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I'm looking for good NY Style Knishes here in Boston

mrwhiskers Jul 13, 2009 05:03 PM

Tell me something other than good luck. I don't want those pastry puff things filled with potatoes but rather the sort of flat square with a crust made with schmaltz (sp?). Or does anyone know where I buy frozen NY ones? Thanks!

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  1. 9
    9lives RE: mrwhiskers Jul 13, 2009 06:04 PM

    I remember buying knishes at Michael's Deli in Coolidge Corner.

    I really don't remember how good they were; but I think they were the best I've found locally.

    3 Replies
    1. re: 9lives
      Food4Thought RE: 9lives Jul 13, 2009 07:53 PM

      I had a pastrami knish from Michaels, which was far from traditional but very good. As far as mail order Knishes, I remember bookmarking this link either from here or the NY board.

      I'm not sure these are exactly what you are looking for. Based on your description though, I recall having this type of knish in NY/ Long Island, a true crust and very dense. I have not run across those in the Boston area (not to say they don't exist).

      1. re: Food4Thought
        lergnom RE: Food4Thought Jul 15, 2009 10:29 AM

        His potato ones are his best.

      2. re: 9lives
        steinpilz RE: 9lives Nov 13, 2009 05:58 PM

        Michael's still has many varieties of knishes, listed here:


        Michael's closes early on Saturdays, 3pm I think.

      3. n
        nincyh RE: mrwhiskers Jul 13, 2009 09:12 PM

        Barry's Deli in Waban (Newton) used to have decent beef knishes that I think were brought in (frozen) from NY but were tasty and the large flat square ones you are seeking. It's been a while so I'd call first to make sure they have them, and I can't vouch for them since it's been a few years but do check it out and report back. They had beef, potato and some sort of vegetable/potato blend but the beef was very good way back when.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nincyh
          lipoff RE: nincyh Jul 13, 2009 11:13 PM

          Barry's Deli has Meyer's Knishes, which are very good. It is worth calling if you want to make sure they have a specific variety (personally, I prefer the potato) but they always have some. These are the best local knishes I've found.

        2. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: mrwhiskers Jul 13, 2009 11:32 PM

          Go to the Butcherie, on Harvard Street in Brookline: they have a wide variety at the deli counter

          1 Reply
          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
            rr2035 RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jul 15, 2009 07:32 PM

            I'm going to jump in and second the butcherie, not sure if they are exactly what you are looking for, but they are good and worth a try.

          2. steinpilz RE: mrwhiskers Jul 14, 2009 04:26 AM

            You might call Rosenfeld's Bagels in Newton Centre, they could tell you where to look if they don't have them.

            3 Replies
            1. re: steinpilz
              galleygirl RE: steinpilz Jul 15, 2009 07:05 AM

              Um, Rosenfeld's is a bakery, They don't make knishes....

              1. re: galleygirl
                steinpilz RE: galleygirl Jul 15, 2009 03:03 PM

                Ok, but they might know a place that does.

                1. re: steinpilz
                  galleygirl RE: steinpilz Jul 15, 2009 03:06 PM

                  Okay, I may have been a little snarky this morning....Sorry...

            2. e
              ecdopfel RE: mrwhiskers Jul 15, 2009 08:01 AM

              They sell them in the bakery case at City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain! I'm not sure how authentic they are since I'm not a knish connoisseur, but they look like the real thing!

              1 Reply
              1. re: ecdopfel
                ephraim_oakes RE: ecdopfel Aug 31, 2009 02:22 PM

                I've had the knishes at city feed, and they're not bad but definitely nothing like what you get in new york. they're made by some hippie, vegan baker (and i've nothing against hippie foods) and are more likely to have kale than kasha in the filling. real knish dough also has lots of eggs in it, so the vegan stuff can't really compare.

                the closest i've found to real knishes is in the deli case at east side market in providence. but that's quite a shlep for a knish (of the baked good variety, anyhow).

              2. s
                snhfoodie RE: mrwhiskers Jul 15, 2009 01:12 PM

                I don't believe you can get a "real" New York knish in Boston and unfortunately, too many people have been lulled into the [false] notion that those abominable square yellowish-brown things are "real" knishes. They're a poor facsimile at best.

                I had occasion at one point to have a so-called "meat knish" at Rubins. While it wasn't square it was so teeny that I thought it must have been made by the Knish Guild in Munchkin Land. Bear in mind that the "traditional" knish is potato filled, with other variants available.

