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Mar 3, 2013 06:53 AM

Appetizing store in Philly?

Is there anywhere in Philly that's like Russ and Daughter's Appetizing Store in NYC?

Where do you go for your appetizing needs in Philly?


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  1. Does "appetizing store" still imply Jewish, as it did in my NJ childhood?

    1. we call it lox and fish tray and I go to Steve Stein's Famous Deli (Krewstown rd in the Northeast, one block off Grant and Bustleton) he has better prices than the main line delis and very nice fish

      22 Replies
      1. re: elmom

        I was also told Steve Stein's by my friend Alex, who lives in Phila.

        1. re: elmom

          Steve Stein is very good, as is Famous Fourth St at 4th & Bainbridge (more expensive but also some better cuts). DiBruno Bros on Chestnut St has some of this stuff as well. Neither have the selection of Russ & Daughter's though the whitefish and basic nova at Famous Fourth are the same quality as R&D in my experience.

          1. re: elmom

            I am old enough to remember Famous Deli on Bustleton Ave, and also to remember Abe's Appetizers on Bustleton above Bleigh, right next to Brooklyn Bagels. Pardon me while I go cry for my lost youth now.

            (I used to sneak out in the middle of the night and go walking around with friends in my early teens; if you showed up at Brooklyn Bagels around 4 am, the guys loading the trucks would toss you still-piping hot bagels...I have never forgotten how wonderful they were!)

            When I get done crying, anyone want to go hunting some cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese and whitefish salad? Ah, the joys of growing up Jewish...

            1. re: StrandedYankee

              Russ and Daugher's just published a book. There really is no place that compares to Russ and Daugher's in Philly. I sometimes order from them and it is wonderful. The shipment arrives next day by Fed Ex. Nothing beats their baked salmon and whitefish salad. I am amazed that Costco has very good whitefish salad.

              1. re: DaisyM

                I will keep them in mind. I'm in NYC pretty regularly. Very good whitefish salad at Costco? Huh. I'll have to check that out.

                1. re: StrandedYankee

                  Seriously, the whitefish salad from Costco is the best I've had from Philly. It is made by Acme Smoked Fish in Brooklyn. I believe they are the supplier for places like Zabar's.

                  Another place that you don't hear a lot about in NY is Sable's. The lobster salad is so good it will make you weep.

                  1. re: DaisyM

                    Lobster salad is lovely, but I'd be a tad surprised to find it in an appetizer shop...

                2. re: StrandedYankee

                  Nah, you didn't have to be Jewish to mourn the loss of Abe's and, especially, Brooklyn Bagels. Lots of early teen Catholics were roaming that neighborhood chomping on fresh warm bagels (when we weren't noshing on the Country Club's baked goods ;)

                  1. re: gaffk

                    I still have fond dreams of cream puffs from the Country Club. One day, they changed the way they made the cream. I think that this will someday be shown to be the moment when Western Civilization began it's final decline...

                    Where do you go for bagels now? I prefer smallish, dense, chewy bagels. Favorite flavors? Cinnamon raisin and sesame.

                    1. re: StrandedYankee

                      Sadly, I have never found a good replacement for Brooklyn, and now that I live in the burbs, it's unlikely I will. I so miss the sesame and the onion bagels from there. There was a local bakery that did a decent job, but never warm.

                      Nowadays, I stick to breads, baguettes and breads from two local burb bakeries. Just not the same.

                      1. re: gaffk

                        Try Rollings Bakery in Elkins Park (also sold at the coop around the corner) and New York Bagel on Haverford Rd just inside the city. Both are really good NY style bagels.

                        1. re: barryg

                          Thanks Barry! I think I'll take a drive this weekend.

                          1. re: gaffk

                            Just a heads up, both bakeries are kosher so they are closed on Saturday. It's possible the coop will have some Rollings for sale but they won't be fresh.

                            1. re: barryg

                              Thanks for the heads up. Sunday it is.

                              1. re: barryg

                                so, presumably closed the week of 3/25 as well (Passover).

                            2. re: barryg

                              I just want to +1 on the Rollings Bakery rec. I come to you humbly as a former Catholic girl from East Oak Lane, but my very Catholic father would bring us home bagels with cream cheese and lox for "meatless" Fridays in Lent. Such a sacrifice!

                      2. re: StrandedYankee

                        When I was a child, I would go to West Phila with my father on Sundays to bring back deli for breakfast.There were two great delis full of deli smells: Hymies and Murrays with wooden floors, sawdust, barrels of pickled cucs and green tomatoes. They still had lox and white lox as well as nova, and the corned beef still had fat. And there were bakeries where you could get still hot boiled/baked (hard) bagels. "Those were the days, my friend, I thought they'd never end..."

                          1. re: Boognish

                            So long ago I don't remember exactly; it was either 52nd or 60th st around Spruce. The delis were Hymies and Murrays, now out on Montgomery Ave and nothing like the originals.

                            1. re: saucyknave

                              Thanks! We've lived in West Philly for almost 20 years now, but that's still before our time!

                              An old family friend, who is since deceased lived in that area when she moved from Germany with her family after WWI. I'd love to see back in time that far.

                    2. There is nothing in Philly that compares to Russ and daughters.
                      When we need good smoked fish and we are not travelng to the lower east side to get it we go to Pumpernicks in Montgomeryville. Hymies in Bala Cynwyd is also acceptable.
                      The absolute best bagels and homemade cream cheese and homemade chunky out of this world whitefish salad can be found at Caplan's bagels in Roxborough.