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New York area deli style potato salad

msmouser Jun 11, 2007 06:17 PM

Help, please. In the '50's and 60's every NY area deli served a typical thin sliced potato salad.
I don't think it was made with mayonnaise. It was typically called "German", but had no bacon, and was cold. To me it was ambrosia!!! Recipes, please


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  1. c
    ChrisKC RE: msmouser Jun 12, 2007 11:23 AM

    Here's a link to a recipe called Long Island deli potato salad that I saw on another message board. I'm trying it next time I make potato salad. An ex-MIL (from NY) of a family member used to make a potato salad that I just loved, I'm hoping this is it.

    1. j
      JennS RE: msmouser Jun 12, 2007 01:45 PM

      I found this recipe which I think is closer to the original request. No mayo in this one and reminds me of the kind my dad (who grew up in Long Island) used to make. This one has bacon but I think you can leave that and the egg out and get closer to what you're looking for.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JennS
        Pat Mac RE: JennS May 26, 2008 09:03 AM

        I looked at both recipes. Neither is what we would get at the local German or Italian delis. There was no onion dices or peppers. When I moved to Fla, there was no place to buy our salads. With mayo (Helmans, of course) it is just potato salad, without mayo and with bacon, it was called German potato salad. Follow the recipe for the first one, but instead of dicing onions, use onion powder. That is the closest we got to the NY style. The German style we used to get had no celery chunks or eggs. Try without them.

        1. re: Pat Mac
          wincountrygirl RE: Pat Mac Apr 22, 2012 03:42 PM

          I always had potato salad with onion, not onion powder. Both kinds. NYC and Whitestone.

      2. m
        metweezer RE: msmouser Sep 11, 2009 05:14 PM

        I have bought this German potato salad in Queens and Brooklyn and it has always tasted the same and delicious. You could buy it with or without mayonnaise. Not having any recipe I embarked on my own to find the perfect German potato salad. I guess you can use any kind of potatoes but I bought the red ones because they were small in size. I am no cook or chef but after much trial and error this is what I have come up with.

        3 lbs. red skinned potatoes
        1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise (Hellmann’s) what else?
        2 tbsp vinegar
        1 tsp salt
        1/2 tsp pepper
        4 tsp sugar
        1/2 cup of water
        1/2 chopped onion

        Cook potatoes for 30 minutes after they start to boil. Let cool, peel and slice in an egg slicer for uniformly thin slices. Add following ingredients into blender. Mayo, vinegar, pepper, sugar, salt, onion and water. Blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Pour this marinade into bowl and add potatoes. mix well and cover and chill. Marinate overnight. You can experiment with the amounts of vinegar, water and sugar especially if you use more or less potatoes. I hope you like this. Comments welcome. Enjoy.

        3 Replies
        1. re: metweezer
          Lebek RE: metweezer May 28, 2010 05:17 AM

          Looks good, but I have to tell you - Dukes is the only real mayonnaise :)

          1. re: Lebek
            al b. darned RE: Lebek Aug 7, 2010 03:33 PM

            I respectfully disagree. For me it's only Cain's All Natural Mayo.

            1. re: al b. darned
              coll RE: al b. darned Jun 19, 2011 07:31 PM

              We're talking New York here! Hellmanns is the only option on this turf. Dukes for down south, Cains for New England, different story.

        2. roxlet RE: msmouser May 28, 2010 05:31 AM

          My mother used to make something she called German potato salad. It was thinly sliced potatoes dressed with olive oil. There was a good bit parsley, salt and pepper and I'm pretty sure that there was vinegar of some variety. Does this ring a bell?

          2 Replies
          1. re: roxlet
            jpr54_1 RE: roxlet Feb 15, 2012 12:26 PM


            1. re: roxlet
              njmarshall55 RE: roxlet Mar 26, 2012 12:43 PM

              Same here. Mine adds minced onions to it as well.

            2. greygarious RE: msmouser May 28, 2010 07:35 AM

              The epicurious recipe linked by Jenn S, minus the egg, pickle, and scallion, is what the LI delis of that era sold. I grew up on it. If it was a kosher deli, no bacon, of course.

              1. c
                CaroleMay RE: msmouser Aug 7, 2010 01:09 PM

                There was a deli on Veterans Highway in Hauppauge across the street from the 7-11 near the Northern State Parkway. They made the best German potato salad I've ever had in my entire life.

                It did not have mayo. It was oil and vinegar, I think. It did have bacon and it had onions. I'd love to get their recipe!

                Oh, and it was served cold.

