The country is in the midst of a knish crisis. When a September fire sidelined the nation's lead producer, Gabila’s Knishes in Copiague, the square fried knish just about disappeared — at least temporarily — from the deli scene.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t 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 it’s sold.
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: “They’re richer than the square knishes.” $3.29 each.
Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterer, with locations in Carle Place, Greenvale and Woodbury used to sell Gabila’s 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 Ben’s owner Ronnie Dragoon. In addition to potato knishes, Ben’s also offers spinach and kasha fillings. $3.49 each.
Zan’s 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, we’re selling more baked knishes now; they’re actually bigger and better (than the square ones).” Zan's offers potato, kasha and spinach fillings. $3.25 each.