Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

"To err is human, and so is trying to avoid correcting it." ~ R. Reycraft

Place: Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
Location: 3150 24th Street (on the corner of Shotwell)
Hours: open for breakfast Wednesday-Friday at 8:00am and Saturday-Sunday at 9:00am
Meal: Vegetable Hash ~ (?) Asparagus, Pea Shoots/Tendrils, some Lemon zest (perhaps), & Crispy Potatoes served with Fried Eggs & choice of toast; a slice (more like a huge chunk) of Cinnamon Babka[1]; and a cuppa (and several refillas) Mr. Espresso® Organic Bolivia Cenaproc

(I don't know about you, but when I think "Jewish Deli" the first EweToobular juxtaselection that comes to my mind is Reggae und Hip-Hop Musik aus Berlin.

I do think that Pierre Boulle[2] might take a little bit of an exception to Mr. Fox' use of all these simians in his videos, though.)

I know what you are thinking, "Un deli judío en la Misión?!" (well, you might if you thought in Spanish), but today's breakfastary destination was Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, smack dab in the heart of the Mission. They state that they are "dedicated to building community through traditional Jewish comfort food"; however, I am not sure that necessarily means 100% Kosher[3], as I noticed a Reuben sandwich on the menu (see, meat and cheese are not really a Kosher combo; well, neither were Martin & Lewis, I suppose). And just so you don't think I am anti-semantics in any way, unlike a lot of other Grammar Nazis, I actually know the difference between "Jewish", "Hebrew", and "Israeli".

Like a lot of area coffeehouses, you order and pay first at the front counter, get a number, and they bring out the whole megillah to you when it is ready (a half of a megillah isn't usually enough for a full meal, of course).  Their seating consists of three tables for four, four tables for two, and one extra large table that can handle a klatsch[4] of eight to ten people. Additionally, there are three sidewalk tables for four to six people along the Shotwell side.

Some other comfortably Jewish food ideas for breakfast for stupid vegetarians might be: Matzo Brei (matzo fried with eggs ~ with salt & pepper, sour cream & jam, or maple syrup); Challah[5] French Toast (thick cut slices of house baked challah topped with warm maple syrup & seasonal compound butter); or Market Scramble (seasonal market vegetables scrambled with eggs; served with rye toast & house jam). Don't worry, for any of you that do partake of the dead, decaying animal (just none of the porcine variety) flesh, they offer several other Jewish breakfastary items on their menu. There are no sides of "bacon", but they do have what they call "crispy pastrami[6]" instead. I don't want to tell them their business, but I bet French toast made with either cinnamon or chocolate babkas would be very good, too.

This was a very excellent dish (just not Vegan-Kosher). The reason for my "(?)" in the "Meal" section at the top is that their on-line menu actually has this as being made with: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Red Onion, Delicate Squash, Fried Sage & Crispy Potatoes. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find both asparagus (probably one of my All-time Favourite Ground Fruits of All-time) and pea shoots/tendrils (which I also hold in very high regard) as I had checked the on-line menu the other day and didn't bother to see that they must have updated it recently on their printed menus when I quickly perused it this morning. I had to ask what the greens in it were. I probably would still have liked this if it had included all of the vegetables they had listed on-line (Brussels sprouts are also another favourite of mine, Jean-Claude). And I am not exaggerating any here when I say this probably was 50% asparagus, and not just a piece or two here and there. 

I chose challah as my toasty side choice. I think the choices were: rye, wheat, or challah. Challah actually makes a good toast? Who nu?!

They did also offer Chocolate Babka, but I was glad to see that they did also have the cinnamon version. And I will have both Ms. Benes and Mr. Brandt know that a cinnamon babka is lesser to no other babkas, even chocolate. This babka had lots of cinnamon in it; it was sort of a Jewish cinnamon roll on Steroids (if Steroids or PEDs are Kosher, that is). I happened to toss the slice of orange garnish that was on top of the hash into some crumbs of the cinnamon babka; I later ate the slice of orange and knew from past experience that cinnamon and orange are actually a pretty decent flavour combination (and 100% Kosher even).

They give you an empty Coffee mug at the front counter when you order and you get to serve yourself (and any refills, too, of which, I probably had two or three). I have had Mr. Espresso® many times before, and this was very good roast/blend and went very nicely with the cinnamon babka.

For condimentary supplementation, I only noticed Tapatío® at the Coffee/condiments area. I used some of my own Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) on one half of the pile and some Pickapeppa Sauce on the other half of the mess.

Hava nagilah… what the heck, they are kinda small, have two nagilahs on me!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Vegetable Hash ~ 6.8; Cinnamon Babka ~ 7.2 

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numer jeden:

Now this was actually news to me, but "babka" comes from either the Polish or Belarusian word for "grandmother". I knew that "бабушка/(babushka)" was the Russian word for "grandmother", but the similar Slavic word-roots never even crossed my mind.

(Of course, Herr Gates and his troupe of Goose-stepping, Spell-checker Nazis do not recognize this common baked goods item at all.)

2. Were you aware that the same guy that wrote "The Bridge over the River Kwai" ("Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai") also wrote "Planet of the Apes" ("La Planète des Singes")? I wonder if anyone has contacted Sir Marky Mark to also do a remake of the original Sir Alec Guinness movie yet?

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, מספר שתיים:

"Kosher" comes from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term "כשר/(kashér)", meaning "right"/"fit" (as in "for consumption").

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, Nummer drei:

I can only assume that "klatsch" is a typical Yiddish expression used in most New York delis, but I can't confirm it from my usual go-to lexicon of all things Yiddish, "The Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten, as this word is not listed in it.

Anyway, "klatsch" comes from the German verb "klatschen", meaning "to clap (hands)". 

5. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, מספר ארבעה:

"Challah/challa (לחם)" is simply the Hebrew word for "loaf of bread".

"How can one recognize a Reform Jew in a bakery on Friday? He orders a challa and says, 'Slice it.'" ~ Leo Rosten 

(Überraschung, überraschung! Der Gates-Führer und seine Jungs do not recognize this as a valid word either. I suppose it's not "white-bread" enough for them.)

6. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, beş numara/număr de cinci:

This was also news to me, but "pastrami" was borrowed from either the Turkish word "pastirma" (a type of dried meat/beef) or possibly from the Romanian "a păstra", meaning "to preserve". 


  1. Бабушка, бабушка, кто имеет бабушка?

  2. Wait.. a... minute...

    I don't want to have to go all Stanky-boy on you, but shouldn't that read: "Кто имеет бабушку?"?!