                1. i
                  isberg RE: msmouser Jun 19, 2011 06:44 PM

                  I believe I have a recipe very close to what you are looking for I used to get it at Hummels Deli in Denver in the 1960's- it is from the 1981 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook if you want recipe i will post it- has sweet pickle relish, celery seed, diced onion, vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, mustard and is delicious !

                  23 Replies
                  1. re: isberg
                    CaroleMay RE: isberg Feb 9, 2012 03:58 PM

                    Please post the recipe or a link to it online.


                    1. re: CaroleMay
                      greygarious RE: CaroleMay Feb 9, 2012 10:19 PM

                      You're probably SOL - that June post was isberg's one and only contribution to Chowhound.

                      1. re: greygarious
                        Powellsanmiguel RE: greygarious Feb 10, 2012 03:22 PM

                        That is sad news. Hummel's made the best potato salad I have ever eaten and I have yet to find a comparable recipe. It was made with sliced yellow potatoes, a mayo of some sort, probably apple cider vinegar, and celery seeds. It had a lovely gloss and was delicious.

                        1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                          coll RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 11, 2012 03:38 AM

                          Most delis use Heinz white vinegar, or there is a vinegar with the word Dutch in it that is measured by grains, if that helps. Also my deli used to put brine from the jar, rather than actual pickles, into their salads.

                          It says that it is from the 1981 Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, you could probably find that book somewhere online?

                          Here you go

                          1. re: coll
                            Val RE: coll Feb 11, 2012 05:19 AM

                            I think adding vinegar to the potatoes while they are still warm is the KEY to great potato salad and I grew up in New Jersey (born in Hackensack)...we loved deli-style potato salad and that's how my mom always made it, so I learned from her how to do this. Gives the final salad a certain tanginess after you add the mayo that is incomparable, to me anyway. Hope you find a good recipe!

                            1. re: Val
                              coll RE: Val Feb 11, 2012 05:44 AM

                              Oh yeah, at the deli we made a brine of everything except the mayo and the warm potatoes soaked in there until they were ready to put out in the case, then the mayo got mixed in. When I make it at home, I use my MILs recipe, and she specifically told me to put some good olive oil (since she's Italian!) on the potatoes while hot, right after slicing. Hers is sort of light on the vinegar, more Penn Dutch. But the flavor definitely soaks in there, whichever you do. Maybe next time I'll do oil and vinegar and see how it goes over with the family.

                            2. re: coll
                              Powellsanmiguel RE: coll Feb 15, 2012 11:12 AM

                              The 1981 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook arrived yesterday,and the recipe in it may be of some help. The whole thing cost $4, so it was not too bad a roll of the dice. And I have written to one of the Hummel relatives who popped up in a google search, so hope springs eternal.

                              The vinegar might very well be made by Old Dutch Foods. The original recipe holder was Bernard Tiez, a Dutchman with a deli on Broadway. Whether the Broadway was in Denver or New York we do not know. About the only other things I know for sure are that the potatoes were steamed in their jackets and that a home made mayo played a part in the sauce.

                              1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                                greygarious RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 15, 2012 11:44 AM

                                If the BH&G recipe proves to be your holy grail, please post it. The rules are that you can list the ingredients verbatim but you have to alter the wording of the directions a little bit - that's easy enough: blend for mix, chill for refrigerate, etc.

                                Worth noting, perhaps, that often the term "Dutchman" actually means German, Deutschland being the name Germans call their country. German immigrants in PA became Pennsylvania Deutsch, which turned into Dutch. As an adjective, Dutch is about as likely to refer to Germany as Holland.

                                1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                                  isberg RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 15, 2012 12:11 PM

                                  I use that Better Homes and Gardens recipe all the time...closestt recipe to Hummels in Denver and people always rave about...I serve it cold not warm. I USED TO GO TO THAT DELI ON broadway all the time in early 1960's they had the most awesome Christmas marzipan and chocolates!

                                  1. re: isberg
                                    Powellsanmiguel RE: isberg Feb 15, 2012 03:12 PM

                                    The Better Homes and Gardens recipe:


                                    1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                                      coll RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 16, 2012 06:28 AM

                                      Weird, no vinegar at all! I do add mustard powder to mine, and chopped eggs, this is not far off from how I make it already. And I was ready to try something new.....well, maybe I'll try a few pickles next time.

                                      1. re: coll
                                        isberg RE: coll Feb 16, 2012 07:36 AM

                                        That isn't the recipe I was referring to...mine was about 1/3 cup mayo, 3tb red wine or balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, diced onions (I sometimes leave onion out altogether) 1tsp sugar 1tbmustard, 1-2tsp celery seed?.......mix and mix with thin sliced boiled potatoes then cool down.

                                        1. re: isberg
                                          coll RE: isberg Feb 16, 2012 07:54 AM

                                          Hopefully you can post it? My potato salad is fine but I can never leave well enough alone.

