Zaftigs Delicatessen – Coolidge Corner, Brookline, MA

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Instead of going to temple on Friday night, we went to Zaftigs Delicatessen in Coolidge Corner, the next most appropriate thing for a couple of Jews to do. For those that don’t know, the word “zaftig” has a Yiddish origin that means “pleasantly plump”, which is what we set our hearts on being.

It was the Friday of Boston Calling, so the restaurant normally filled with students and millennials was not as busy as it typically is for a Friday. We were seated in a booth upon arrival. The waitress brought out water and bagel chips with a cream cheese spread – an unconventional starter for most restaurants, but for Zaftigs, it works so well.

For an appetizer, we ordered the Zaftigs combo; it’s a must-try smorgasbord of traditional Jewish appetizers. With this order, you’ll get to sample a little bit of everything. You’ll get to try kugel (cinnamon sugar noodles) blintzes (a crepe-like pastry filled with heavy ricotta cheese), knishes (dough pocket filled with beef), and latkes (potato pancakes), to go along with fresh strawberries and blueberries. It came with apple sauce and sour cream – both of which are meant for putting on potato latkes.

After the appetizer, we ended up ordering a sandwich to split. We wanted to try something off the beaten path, so instead of ordering something basic like a Reuben or a tuna melt, we opted for a sandwich called “Jack & Marion’s” and it was dynamite! The sandwich was filled with the Jewish trifecta of hot corned beef, beef tongue, and pastrami, with mustard, added on Cissel bread (Sidenote: Don’t be afraid be the beef tongue – it’s in a sandwich, so you won’t actually see it, but trust me it’s good). It also came with a side of possibly the best potato salad known to man, spiced with dill, which made it far from bland.

The Coolidge Corner area has its share of delis, but for some of the best and most unique deli sandwiches in Boston, Zaftigs Delicatessen has got to be among the best. To experience it, you’ve got to try it for yourself! And don’t be afraid to get adventurous with your orders.

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