Finding knishes on Long Island: 3 picks

East Meadow's Pastrami Plus offers homemade knish. East Meadow's Pastrami Plus offers homemade knish. Photo Credit: Donna Alberico

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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

The country is in the midst of a knish crisis. When a September fire sidelined the nation's lead producer, Gabilas Knishes in Copiague, the square fried knish just about disappeared at least temporarily from the deli scene.

This doesnt mean that you cant get a knish to kvell about. The other kind of knish the more delicate, round baked variety is flaky rather than crunchy. It's widely available, often made at the delicatessen where its sold.

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Here are three delis baking their own:

Pastrami Plus in East Meadow turns out tall, flaky onion-enriched baked potato knishes. Owner Sal Gawish also offers potato-based fillings with kasha, spinach, sweet potato and even pastrami folded in, as well as a hush puppy knish with a hot dog at its center. Says Gawish about the round knishes: Theyre richer than the square knishes. $3.29 each.

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Bens Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterer, with locations in Carle Place, Greenvale and Woodbury used to sell Gabilas square knishes but now only offers the round kind, which are made on premises. We have made some converts in the past few weeks, certainly among the health conscious, said Bens owner Ronnie Dragoon. In addition to potato knishes, Bens also offers spinach and kasha fillings. $3.49 each.

Zans Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterer in Lake Grove also makes round knishes in house. Until the square knish shortage set in, owner Pat Ruggerio said, both varieties were about equal in popularity. Of course, were selling more baked knishes now; theyre actually bigger and better (than the square ones). Zan's offers potato, kasha and spinach fillings. $3.25 each.

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