Updated: Aug 14
When the geese start practicing their flight to the south, the thing that tells me is it is fall, are Mallomars. Yes, this chocolate cookie that only appear in the fall and into early spring. When the supermarket shelves are stocked with these delights I know it is the beginning of fall. Of course these are not readily available in the Midwest so I am captive (read begging) to ask for a shipment from relatives, (thank you Eric).
This is one of the food memories for me and my family; everyone knows these Mallomars are special. In fact there is a cult of Mallomars fans as they have their own Facebook Page with cries for where to get Mallomars
Food memories of Brighton Beach are many and these cookies along with Ebinger's Bakery, and Mrs. Stahl's Knishes. Mrs. Stahl's Knishes was a small little place tucked under the elevated train tracks on Brighton Beach Avenue. Their hand-made knishes of potato, kasha, and cabbage inside flaky baked dough are legendary, and of course delicious. My good friend, Neil, worked there in his teen years, so I always got the freshest bakes ones (no discounts though).
Ebinger's Bakery was a must go to on Saturday mornings when their famous dark chocolate layer cake was available. The bakery was just a few stores down from Mrs. Stahl's. Lines around the block were normal at the bakery on Saturday mornings when the cake was available. You had to line up early or the cake would be sold out. It is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten.
There are so many food memories of Brighton Beach. Of course, I did not mention, bagels, did I? That too is one of my favorite things to seek out when I am back in New York.
Now is the time for you to answer my question. At what point in reading about food memories in this blog did you ask yourself, what about Nathan's? If you hadn't thought about it, you should because Nathan's Famous was indeed that. It is the mother of all food memories and remains so today. While perhaps not as famous today it is a go-to when I am in NYC.
Our family would go to Nathan's for lunch or dinner. The usual fare were hot dogs and waiting in long lines was common. We sometime got a corned beef sandwich or pastrami sandwich (my father's favorite). We could sit down at a seating area on the side of the building. There were a small number of seats which included waiter service. Not many people knew about it and we always got a table. We sometimes did this because the lines for a hot dog were so long. Of course you stand and eat it in the street which is part of the experience.
It was so interesting to see the documentary of Nathan's all starting from a hot dog stand in Coney Island. There were other hot dog stands but none as good as Nathan's and none that survived as long as Nathan's has.