                                          1. re: coll
                                            isberg RE: coll Feb 16, 2012 08:06 AM

                                            I will try to post my recipe next week when I return home...but it really tastes like the old Hummel Deli's!

                                            1. re: isberg
                                              Pat Mac RE: isberg Feb 16, 2012 09:16 AM

                                              Guys, I don't want to seem rude, but the topic is NEW YORK AREA DELI. I grew up in Bklyn during the 50's. I lived there until the late 80's when we moved to south Florida. There was only one place to get NY potato salad, a German restaurant in the Hollywood Mall (sadly no longer in existence). NY style potato salad has NO chopped onions, NO pickles, NO mustard, just potatoes (sliced about 1/4 thick & 1&1/2-2 inches in diameter), Hellmann's mayo, vinegar (some used apple cider, others used white), & a hint of onion powder. No matter how many times I've experimented, I can't get it right. I make some really good salad, but it ain't NY deli. I've read that the secret is some sour cream, I've tried it, but it still just ain't right. I've never been to Denver or Hummel's, but the topic is, after all NY STYLE.

                                              1. re: Pat Mac
                                                Powellsanmiguel RE: Pat Mac Feb 16, 2012 09:36 AM

                                                The salad you mention is very much like the stuff Hummels made; a NY style potato salad. I too have lusted after the stuff for forty years and never quite gotten it right. I think if we get one accurate recipe the mystery will be solved.

                                                1. re: Pat Mac
                                                  coll RE: Pat Mac Feb 16, 2012 09:41 AM

                                                  My deli recipes all had some type of brine, either from pickles or pepper hulls, I really think that was the secret. No actual pickles or relish. Their recipes were purloined from a former employee of a NY German deli. I am mad to this day that I never copied the recipes down, I made them every day for years and thought I'd never forget. Wrong!

                                                  And yeah, no mustard in any. Any chopped vegetables like onions, peppers or carrots were arranged decoratively in rows on top, and only mixed in when serving at the counter. Very small amounts if you got any at all. And if there were hard boiled eggs added, that was Penn Dutch, which didn't sell like the real stuff.

                                                  Oh and I know places that mixed cheap mayo with sour cream to approximate Hellmanns, but that wasn't authentic in the least.

                                                  1. re: Pat Mac
                                                    coll RE: Pat Mac Feb 16, 2012 09:47 AM

                                                    Are you adding lots of kosher salt and white pepper along with the onion powder? Amazing what a difference salt and pepper makes!

                                                    1. re: Pat Mac
                                                      Wtg2Retire RE: Pat Mac Feb 16, 2012 09:51 AM

                                                      From reading the posts, I get the impression that the potato salad served at the Hummels was a NY area deli potato salad. I am hoping that isberg does post the recipe.

                                                      1. re: Pat Mac
                                                        RelishPDX RE: Pat Mac Feb 16, 2012 06:44 PM

                                                        Is what's described in the below post a close proximation?:


                                                        I found it while randomly clicking on links at the bottom of this thread. The overnight brine is unique.

                                                        I know how you feel about your search—I've been looking for a macaroni salad I used to get at a lunch-only place in Oakland, CA in the 1970s called the Gold Fruit Bowl, and can't replicate. I can still taste it, dangit. Nothing ever compared.

                                                        1. re: RelishPDX
                                                          coll RE: RelishPDX Feb 17, 2012 03:43 AM

                                                          I know what you mean, there is a BBQ near me that makes the best macaroni salad. Luckily they are still around so every time I get take out, I analyze the salad once again and tweak it. I'm getting close.

                                                          1. re: coll
                                                            bear RE: coll Feb 24, 2012 02:18 PM

                                                            Here are two of the BHG 1981 Cookbook recipes on Google Books. Click on Salads in the Table of Contents, and scroll down to 462. Unfortunately, the next page isn't available so these might not be the recipes that isberg is referring to.


                                                            Hopefully the link works, but if not you can search Google Books for the book and there will be one that you can scan some of the pages.

                                                        2. re: Pat Mac
                                                          tessnorton RE: Pat Mac Jul 19, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                          My dad just gave me his (my German grandmother's) recipe for creamy German potato salad and it's similar to 'metweezer's' recipe above minus the onion powder. It calls for white pepper, but you take the mayo and other ingredients (vinegar, water, spices) and cook them on the stove 'til well blended, and pour that mixture over sliced potatoes mix well, then cover potatoes and refrigerate overnight. Then you pour potatoes in colander and drain, then mix 1/2 up mayo into potatoes and refrigerate overnight again.

                                2. eclecticsynergy RE: msmouser Jun 20, 2011 11:26 PM

                                  And the thread lives on...