                Kupel's had a potato knish some time ago (and I think they're still making them) which was passable but you wouldn't mistake it for the real thing. FAR better than a square one, but no match for the NY City classic.

                A real knish looks roughly the size and shape of a small softball. Two links to two well-know NYC producers are as follows:

                Yonah Schimmels

                Knish Nosh

                Likely what you are used to/calling a NY Style Knish is one made in the style of Gabila's:

                But, they're not at all authentic NY knishes; Rather the type you find on pushcarts/hot dog vendors about the city.

                Sure they're pricey, but you can order knishes from Schimmels and although the web page link for ordering from Knish Nosh is broken, you could likely call and place an order over the phone.

                Please understand, that I'm not knocking your taste in Knishes if you indeed prefer the square ones, but they're not what a real knish looks like nor IMHO should taste like. Just know that tasty as they are, it's safe to call any of them "not-exactly-cardiologist-approved".

                Happy Knish Noshing :) [pass the deli mustard please...


                Hope this helps to clarify!

                7 Replies
                1. re: snhfoodie
                  galleygirl RE: snhfoodie Jul 15, 2009 01:18 PM

                  My first stop after Port Authority, or the Ctown bus, used to be looking for a Gabilla's..There's just not enough vendors around anymore...That never stopped me from going to Yonah Shimmel's for the softball variety, tho...

                  I come from three generations of New Yorkers (LES on one side)who would sink their teeth into either one. Gabilla's is most definitely a knish to a native New Yorker....

                  1. re: galleygirl
                    bartleby RE: galleygirl Jul 15, 2009 04:36 PM

                    You're both right, I think. When I was growing up in Queens, the Gabila's-style knishes were known as "square" knishes, and were found at your more prosaic neighborhood Jewish delis. The higher-end delis (that also cured their own meats), like Pastrami King, sold the "round" knishes that you can get today at places like Yonah Schimmels. I prefer the round ones, although a square knish will definitely give me a welcome jolt of nostalgia before it settles into a lump in my gut. I've lived in Boston for more than 25 years now and have yet to find an adequate knish. (This may not be a bad thing.) The closest I've come to replicating the taste and feel of a New York knish, oddly enough, was the potato bagel that they used to sell at Rosenfeld's in Newton -- they had that distinctive peppery kick. They stopped selling them a few years ago, I'm sad to say. I could eat three of those things.

                    1. re: bartleby
                      galleygirl RE: bartleby Jul 15, 2009 04:51 PM

                      "The closest I've come to replicating the taste and feel of a New York knish, oddly enough, was the potato bagel that they used to sell at Rosenfeld's in Newton -- they had that distinctive peppery kick".

                      Omigod, I totally agree....I think I wrote that in my first reveiw of rosenfeld's!!!!
                      My mother was the one who taught me to eat a Gabilla's, split open, with mustard inside...

                      1. re: galleygirl
                        bartleby RE: galleygirl Aug 31, 2009 06:46 PM

                        By the way, the potato bagels are back at Rosenfeld's. I had two of them Saturday morning.

                        1. re: bartleby
                          galleygirl RE: bartleby Aug 31, 2009 07:00 PM

                          Yes, yes! I spoke to the owmer a few weeks ago, and he said they brought them back when porro flakes dipped below $50 a sack....Hooray!

                  2. re: snhfoodie
                    mrwhiskers RE: snhfoodie Jul 15, 2009 04:57 PM

                    beg to differ, but the traditional ny knish, was always round or square, never softball-shaped. I grew up in brooklyn and remember going to this place (can't remember the name) in brighton beach when it was still a largely jewish neighborhood and getting square knishes that were cooked on a sheet pan like sicilian pizza. amazingly good, and as you say, amazingly bad for you. aside from the shape though, it is the crust/ outter shell and filling that matters most.

                    1. re: mrwhiskers
                      PinchOfSalt RE: mrwhiskers Aug 31, 2009 02:58 PM

                      Were your Brighton Beach knishes from Mrs. Stahl's knishes, sold at a store right under the Brighton Beach elevated tracks? Boy oh boy those were good - a defining part of my childhood. Too bad Mrs. Stahl's is out of business. The potato and kasha knishes were good, but my special favorite there were the cabbage knishes. Oy! I have never seen anything like it here in Boston.

