So it’s April here in Cook the Books land. Have you made any Jewish deli food from The Mile End Cookbook yet? I haven’t. I feel bad, but I have an excuse! Last week, Double S and I went on a road trip from Seattle to Salt Lake City. Yeah, we road-tripped the shit out of Idaho! Jealous much? Washington to Eastern Oregon to a helluva lot of Idaho to Salt Lake City. We saw wineries and National Parks (Whitman Mission and Hagerman Fossil Beds and Craters of the Moon) and Oregon Trail stuff (them emigrants be crazy!) and hot springs (SO FUN!) and birds of prey and the Snake River and Hells Canyon and animal bones and Boise and Twin Falls and Mormons…Mormons galore! Food and beverage highlights? Well, I’m glad you asked, friendo!
There were these tamales in Union Gap, Washington. In the spring, they make asparagus tamales. We missed them by one week!
There was Sleight of Hand Cellars in Walla (so nice they named it twice) Walla, Washington. Their tasting room was sweet! Vinyl lines the walls and we listened to Queen as we sipped wine. I fucking love vacation.
Neil Patrick Harris is a member of their wine club and has his face on this bottle! Suit up!
This local and very Ron Swanson-ly named breakfast spot in Walla Walla.
Will you look at their menu? Believe me, the cuteness and locovore focus was much appreciated after all the chains and urban sprawl we saw.
These Snake River Brewing beers we got in Boise that are brewed in Wyoming. Tasty!
The Boise food co-op was awesome. Have I mentioned how much I love food co-ops?
Believe it or not, Boise has a Basque population and a scenic street with multiple Basque restaurants and shops. We enjoyed a long lunch like you can only have on a Monday afternoon on vacay. Tapas and a whole bottle of white wine enjoyed outdoors with lotsa laughs. Did I mention how much I effing love vacay!?
Boise was actually kinda awesome. Local food coming out of lots of pubs and restaurants, a huge co-op and a separate, large co-op wine shop. Great trails right in the city for hiking. People so friendly at first it was almost off-putting! Boise…heck yeah!
This blizzard from the DQ in Twin Falls, Idaho. Peanut butter cup, all day every day, BTW. Speaking of Twin, as I learned the locals call it, there is some SHITTY Thai food there. Do. Not. Eat.
But what I wanted to say was that, even if my roadtrip prevented me from cooking Jewish deli food, i was still on assignment, yos. I ate Jewish deli food on the road! And I did that shit in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by Mormons! Heck yeah! I dragged Double S and our friend, a reluctant resident of SLC, to Feldman’s Deli. This was before we hit up Temple Square, so I wasn’t as freaked out as I otherwise might have been.
Feldman’s was good. The website describes it as NYC chic meets ski chalet comfort. We lol-ed at the description, but once we arrived we saw that it was kinda true. The place was nice!
I had the Sloppy Joe: corned beef and pastrami on rye with slaw and thousand island dressing. Good, juicy meat but the rye bread was too soft. I like toothy, chewy bread on a sandwich like this. This was far from it. It had all the softness of wonder bread from my childhood. Downgrade!
Double S had a bagel with cream cheese and lox. They skimped on the lox. Double S, you gotta order salmon in the Pacific NW, not in Utah. The bagel looked good though. Bagel beggars cannot be bagel choosers outside of NY.
Double S also had the matzo ball soup. It was bland. I think I gotta try making this with the Bernamoff’s recipe.
Our chum Gita had a Reuben with turkey instead of corned beef. Oh, and some delicious fries.
SLC is a trip. There are mountains and Mormons everywhere. And incredibly fit, tall, white people everywhere. Dis. Con. Certing. This is not a Mormon in this picture, but check out those mountains, right outside the deli window! You’re not in NYC anymore, Double S!
One negative, no pickles. Come on! I had just wondered and lamented the lack of pickles when we overheard the owner tell another customer that they are having a hard time getting pickles. They’re trying to see if the pickle delivery that goes to the couplea good Jewish delis in the Phoenix area will make a stop on the way out. Come on, bro! You gotta make that shit in-house if you ask me. But hey, the dude does live in Salt Lake. Let’s cut him a break! And don’t fret, my pets. I went to Temple Square with my camera around my neck. Right after eating Jewish deli!
We avoided eye contact with all the young people we saw, with their smiles and their literature and questions. We weren’t in the mood. Not to worry. They have information kiosks. Super modern ones!
We escaped after I snapped a few more pictures. And arranged for this one. Just a (former) Catholic and a Lutheran, hanging out in Temple Square!
You have Jewish deli in your town? Hey, if I can find it in a sea of Mormons, so can you! Check it out! And I’m finally gonna cook some Jewish deli this weekend. My smoker is on its way! Time fo some smoked meat!