Jewish Dining in NYC
by Julie Besonen, 03/25/2014
Photo: Alexander Thompson
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
137 E. Houston St., 212-477-2858, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Most Jews don't kvetch about the trace of flour in Yonah Schimmel's knishes and latkes, says proprietor Alex Wolfson. "Eighty percent have them anyway," he said of his Passover customers. He hasn't altered the dog-eared shop much since his distant ancestor Yonah Schimmel founded it in 1910, and the laminated photos and yellowing newspaper articles lining the walls are a testament to the march of time. Racks of knishes baked in the basement appear in the dumbwaiter and are reheated in a microwave to a soft and steamy state. Spicy brown mustard gooses the flavor. Potato and kasha knishes are the most traditional, as big as grapefruit and one of the most filling ways we can think of to spend $3.50. Lower East Side policemen on patrol opt for them over doughnuts, but kids towed in by their parents are more eager for old-fashioned chocolate egg creams and cherry lime rickeys.