After a lovely weekend in Portsmouth, our trip back to New York involved a stop in Boston to exchange the rental car that had a flat and was being driven with a spare (as good Brooklynites, we own bikes, strollers and scooters, but not a car). Not the most fun way to end a trip but it gave us the perfect excuse to stop by our favorite brunch spot in Boston: Zaftigs Delicatessen.
Located in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner since 1997, this Jewish style deli wants to be “your (non kosher, if I may add) Jewish mother” and it never disappoints. I still remember the first time I went there for brunch on a weekend and the crazy line of people waiting to get their weekend brunch on.
We got there at around 11am on a Monday morning and the place was packed, but at least we didn’t have to wait. Good thing that there is a playground next to it, so if you have to wait with little ones in tow, it’s the perfect compromise.
It is very kid friendly, and a bit loud. Perfect to bring kids, if you know what I mean. We were walked to a table in the back and asked if we needed a high chair. La Petite Wasabi told the hostess that she was a big girl, so that was that. She and Little Sous-Chef were given crayons and place mats to color, so they were entertained until their food arrived. The kids menu is actually pretty complete, instead of the usual three items that are offered in kid-sized portions in most places.
While going through the menu, my eyes wandered to the dishes I saw coming out of the kitchen. I always have the same problem here: I want to order every single item from the menu, as it has both traditional Jewish fare, like knishes, noodle kugel or gefilte fish, and more modern offerings, like their stuffed French toast.
Even though it was a hot July morning, I still ordered a cup of matzo ball soup. I can’t help it. Their matzo ball soup is delicious, veggies floating in a perfectly salted chicken broth and then THE matzo ball. Perfect for any time of the year and not just for Passover.
The girls went with the kids menu silver dollar pancakes (strawberry and blueberry) and Dad Vivant ordered the homemade corned beef hash and eggs. A plentiful dish with corned beef, home fries, toast and two eggs. After my cup of soup, I was debating between the challah French toast and the latkes and went with the latter with smoked salmon and a lime dill sour cream. Out of this world and just what I needed after being out on the road for over 4 hours with just one off-the-road nondescript cup of iced coffee. Huge, crispy on the outside and tender in the inside, these latkes could be the claim to family fame of any Jewish grandma. The sour cream was superb (I fit in the group who prefers sour cream over applesauce on their latkes) and the smoked salmon gave it the perfect finishing touch.
The bathrooms are in the back and, although clean, they are tiny (one stall in the ladies room) and have no changing table. As much as I enjoy the whole vintage look of the place, their bathrooms could use a bit of a facelift.
335 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Sunday – Wednesday: 8:00am – 9:00pm
Thursday – Saturday 8:00am – 10:00pm