                                  My grandmother brought her potato salad recipe from Austria- she was a longtime vegetarian so I suspect she just left out the bacon in traditional German potato salad.

                                  Very simple, though I don't have the exact proportions. She used white potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced thin, then dressed with oil, tossed to coat, and left to stand overnight in the fridge. (She claimed this was the secret, allowing the potatoes to absorb the oil.) The next day she added vinegar, finely minced onion, parsley, salt and pepper.

                                  It was great, and was served (always cold) at all holiday gatherings. I suppose you could substitute onion powder for the minced onion, but that's quite a different flavor 'cause it's toasted. I'd recommend trying fresh onion first, minced very fine, not diced...

                                  1. r
                                    RelishPDX RE: msmouser Feb 19, 2012 03:24 PM

                                    Alrighty, Chowhounds, let's have a serious talk about this potato salad. (Warning, long post ahead.)

                                    A bit of background: I take my potato salad seriously. My family has two recipes, one hot for Christmas, and one cold for spring and summer. The cold recipe takes boiled potatoes then douses them with white vinegar while they're cooling. When chilled, finely chopped red onion, celery, parsley, sweet pickle relish, salt and pepper are added, then the Best Foods mayonnaise, finished with finely chopped boiled eggs and a sprinkling of paprika.

                                    The problem is that it doesn't keep well. If it's not fully consumed within 48 hours, it begins to separate, the celery gets soggy, and the eggs firm up like rubber. I thought this holding the potatoes and onion in brine idea was perfect—I could whip up the potatoes, hold them, then slice up as much potato at a time as I wanted, adding any other ingredients fresh each time.

                                    So after meandering in this thread the other night, in an "I refuse to be a fuddy-duddy any longer when it comes to 'tater salad," way, I googled "potato salad brine", and simply picked a recipe by tossing an imaginary dart at my screen. It landed here:


                                    Figuring "what's the worst that can happen?", I steamed two pounds of spuds of the russet variety, cut in my usual way of in half first, then each half three more times lengthwise so I've got essentially long fingers of potato in the steamer, each about 1/8th of a potato. This method works superbly for salad or mashers, and prevents that "what happened to my potatoes?" look when you discover a potato or two has dissolved into the boiling water, plus all the pieces cook quickly and evenly.

                                    Once the potatoes were cooked, I doused them with a scaled-down version of the linked recipe, since I was working with 2 lbs. instead of 5, then added finely chopped white onion, keeping with the theme, and popped them into the fridge. For good luck, I even stored it all in a white mixing bowl.

                                    A few minutes ago, I scooped a portion of tater wedges and onion out of the brine, let them drain a bit, cut them up, added a bit of pepper and mixed it up with Best Foods. I was actually surprised by the texture of the spuds—I was expecting them to be fully waterlogged, but these potatoes were appetizingly firm, just like potato salad potatoes should be. The mayo also held its creamy consistency, without getting soupy, much to my relief.

                                    Alas, the result was seriously wrong. The potatoes were absolute salt and vinegar licks. It was so bad, it was the first potato salad I've ever spit out, and two cups of tea later, my mouth still tastes of salt.

                                    So, building on the link, for those who know this New York deli potato salad, what changes would you make? How long can you hold potatoes in this brine? Should there be a short brine to season, then another for holding, or is that incompatible? Suggestions, tips, consolations, and sympathy will all be happily accepted.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: RelishPDX
                                      Powellsanmiguel RE: RelishPDX Feb 19, 2012 06:41 PM

                                      Perfectly good experiment. My guess is that there was way too much salt. Probably too much vinegar too. The common marinade recipes seem to have one part water to one part vinegar to one part sugar. I tried that and it seemed too sweet, so the sugar was halved in the batch of potatoes I am soaking right now. I also tried some onions in the last batch and they tasted way too strong, so this batch will have none. This is fairly consistent in the marinated potato literature; some have onions, but many are adamant about having none. Perhaps a later addition will be onion powder. But it is wise to change one thing at a time. Tomorrow the 12 hour marinade will be over and I will go on.

                                      I have no idea about the holding notion; I'm more concerned with the salad making problems. It it were me I think I would get the perfect recipe and then make it when needed, and if they don't eat the stuff in 48 hours, so be it.

                                      1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                                        AAQjr RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 19, 2012 09:26 PM

                                        Way, way too much salt. Try 1/4 cup, otherwise the brine looks good. I would go with 3W:1V:1S

                                        I do find the whole thing concept very interesting.

                                        1. re: AAQjr
                                          RelishPDX RE: AAQjr Feb 19, 2012 11:37 PM

                                          Good suggestions, and I'm happy to see others are tinkering with this too! I had problems with my onions as well, they didn't take up any brine at all, they were virtually unchanged, so I'm leaving them out in the next batch.

