Wild mushroom latkes at Mark 'n Mike's, the Jewish deli concept at One Market. (Photo/Hardy Wilson)
Wild mushroom latkes at Mark 'n Mike's, the Jewish deli concept at One Market. (Photo/Hardy Wilson)

Eight kinds of latkes in S.F.; Boichik Bagels opens in Palo Alto; Kosher bakery in San Mateo

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Latkes and more latkes: Many of the usual suspects have latkes and Jewish holiday menus at this time of year, and one of them is doing something above and beyond: Mark n’ Mike’s, the Jewish deli pop-up that has become a permanent part of San Francisco restaurant One Market, is offering eight kinds of latkes this year, one for each night of Hanukkah. Some of the options: a wild mushroom latke with cheese, a Philly cheesesteak latke, a chopped liver latke, and a dessert latke topped with apple pie and ice cream. The latkes are on the menu Dec. 1–23.

Delfina, the popular Italian restaurant in the Mission District, reopened for the first time since the early days of the pandemic. Established in 1998 by Craig Stoll and his wife, Annie Stoll, Delfina not only made “Cal-Italian” a thing, but it created a destination for food lovers along its stretch of 18th Street. Stoll was also among the first Jewish chefs in the Bay Area to offer Jewish holiday menus and, once again, Delfina will be offering latkes fried in duck fat this Hanukkah.

The Stolls took this time during the closure to make improvements to the restaurant; it’s now larger and updated.

Krembo, a new kosher bakery, had a soft opening in late September inside the new Lent Chabad Center in San Mateo; its website should be up very soon. The bakery is parve, meaning no dairy products are used. There are a variety of breads — challah, of course, plus chocolate babka, pumpkin and banana breads — and several gluten-free options, plus cookies and cakes. The bakery, which is named after a popular Israeli cookie, until now has been selling to the families of children who attend the center’s preschool and is now open to the public. We plan to visit and will give a full report.

In other carb news, Boichik Bagels in Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village had its soft opening Nov. 10 and opened in earnest that weekend, with lines out the door. It was a similar but somewhat less frenzied atmosphere that accompanied the opening of its Berkeley store almost exactly three years ago, according to owner Emily Winston.

She wasn’t surprised by the long lines, but she was amused at the reaction to them.

“People here were saying ‘this is wild,’” she reported. “My hunch is that they don’t do crowds on the Peninsula, as everyone was blown away by the line, even though it was definitely not the zoo we had in Berkeley.”

At the Berkeley opening, only whole bagels and containers of schmears were sold, while in Palo Alto the opening menu also included sandwiches.

Winston said Palo Alto is matching Berkeley in numbers. “We built it and they are coming,” she said.

Winston does not know whether the Palo Alto location will be kosher, too.

“All the dough is being prepped under the same supervision of East Bay Kosher, so we’re not doing anything differently. There’s the exact same menu,” she said. But the new site currently does not have supervision.

With Boichik now expanded to two stores, Winston said in the not-too-distant future she is looking to open even more locations in the Bay Area, as well as in Los Angeles, but “nothing is nailed down yet.” She hopes the factory under construction in North Berkeley will open early next year.

We got word of another bagel operation opening in San Francisco, this time in the Outer Richmond, Eater SF reported. Called The Laundromat SF, it’s located in a former laundromat on Balboa Street. The bagels are made by a Santa-Cruz based couple who call themselves “Holey Roller Bagels.”

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."