By Ben Adler
Spencer’s post on Eli’s kosher deli intrigues me. I’ve never been to Eli’s, but a Jewish friend has raved about it to me. God knows this city needs places like that. If there is one cuisine that is disrespected on the rare occasions it isn’t ignored in the District, it’s Jewish. You cannot find a decent bagel anywhere in this town.
There are virtually no bagel places. (There’s one around 20th and K, it’s alright.) And, pace Matt, saying you need to go out to the suburbs for a decent bagel is absurd. Bagels are for eating on the spur of the moment, late at night or shortly after waking up. They need to be in close proximity. Half the bagels consumed in this town are not even bagels. They are those ridiculous square “bagels” at Cosi. The other half are mostly bread in a donut shape.
And I have literally never seen a Knish in this town. At Papaya King in New York recently I tried explaining to a friend from high school that you cannot find a Knish in DC. He was appropriately shocked and horrified.
Now, for kosher meat and such: The only place I’ve been to for it is Loeb’s on 15th Street. Loeb’s is bad. It’s not even kosher! They serve BLTs and ham and cheese sandwiches. The latkes, which they call “potato pancakes,” are oily and soft, not crispy. Nonetheless, I frequently had a yen for it when I worked near by. The fatty, salty meat sandwiches just satisfied in a way that other DC options do not. I’d frequently get this sandwich that came on twin challah rolls with roast beef, Russian dressing and cole slaw. Deliciously nasty, except that for some idiotic reason they also put slices of cheap, tasteless Muenster cheese on there. Why even take advantage of an easy opportunity to be kosher, right?
So, I’d kill for a good corned beef. Judging from the picture Spencer put up, Eli’s looks like the real deal. Lean, scrumptious and piled high. Good Jewish food in D.C.? I guess there’s an exception to every rule.