                                          I'll give the 3W:1V:1S formula a try. My major concern is the potatoes getting waterlogged, since I'll be the single eater, and may keep the potatoes sitting in brine for a week before I get through 2 lbs. It's not worth the time and effort to make really small batches of potatoes.

                                          Happily, each batch barely costs a buck fifty for the experiment, so it's full steam ahead when I have more taters tomorrow.

                                          1. re: RelishPDX
                                            AAQjr RE: RelishPDX Feb 20, 2012 07:10 AM

                                            I am very tempted to use waxy potatoes, i would think they would pickle better and absorb less brine. I don't know about the whole russett in potato salad thing in the first place.

                                            1. re: AAQjr
                                              coll RE: AAQjr Feb 20, 2012 12:39 PM

                                              I've seen red potatoes used occasionally, but usually "chefs potatoes" are the choice. Usually russets but you never know what you're going to get, depending on the season. I really think it's the dressing, not the potatoes, anyway. Especially after the long brine.

                                    2. m
                                      MacTAC RE: msmouser Feb 20, 2012 08:20 AM

                                      Growing up on Long Island many years ago, most delis were German with the occasional Jewish or Italian depending on the neighborhood. German deli potato salad was a little tart/vinegary with mayonnaise. No onion, egg, green pepper etc. It might have a garnish of thinly sliced carrot and/or parsley in the tray. German Potato Salad had no mayo, though vinegary with bacon. Both were thinly sliced, never chunky.

                                      My favorite German deli makes it but usually a little too much mayo. A few years ago, a friend that worked there had given my wife a recipe and I've asked her to find it to try it again. I've been saving pickle brine from my last few pickle barrel purchases. Next time I'm there, I'm going to ask the owner(s) about the recipe regarding secrecy and any info they might be willing to give.

                                      The best and closest I've had in many, many years is from the Douglaston Deli. I tried it a year or so ago because of quite a few online recommendations. It was expensive, but excellent.

                                      19 Replies
                                      1. re: MacTAC
                                        Powellsanmiguel RE: MacTAC Feb 20, 2012 03:22 PM

                                        Close to Hummel's potato salad

                                        Three medium Yukon gold potatoes
                                        1/3 c. Apple cider vinegar
                                        1/3 c. Water
                                        1/6 c. Sugar
                                        1 t salt
                                        1/2 t low sodium chicken bouillon powder
                                        2 t celery seed
                                        2/3 c Hellman's mayo or corn oil, home made mayo

                                        Steam the potatoes in their jackets for 1/2 hour or until tender. Peel and slice, ideally with a mandoline, into 3/16 inch slices. Heat the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and bouillon until dissolved and pour over the potatoes. Cover and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Drain. Add mayo and celery seeds. Refrigerate for an hour or two and serve.

                                        Close. Not quite the miracle I was hoping for, but close, and more important fairly tasty.

                                        1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                                          isberg RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 20, 2012 04:17 PM

                                          Add 1 tb dijon mustard and 1/3 cup pickle relish to that recipe above and tell mw what you think, I serve it very chilled

                                          1. re: isberg
                                            SoozyQ RE: isberg Feb 20, 2012 06:54 PM

                                            I've never had New York deli potato salad so I have no idea what op is looking for but I do have a tried and true recipe that sounds like something other posters are referring to. I always get asked for the recipe. And best part is the ease of making it.

                                            5 large baking potatoes
                                            salt & pepper to taste
                                            1 tsp celery seed (optional)
                                            1 large onion peeled and diced
                                            pickle juice from a jar of dill pickles
                                            Italian salad dressing
                                            Best Foods mayonnaise

                                            Boil the potatoes until easily pierced with a sharp knife. Drain and let cool slightly until easy to handle. Peel the potatoes and dice into salad size pieces. While still warm, pour enough Italian salad dressing over the potatoes to cover. (I usually use the Good Seasons mix and make my own or if in a hurry, use Wish Bone.) Put the potatoes a side. Take the cut up onion and pour the pickle juice over the onions to cover. Let the onions sit out on the sink for at least an hour. After the onions have marinated in the juice for an hour, pour the juice back into the pickle jar. Add the celery seeds and the mayo, enough to make the salad creamy. Taste for salt and pepper if necessary.
                                            Your done.

                                            Here in the west, Hellman's mayo is called Best Foods. It's the only mayo I use in this salad. I don't give the amount because I judge by the creaminess. It's probably anywhere from 1/2 to one cup. I like how easy this recipe is but more than that, it just tastes so damned good.

