Sadie Katz Delicatessen brings haymish tastes to Vermont
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Photo courtesy of Emily J. Nelson, Free Press
If you, like me, spent the better (or worse) part of your adolescence listening to the wayyyy out guitar solos and instrumental mashups of 1990′s Vermont jam band Phish, you’ll have a soft spot for the city of Burlington, Vermont. A hippy paradise on a lake, close to the ski hills of Stowe and Mad River, with a rocking college scene draped in tie dye and reeking of bong hits, it remains a musical mecca for mellow heads.
Sure, Vermont’s a goyish place, but it’s goyish in that friendly, milk drinking, butter churning, maple syrup sipping way. It’s a land of Subarus and bumper stickers, and probably one of the nicest states in the whole union. Now, Vermont can boast a Jewish deli of its own, after the Sadie Katz Delicatessen recently opened.
Opened by Glenn Walter and his wife Stacey Steinmetz (whose grandmother was Mrs. Katz), the place sounds like your standard transplanted New York style deli. Here’s what the blogs/papers are saying:
The Burlington Free Press
We celebrated the opening of Sadie Katz Delicatessen, the only deli in Burlington of a certain type, with prayers and mimosas.
The type is Jewish. So were the prayers.
“Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam,” a friend said.
Slipping into English from Hebrew, he made it clear what we were thankful for: “Bring forth the pastrami, the bagels, the pickles, the bubbly.”
The Champlain Business Journal
It’s all New York. The company that provides 5 million pounds of meat a year for New York delis, along with Lester’s in Montreal, delivers turkey and brisket, corned beef and pastrami to the Bank Street location; H&H Bagels come directly out of Manhattan, and a bakery down the street from his grandfather’s nightclub provides breads.
Sour and half-sour pickles, tuna and egg salad, burgers and hot dogs; matzo ball and mushroom barley soups, French fries, coleslaw and green and potato salads all appear on the menu.
Beer, wine, liquor are on the menu, along with French-pressed coffee, freshly squeezed juice, and traditional New York Jewish deli favorites: soda, including Dr. Brown’s cream, cherry and Cel-ray; thick milkshakes; chocolate and strawberry phosphates, and authentic egg creams, made with only Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup.
From Seven Days:
… the crisp potato pancakes — at $2.50 per order — were a revelation. The thick rounds arrived at the table piping hot, perfectly cooked both inside and out — no mean feat, judging by how often latkes end up thin or mealy. They had just the right amount of onion and, of course, came with applesauce and sour cream on the side…..Our all-beef hot dog was too long for one bun, so it was served on two, which were toasted to a crisp gold. The surprisingly mild sauerkraut topping let the beefy flavor of the sausage dominate. When I added a schmear of mustard and popped open a soda, it was just like being at the ballpark — except I was sitting on my couch, in peace and quiet, and there wasn’t a guy on ‘roids in sight.
I can say without a doubt that the cornbeef sandwiches, with warm cornbeef sliced right in front of you (and swiss and rye bread), are the best I’ve had in town by a long shot. The quality of meats at Sadie Katz is far better than anything I’ve tasted in Burlington.
With much enthusiasm and expectation, my husband and I went to have lunch at the Sadie Katz Deli. We sat at the spotless counter and had the ruben, a foot long hot dog, latkes, pickles, potato salad, coleslaw and Dr. Browns sodas. Everything was incredible. In between exclaiming over every bite, we paused to listen to the people around us. We heard nothing but raves of the biggest kind. “This is the best pastrami I have had in a very long time!” “This is incredible.” To summarize our experience, the food was fabulous, the waitstaff friendly and knowledgeable and the restaurant was very clean. We will most certainly be returning on a regular basis!
Shockingly close to the deli mecca of Montreal, we can all pray that the expertise and taste memory of all those skiing Westmount and Hampstead Hebrews pop into Sadie Katz’s for a taste soon. No word on whether they’ll serve gefilte phish, but let’s hope at least Mike and Fishman make it over there for a taste (they’re the Jewish half of the band). Don’t believe me?
Sadie Katz Delicatessen
189 Bank Street
Burlington, VT 05401
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