                  3. c
                    catsmeow RE: mrwhiskers Aug 31, 2009 02:47 PM

                    A few weeks ago, I happened to be in Peabody and sought out Levine's kosher deli. I had read about it a while back on a Chowhound thread. They have the small square ones and are the best I've had in the greater Boston area. It's 2 minutes off of Rt 1 very close to Seawitch, a restaurant that's ver visible from Re 1. Side note...don't eat at Seawitch. It's the worst excuse for a seafood restaurant.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: catsmeow
                      teezeetoo RE: catsmeow Aug 31, 2009 06:22 PM

                      oh dear, you remind me that my grandmother used to make round potato knishes, split them in half and put brown mustard in the middle, wrap them in wax paper, and give them to the grandchildren as sandwiches! my mom remembered them sailing down from the window to her and her brothers and called them "cholesterol bombs." her other version of a sandwich was gribbenes (onions fried in chicken fat) between two pieces of matzoh!

                      1. re: teezeetoo
                        catsmeow RE: teezeetoo Aug 31, 2009 06:46 PM

                        wow...onions fried in chicken fat....now that brings back memories. My mom called them gribbeners and gave it to us on rye bread.

                        1. re: teezeetoo
                          Anniebird RE: teezeetoo Jul 13, 2010 05:54 PM

                          Hate to argue with anyone's grandmother, but gribbenes is actually chicken skin that has been crisped into crackling. The onions were always used as flavoring for the gribbenes, true, but the skin is what is the gribbenes. And wonder of wonders, you can make great tasting gribbenes in the microwave. Just another way to burn the kitchen down making them. Oh...and I can remember burning my hands on those flat square thick smaltz knishes in the 1940's at Coney Island...now THAT's authentic. But we also ate the round lightly enclosed kasha and meat ones from the deli...so don't fight, eat both!

                      2. s
                        scorp508 RE: mrwhiskers Aug 31, 2009 08:59 PM

                        Has anyone had the Knishes at Lendys Deli in Saugus or Art's Deli in Chelsea? I've never had one before and keep meaning to try one, just curious if either of those places are any good for them. I love Art's in general.

                        1. e
                          ericjs RE: mrwhiskers Nov 13, 2009 01:34 PM

                          I can't believe no one mentioned the S&S Deli in Inman Square, Cambridge, or Zaftig's in Brookline.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: ericjs
                            StriperGuy RE: ericjs Nov 13, 2009 02:40 PM

                            S&S is generally considered to have pretty poor quality, likewise for Zaftig's.

                            1. re: StriperGuy
                              BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: StriperGuy Nov 13, 2009 08:53 PM

                              There are actually some things I quite like at Zaftig's, but the knishes are awful. I don't rate them at all.

                              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                StriperGuy RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Nov 14, 2009 10:02 AM

                                What is worthy chowing at Zaftig's?

                                1. re: StriperGuy
                                  teezeetoo RE: StriperGuy Nov 14, 2009 03:51 PM

                                  french toast and an excellent cobb salad - decent corned beef hash (not by any means great corned beef hash)

                                  1. re: teezeetoo
                                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: teezeetoo Nov 14, 2009 05:44 PM

                                    I'm fond of the Empire eggs if I'm in the mood for a big breakfast, they do an entirely acceptable whitefish salad bagel plate, and I get occasional cravings for the salami and eggs. Although frankly, the best thing there is the cream cheese and olive spread you get at table.

                                    Basically, the less you think of it as a proper Jewish deli -- which it isn't -- and the more you think of it as a casual neighborhood restaurant that happens to be in a way-Jewish neighborhood, the more you'll enjoy it.

                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                      StriperGuy RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Nov 15, 2009 09:49 AM

                                      Don't mean to be negative, but with the possible exception of the Whitefish salad (and I'd rather just get a whole white fish from Berezka or Bazaar) none of those excite me either.

                                    2. re: teezeetoo
                                      StriperGuy RE: teezeetoo Nov 15, 2009 09:47 AM

                                      None of those excite me at all or are real NYC style deli fair which is what I was hoping for.

                                      1. re: StriperGuy
                                        BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: StriperGuy Nov 15, 2009 11:36 AM

                                        Well, yeah, but as I said, NYC-style deli is not what they do, nor do they claim to.

                                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                          baldbert RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jul 13, 2010 07:30 PM

                                          S&S is a wasteland. Their knishes are really bad, as is just about everything on the menu. Their bacon and eggs, bagel, fruit salad, will do in a pinch.

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