Sweeten your holiday — leave the cooking to others

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Once again, a number of Bay Area establishments are stepping up to help ease the stress of the holidays by offering Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur meals. With items such as these available, why cook yourself?

This article represents only a sampling of what’s out there. Be sure to contact your favorite deli or local market or restaurant if you don’t see it listed.

San Francisco Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen is offering meals suitable for Rosh Hashanah and pre-Yom Kippur dinners, with choices such as round challahs, matzah ball soup, chopped liver, brisket, apple-braised chicken, noodle kugel and honey cake.

The 4-year-old deli is also offering break-the-fast platters: bagels with standard shmears and/or smoked salmon, and a cold-cut platter with bagels. The bagels, by the way, are from Wise Sons Bagel and Bakery, which started cranking out housemade bagels only about eight months ago. If you still haven’t tried one, now might be the time.

Wise Sons recommends ordering 48 hours in advance of pickup, but the deli also is using the on-demand delivery network UberRUSH this year, which means catering orders can be delivered for a fee. For menus and other information, visit www.wisesonsdeli.com/highholidays. You can also call (415) 922-NOSH, although staff say things are incredibly busy this time of year and an email to [email protected] will probably get a quicker response.

Marla Bakery — the pop-up that grew into a walk-up window that grew into a Richmond District restaurant, which now also has a kiosk in the Ferry Building — is offering a six-course, seated Rosh Hashanah dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 3. The cost is $60, plus an optional $25 extra for what co-owner Joe Wolf (former head pickler at Wise Sons) is calling “bottomless wine.”

The menu was still being worked on at press time, but Wolf said it probably would include items such as fried kreplach and burnt honey gastrique (appetizer); quince, red wine and onion-braised brisket with mushroom farfalle (one main course choice); and honey apple cake with whipped creme fraiche (dessert). The dinner will be served at the restaurant at 3619 Balboa St.

Marla Bakery also has a full catering menu, full of baked goods and more, but orders must be placed by midnight Wednesday, Sept. 28. For more information, visit www.marlabakery.com/rosh-hashana or call (415) 742-4379.

Delfina is serving dinner on Erev Yom Kippur. photo/eric wolfinger

Delfina — the iconic Italian restaurant, with Jewish ownership roots, in the Mission District — is serving an early three-course dinner for $40 on Erev Yom Kippur. It will start at 5 p.m. Oct. 11 to help stave off the hunger pangs during shul that night and all day on Oct. 12.

The menu will include an appetizer; a main course choice of roasted organic Mary’s chicken, brisket agrodolce (a sweet and sour Italian sauce) or farfalle; and challah bread pudding for dessert. Delfina is at 3621 18th St. in San Francisco. The website has no information about the pre-Yom Kippur meal, so call (415) 552-4055 for details.

Max’s Opera Cafe in San Francisco, as well as Max’s in the Stanford Shopping Center, Redwood City and Burlingame, will have special items for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Offerings include matzah ball soup, Russian cabbage soup, entrees such as braised brisket, roasted chicken, and sweet and sour Hungarian-style stuffed cabbage, and sides like potato latkes. A chopped chicken liver platter is also available.

The menu is available from Sept. 30 through Oct. 12. For more information and to order, see www.maxsworld.com.

Shorty Goldstein’s Jewish deli in the Financial District has its regular catering menu available, plus round challahs. The pre-ordering period begins Sept. 30. Shorty’s has a catering menu at www.shortygoldsteins.com, or call (415) 986-2676 during business hours, between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on weekdays only.

Miller’s East Coast Deli at 1725 Polk Street has an extensive catering menu. For details, visit www.millerseastcoastdeli.com or call (415) 563-3542.

East Bay

Known for decades as the Pasta Shop, Market Hall Foods has changed its name, but its locations in Oakland and Berkeley still have the same owners and the same commitment to offering Jewish favorites for Hanukkah, Passover and the High Holy Days. There’s even a big, clickable banner on the website for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — and how many places in the Bay Area have something like that? (Answer: almost zero)

Saul’s will once again serve Rosh Hashanah dinner and take-out.

Market Hall Foods has favorites such as matzah ball soup, chopped liver and tsimmes, but it also is selling main courses such as braised chicken with pomegranate and tamarind, and spiced salmon skewers with za’atar yogurt olive oil sauce. For Yom Kippur, there is a break-the-fast menu laden with traditional items, as well as a new “break-fast kit” with cheese blintzes, fruit compote, smoked salmon, flatbread crackers, lemon caper cream cheese, raisin challah and apple honey cake. It sells for $69 and serves four to eight normal people, or one super-duper hungry Uncle Howie. For prices, deadlines for ordering and pickup dates, visit www.rockridgemarkethall.com/market-hall-foods or call (888) 952-4005. The locations are 1786 4th St. in Berkeley and 5655 College Ave. in Oakland in the Rockridge Market Hall.

Those who want to eat out on Rosh Hashanah can head to Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen in Berkeley. Reservations are required for each of the deli’s two Jewish New Year meals, Oct. 2 and Oct. 3. For more information, visit www.saulsdeli.com/rosh-hashanah or call (510) 848-DELI.

Additionally, Saul’s is offering Rosh Hashanah meals and side dishes for pickup Oct. 1 through Oct. 3. All the favorites are available, along with roast chicken or roast wild salmon with fig and fennel pollen sauce, brisket with apple and prune tsimmes, and wild mushroom and kasha cabbage rolls with tomato dressing.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."