A brief guide to knishes in the United States
New York: Adelman’s Kosher Delicatessen, Midwood, Brooklyn. Adelman’s knishes are made by a Latino baker in a Muslim-owned kosher deli. Baked fresh daily, these are some of the best knishes in New York. The dough is chewy with a touch of flakiness. The kasha knish is the deli’s most popular.
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, Lower East Side, Manhattan. No knishery gets more flak than Yonah Schimmel, though this Lower East Side stalwart practically invented the modern knish. So what if it’s not as good as it used to be, and so what if its knishes are too big? If you haven’t already, sit down in the century-old shop and talk to the French tourists and the Hasidic couple next to you. Enjoy your knish with pickles. Try the cherry-and-cheese knish for dessert.
Gottlieb’s Deli, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For a Hasidic deli in the heart of Satmar Williamsburg, Gottlieb’s knish is rather unorthodox. The dough is like a thick sesame seed challah bread crust, and the potatoes are incredibly moist.
Outside of New York: Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, San Francisco, Calif. Wise offers knishes on Tuesdays as it figures out how popular they are and whether they should be on the menu all the time. Head then to the Ferry Building in the Embarcadero to see what they’ve got. Offerings so far have included potato and onion, potato and corned beef, and potato with mushroom and kale.
Kenny and Zuke’s Delicatessen, Portland, Ore. Kenny and Zuke’s knishes have flaky pastry on the outside, peppery potato on the inside, and caramelized onions on top.
Jimmy & Drew’s 28th Street Delicatessen, Boulder, Colo. Jimmy and Drew’s offers a breakfast knish with scrambled eggs, corned beef hash, and cheddar cheese.
Outside my cloistered yeshiva, I found a new social order and a friend who, unlike me, was trusting enough to submit to someone else’s authority