deli for great salads & cold cuts.

                      1. re: GlendaleGal

                        Ebingers has been gone for years - they had a central bakery and
                        many 'drop' stores which the central bakery delivered to.
                        They were phenomenal - chocolate blackout cake was a favorite.
                        They attempted a comeback some 10-15 years ago using
                        Entenmans as a model - delivering to groceries - it failed.
                        The original bakery was on Church & Bedford - here is alink to a photo of it.

                        1. re: GlendaleGal

                          Wow, Ebbingers, we used to go to one in Sheepshead Bay. Love the othellos, those chocolate cover, chocolate filled eggs. And I've never had a better blackout cake.

                          1. re: BonnieB.

                            "the othellos, those chocolate cover, chocolate filled eggs. And I've never had a better blackout cake"
                            You have excellent taste (Literally!). Nowadays, no one even knows what an Cthello is. As for their Blackout and Buttercream Cakes... I agree: None better.

                          2. re: GlendaleGal

                            Flatbush and flatlands, could that have been the Butter Bun? I remember my mother bringing back really good rugalach and much more.

                          3. re: jinx

                            Lord's bakery was by the Junction. My fave is where Ostrovsky's is (RATCHICK'S ROCKS!). Best eyeglasses, rugluch and unseeded rye. My mother had a thing for their bowties! (I'd kill me now...all that frosted sugar on the outside would send my Glucose up to 520!)

                            1. re: jinx

                              That bakery was my favorite as well.Too bad i can't remember the name. My folks, god bless-em, have pulled a blank too. I always talk about those incredible charlotte russes, with the cherry on top in the paper sleeves.mmmmmmm.
                              P.S. New China Inn, Chow-Chow Cup, and M&N Pizza still haunt me.

                              1. re: thesteiner

                                oh yeah, we must have been in the same 'hood. New China Inn was our special going out for Chinese (when we didn't trek to Chinatown.) Altho Chow-chow cup doesn't ring a bell. And we got pizzas from M&N for my birthday parties! Anyway, still blanking on the bakery. I don't think it was Butter Bun--I think that was on Ave. N.

                                1. re: jinx

                                  The chow chow cup, oh how I miss that truck that would come, my mother loved it, sadly like nathan's chow mein its but a memory

                                  1. re: alsmith

                                    Wow. I've never known anyone else that remembered Chow Chow Cup. I grew up on Ave. U in the E. 50s. In the early 60s it was the end of the world and the nearest Chinese Restaurant was New China Inn. Chow Chow Cup was the only opportunity, except for very special occasions, we had to get chow mein (in a fried noodle bowl) and egg rolls brought to our street in a truck just like the ice cream man did.

                                    1. re: filmoremike

                                      I grew up on Ave U and E 73 St. Now that was the end of the world. I remember Chow Chow Cup and when the first Chinese restaurant in the area opened (New China Inn) near the Brook and Marine theaters. People were waiting for hours to get a table. Even the take out orders took forever. How about the Chicken Delight truck!!!

                                      1. re: Motosport

                                        You got me. East 73rd was the end of the world. I used to ride my bike out there. No Georgetown; just hundreds of acres of vacant lot. I remember the three horse stable that were there before the big church was built at Veterans Avenue. Later was the Golden Oxe and Georgio's Pizza. There was a Chicken Delight, I think, on Avenue N near Avey's.

                                        1. re: filmoremike

                                          There was actually a Chicken Delight truck that worked the neighborhood like the Bungalow Bar ice cream truck. When I was a kid there was no AVE T @ E. 73 St which was a dead end. No Georgetown, no Roy H Mann JHS, no St Bernards RC church @ T and Veterans Ave. When the area became more developed with Mill Basin, etc.. The RC diocese created the St Bernard parish. They held services in a tent for several years until they built the school, convent and church. Great memories!!
                                          Lords bakery is still in business @ "The junction" Flatbush Ave & Nostrand.

                                          Lords Bakery
                                          2135 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11210

                            2. re: Tay

                              Hi Tay - I grew up in that neighborhood - walked to the Cake Center.

                              1. re: mike in brooklyn

                                Mike... Lucky you to be so close to all that great cake! We used to get kosher style deli sandwiches at a place nearby on 65th and Bay Pkwy. I also recall Ebinger's outrageous Blackout Cake and their incredibly rich buttercream birthday cakes.
                                I don't know if it's fact or urban legend but someone told me that Entenman (sp?)was originally a Baker for Ebinger's and that he either bought ther business or their recipies and began supplying Supermarkets with baked goods. Don't know if it's true but their cakes are certainly nothing like the originals. Alas, it's really a challenge to find quality bakeries now.

                                1. re: Tay

                                  Don't remember the name of the bakery that was at Flatbush & Flatlands - just that it was there, moved from Flatbush to Canarsie when I was six.
                                  But I do want to let all know that Tinas Cake Fair is still going strong on Ralph Ave., between Farragut and Foster Avenues. Was just there tonight. Still run by the same family, Aaron still keeps his hand in all the baking. Without question there are no competitors within a half hour ride of my Canarsie location that are worth mentioning in the same sentence.
                                  Like everyone says, everyone has their own favorites. I have to mention their Scotch Brownie and Munn (poppyseed) Roll. Great breads and onion rolls too.

                                  1. re: grey lens

                                    OK, why hasn't anyone mentioned Ebbingers' Huckleberry Crumb Cake"? Absolutely divine. And M&N Pizza - I used to get beat up there. And we didn't go to New China Inn, we went to Honam's on the opposite corner of Flatbush Avenue. Nice to find this stuff still under discussion.