                                            1. re: isberg
                                              Powellsanmiguel RE: isberg Feb 21, 2012 09:34 AM

                                              I just made the additions, since I had a bowl sitting in the fridge; absolutely delicious! Whether this is the elusive potato salad of my youth, I don't know, but it is delicious,so who cares.

                                              1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                                                isberg RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 21, 2012 03:01 PM

                                                It is super good ...great it turned out!

                                                1. re: isberg
                                                  Powellsanmiguel RE: isberg Feb 24, 2012 01:10 PM

                                                  I actually got a reply from one of the Hummel's, and while it did not contain a recipe as such, there were ingredients and techniques. They steamed red potatoes in their jackets, let them cool, and then sliced them. They then made a corm oil mayo from scratch and added apple cider vinegar and "sweet liquor vinegar," which is described as being "the same as used in sweet relish." Onion is ground so there are no chunks, and the blender method used in one of rhe recipes above sounds like just the technique. Add celery seeds, mix potatoes and mayo, and cool overnight.

                                                  This is close to the recipe I posted. Don't bother with the marinade, make a yummy onion, vinegar, and maybe sweet pickle mayo, add to the sliced potatoes along with celery seed, and there you are.

                                                  And I think this stuff is a lot like the potato salad the original poster requested.

                                                  1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                                                    isberg RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 24, 2012 01:41 PM

                                                    I agree

                                                    1. re: Powellsanmiguel
                                                      RelishPDX RE: Powellsanmiguel Feb 24, 2012 02:37 PM

                                                      Interesting. Fortunately, I picked up a 48 oz. jar of sweet pickles on the clearance rack at the store this morning for under 2 bux, so I've got plenty of "sweet liquor vinegar" to play around with. Thanks for the update and going through the motions to contact the deli owners.

                                            2. re: MacTAC
                                              Spiffindor RE: MacTAC Apr 22, 2012 06:46 AM

                                              Park Delicatessen in New Hyde Park has the good stuff...tastes just like the potato salad (both mayo-based & German no-mayo style - yes, there are 2 types) we used get (and my Dad loved!) from Gay's Deli on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens, and from the German deli by the "rock" at 84th St. and 91st Ave., we enjoyed when I was a child. Sadly, unlike when I was a child, one must come prepared with a mini bankroll these days. Where my Mom and I used to stop on the way home from work/school to bring home a few salads with whatever was in her wallet, I can now easily drop upwards of $50 on a few large containers of assorted salads for my family. They truly do taste the same...right down to the little baked egg custard-filled cups of foil and the meringue-topped rice pudding, but the cost makes it a treat enjoyed only a few times per year.

                                              1. re: Spiffindor
                                                MacTAC RE: Spiffindor Apr 22, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                Thanks for that heads up, Spiffindor. I'm putting it on my *When In (NHP) List* to try. Jamaica Av in Woodhaven brings back memories of Smilen Bros. produce and Trunz butchers. My father's family was from there and when I was younger we would go back for family visits with the Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and cousins. I recently went back for a bittersweet walk around.

                                                I remember deli salads at .39 lb. and supermarket (Waldbaums) deli at .29, LOL! Incidentally, Fred's Delicatessen in Levittown does a good job and I think they're reasonable compared to Douglaston but I don't KNOW the price. I'll find out next time I'm there.

                                                1. re: MacTAC
                                                  coll RE: MacTAC Apr 22, 2012 07:51 AM

                                                  When I worked at a deli in the 1980s, we had an egg sandwich deal: 2 eggs on a hard roll with cheese and choice of meat, an oj, a coffee and, since it was also a bakery, a choice of a baked good like a danish, donut or even black and white cookies (left over from the day before, so anything went). Price? $1 for all. Those were the days. I seem to remember some delis throwing in the salad for free when you bought a sandwich. Definitely free pickle slices at most places.

                                                  1. re: coll
                                                    MacTAC RE: coll Apr 22, 2012 03:23 PM

                                                    Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end...

                                                    With apologies to Mary Hopkins :-)

                                                    I talk to my kids about those prices but I remember the salaries too. Funny that Potato Salad at least seems less affordable today. Probably a Fig Newton of my imagination...

                                                    1. re: MacTAC
                                                      coll RE: MacTAC Apr 22, 2012 03:30 PM

                                                      I think I got $200 cash and $100 check with taxes deducted, and full health benefits (talk about days you thought would never end, free health!! at a deli job!!) I only remember because I left a regular job to work there and they matched it all, including the same insurance company. I think everything WAS more affordable then, it never seemed the way it does now. Like you said, salads were going for something like 39 cents a lb. I don't even look at the price now, I know they wholesale premade 10 lb tubs for under $1 a lb, but the markup is what kills it. How many places even make their own anymore?

