The proof is in the kugel.
Everywhere we look, we're seeing mounds of hand-sliced pastrami. All the crunchy sour Kosher dills we can eat. Hand-rolled bagels that would make any bubbe proud.
While the country's deli stalwarts (Katz's, Carnegie, Langer's) have been around for the better part of a century, Jewish food is booming. It started a few years back with SF's Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen and Brooklyn's Mile End Deli, but now there's a whole new generation: The General Muir in Atlanta, Baz Bagel in Manhattan's Chinatown, and the upcoming Rosenberg's in Denver (slated to open in June).
Inside the new Russ & Daughters Cafe | Latkes with dipping sauces
Even Russ & Daughters, the New York champions of "appetizing" since 1914, has gotten in the act with a just-opened café where you can actually sit down and enjoy your smoked whitefish and chopped liver in peace.
And take Wexler's Deli, tucked inside L.A.'s Grand Central Market, where chef Micah Wexler is doing everything mensch-style (i.e., almost everything is made in-house) from the thick-sliced pastrami to the lacto-fermented pickles to the excellent lox. His subtle smoked sturgeon may be his greatest triumph--especially when it's on an everything bagel.
These new Jewish joints are steeped in tradition, but not humorless. May we present Wise Sons' pastrami cheese fries (see the recipe)?
The frites are elevated with a pastrami-and-caramelized-onion topping, as well as a silky Swiss cheese sauce.
"We want to give people the East Coast classics they can't find in SF, but have fun with the ingredients at the same time," says Wise Sons owner Evan Bloom. "The pastrami fries were a happy menu-planning accident."
Or, the best drunk-food/deli mashup ever.