leaving it to the experts


I own rye flour. I own caraway seeds. But sometimes, it’s better to leave it to the experts.

I went into Zabar’s for coffee and while I usually skim past the cashiers straight to the coffee and tea section, this time I took the scenic route to check out their supply of block chocolate. (Result: Fairway is much better.) And between the desserts and the coffee is the bakery section, which is usually blockaded by a queue. Except it wasn’t. And there was the lady depositing hot loaves of rye bread into the basket. And so I bought bread for the first time in a few years.


I have no excuse for the smoked whitefish spread; I had to double back for that.

Saveur recently did an article on the best rye in the US and Zabar’s earned special mention. For good reason.


3 thoughts on “leaving it to the experts

  1. Does Eli Zabar still bake all their bread? One of my favorite ways to spend a weekend morning was at the Vinegar Factory for breakfast and their bread basket followed by their challah French toast. The stuff dreams are made of.

    • Eli’s, on the far East Side is still very much in the bread business. Eli’s bread is some of the best in the city. Several of Eli’s breads are usually available in the zabar’s at 80 St. FYI…Eli Zabar is the much younger brother of the two Zabar brothers that run the 80 St store. Beyond selling some items to one another, the businesses are not connected.

      • I used to live around the corner from the Vinegar Factory (Eli’s 91st/York store). And, as I said before, I loved it. I once took my brother there for breakfast and he loved it so much that, when a friend of his didn’t want to trek all the way up to the East 90s, he was distraught. I calmed him down by telling his friend to meet us at the 80th/3rd restaurant. The brother was happy and all was well with the world. And yes, the Eli’s challah French toast is still the best I’ve ever tasted.

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