                                                      1. re: coll
                                                        MacTAC RE: coll Apr 22, 2012 03:42 PM

                                                        Very few I think. I was reading someone's sign yesterday, regarding their salads being home made. Probably Hinck's in Port Washington while I was stopped at a light. I really only want home made, otherwise I'll pass.

                                                        I think it was you and another that mentioned the place in Riverhead (maybe in a Pastrami thread?) about the PS, so I did go to try it. It was very good. Can't remember the name, boarded up window. It'll come back to me, probably when I hit Post My Reply.

                                                        1. re: MacTAC
                                                          coll RE: MacTAC Apr 22, 2012 04:00 PM

                                                          Maple Deli, the window is only boarded up due to a car accident. I tried their slaw and mac too, but the potato salad is best out of the lot.

                                                  2. re: MacTAC
                                                    Spiffindor RE: MacTAC Apr 22, 2012 10:20 AM

                                                    You're welcome, MacTAC. Woodhaven has changed quite a bit, but in many ways it is still much my old neighborhood. I was just back there a couple of weeks ago, and many of the faces are still the same. I don't have as much reason to visit as much since Lewis' of Woodhaven closed, but Scaturro's and Smiley's Yarns are still there ...and the El was just recently repainted :-)

                                                  3. re: Spiffindor
                                                    greygarious RE: Spiffindor Apr 22, 2012 09:25 AM

                                                    Welcome to CH,Spiffindor! (like your handle). Is that the deli on the southwest corner of Hillside and NHP Road? I grew up in NHP (in the Oaks) so that was our neighborhood deli. I hadn't lived in NY for decades when in the course of my hobby I met a German couple, Peter and Rose, who were at the time owners of that deli. They since sold, retired, and moved away. About 15 yrs ago I was on the island and stopped at the deli in search of the liverwurst of my childhood lunches. Not only didn't they have it, but the counterman was Asian - which, in the context of trying to recapture my Wonder Years, was crushing. Friedhoffer's Bakery was gone, too, so no onion rye either. 8={

                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                      Spiffindor RE: greygarious Apr 22, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                      Park Deli is on Jericho just east of Lakeville. You might want to try Butterycooky Bakery on the corner of Jericho and Hinsdale in Floral Park next time you're in the area...also more expensive than what we remember from the bakeries of our Wonder Years...but amazing place nonetheless. It's the only place that has come close to replicating the apple turnovers my Dad used to pick up from the Glendale Bakery on Jamaica Ave. in days of yore... and their pastry work is incredible. Thanks for the welcome :-)

                                                      1. re: Spiffindor
                                                        greygarious RE: Spiffindor Apr 22, 2012 12:56 PM

                                                        40 yrs ago I had a part-time Saturday job in Queens Village and always stopped at Buttercooky on the way. Nice to know it is still there!

                                                2. p
                                                  patty7194 RE: msmouser May 6, 2012 03:17 PM

                                                  Ahhh, a 5-year old post! I also grew up in NYC, in Flushing, Queens, and loved the potato salad I had at a little deli on Main Street, near the Long Island expressway....anybody remember the old Bohack's supermarket???? anyway, I have a ridiculously simple recipe that's pretty damn close....only uses 4 ingredients, plus salt and pepper! give it a try....

                                                  5 lbs red potatoes, similarly sized
                                                  1 white onion
                                                  Bottle Bernsteins Restaurant Recipe Italian dressing
                                                  Hellmans or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
                                                  Salt, pepper

                                                  Boil potatoes til barely fork tender. Drain in colander. While cooling to room temperature, peel white onion, remove bulb end (check following http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1FfZi...). GRATE onion, equivalent to 1 medium onion, SAVE ONION JUICE. Meanwhile, muddle together about 1 cup mayo with enough Bernstein's dressing to make thick-ish mixture; when cooled enough to handle, peel potatoes, slice medium thin (I use mandolin but may do by hand). Toss potatoes gently with onions; mix onion juice with mayo/dressing mixture, combine with potatoes and onions. Don't let potatoes cool completely, you want the warm potatoes to soak up the flavor. Refrigerate, serve. I'd love some feedback on this!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: patty7194
                                                    mojo32708 RE: patty7194 May 28, 2012 05:05 AM

                                                    I tried this one and it was very close to what I remember. I used red potatoes.

                                                    1. re: mojo32708
                                                      coll RE: mojo32708 May 28, 2012 05:12 AM

                                                      You know, sugar just might be the missing link!

                                                  2. c
                                                    Captwierd RE: msmouser May 26, 2013 03:58 PM

                                                    New York delis had at least 3 types of potato salad, German w/ oil and vinegar, garnished with parsley, American or Amish potato salad, mayonnaise based w/ celery seeds and the one you are all searching for on here, Bavarian potato salad, mayonnaise based w/ a brine treatment of the potatoes overnight, not salt based but sugar and vinegar based. Mayonnaise is mixed with either light cream or milk with vinegar and sugar added to taste. The spuds are boiled and then thinly sliced with the brine poured over them and GENTLY turned over in a large rectangular bowl, then set over night in the frig. The mayonnaise mixture is added the next day

                                                    1. d
                                                      duncanbdavidson RE: msmouser Jul 12, 2013 08:15 AM

                                                      Hummells potato salad

                                                      6 potatoes’s boiled with skin in salted water and peel hot on until they slice firm

                                                      ¼ cup white wine vinegar (tarragon)
                                                      And celery seed 2 t sp
                                                      2 t sp hot mustard
                                                      Mix and poor over still warm potato slices

                                                      3 egg yokes mixes into mayoanse with
                                                      3 t sp white wine vinegar and 1 tsp lemon juice
                                                      ½ cup olive oil
                                                      Salt and pepper
                                                      Add celery seeds to this as well and mix into potatoes

                                                      3 hard boiled eggs chopped
                                                      Add to mixture

                                                      Cool 24 to 48 hours
                                                      Add more mayo (need not be home made)
                                                      Keeping the mixture wet
                                                      Garnish with sliced hard boiled eggs

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: duncanbdavidson
                                                        coll RE: duncanbdavidson Jul 12, 2013 12:03 PM

                                                        This is what my deli called Penn Dutch. Not that popular but we did keep a small amount on hand.

                                                      2. h
                                                        hotdoghenry RE: msmouser Jun 23, 2014 02:13 PM

                                                        If you want the real deal go to the Douglaston Deli on Douglaston Parkway in Queens. They have the best salads ever. If you want to try to make it at home here is the formula. You'll have to play with it because I measure nothing.

                                                        Use russet potatoes. 5lbs is fine if you want to experiment try it with 2lbs first.

                                                        Boil the potatoes but not all the way. (They should still be a little hard because you are going to pour boiling liquid over them sliced and continue to cook them)

                                                        When you are done boiling them peel them right away while they are hot. You can buy potato peeling gloves that work great. Its important to it this way and then slice them very thin.

                                                        At the same time put some vinegar in a pot and ad some water.2/3 vinegar 1/3 water. Add a table spoon or so of mustard. Salt/ pepper and lots of sugar at least a cup of white sugar. Take a small onion and grate it up. Ad the grated onion and all the juice to the pot. Bring to a boil. Then immediately pour the boiling mixture over the slice potatoes and allow to stand for at least an hour. 2-3 hours is better.

                                                        Drain the potato's very well. Get as much liquid out of the potato's as possible. This may take a while. After you have drained the potato's, place in a bowl and add mayo to taste. You won't need as much mayo as you may think. Go easy at first you can add more as you go. Then put in the fridge to chill. Enjoy!

                                                        1. r
                                                          RDL2001 RE: msmouser Jul 7, 2014 10:26 PM

                                                          I've done some testing with promising results. I know the potato salad you are trying to duplicate.I grew up in the Bronx and my family would go to a German Deli in the Country Club section (adjacent to Pelham Bay). We moved to Throggs Neck where Hanson's Deli was- had the same styles of potato salads. They both had two styles of potato salad: what was referred to as "German" was oil and apparently vinegar based with a lot of parsley-it was essentially clear.Potatoes were thin sliced BUT firm. The second was mayonnaise based without parsley. Interestingly both tasted very similar. OK to the experiments.

                                                          The key to my method is to flavor the potatoes during the boil.And osmolarity plays a part. slice potatoes approx 1/8 or even 1/16 of an inch. Make the water used to boil the slices hyperosmolar with salt, vinrgar and sugar-add onion powder and white pepper. It's trial and error for seasoning- you can definitely make it too salty or vinegary. Recall High School biology-a hyperosmolar solution will draw the water out of the potatoes thereby keeping them firm. You can boil them for an hour at simmer and they stay firm. All seasoning is via the boil bath. I let them drain in a colander while cooling- the just mix a generous amount of mayonnaise and refrigerate. I actually use Hellmans Lite and it tastes fine. The potatoes are firm and the flavor is in the potatoes. Again its trial and error as to the amounts of salt- you can definitely go overboard with salt or vinegar but seems not so likely with the sugar.But realize that the boiling solution has to be much stronger than the finished potatoes.

                                                          Trust me, try it...you'll like it.

                                                          If you agree and pass it on call it Rich's Hyperosmolar German Deli Potato Salad.


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