Izzy’s Deli Bringing the Community Together
Posted by challahbackgirl on May 13, 2007
Cross-posted to CBDYAG
The new Izzy’s Brooklyn Deli is officially opened and is a very vibrant place drawing a cross section of the Bay Area Jewish Community. It started with L’Chaim on Tuesday night, and opened Wednesday with their full menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner, takeout, and catering services. It’s a Glatt Kosher (under the supervison of Vaad HaKashrus of Northern California) mix of Deli, Israeli and Yeminite cuisine made with lots of love, as they bill themselves it’s “Authentic ‘Grandma’ Food.”
The staff is still on a learning curve so you can expect to wait to order and again for your food, especially during the lunch time rush, but each day brings changes. Day one they rushed to get everything ready, but their Chicken Soup didn’t get it’s Matzah Balls. Printed receipts became available on Day 2 and coming soon are bigger square tables to replace the small round ones. They have borrowed umbrellas to shade their outdoor table from their Dairy counter part Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels. As Oy-Bay reported, both are run by an amazing husband and wife team; together feeding the Jewish Community along with their family (their daughter was working the register at the Deli). While the Deli is run by Libi, she kept her husbands name for the place and parallel structure “Izzy’s Brooklyn” for continuity; you’ll find Izzy there in the evenings lending a hand.
Their hours are also changing on a regular basis due to demand as well as physical ability of the staff to be there late and come in early. But they close around 3 on Friday’s for Shabbas and open around 9pm on Saturdays after Shabbos. Saturday nights you’ll also find live music by a resident Israeli.
Everything my friends and I ordered was delicious, though a friend did find their burger a bit too rare for their taste. If you’re vegetarian you don’t have to worry that there’s only schnitzel, deli meats, burgers and fries, and roasted chicken. There’s falafel, hummus, veggie burgers, bagels with Tofutti spread, and assorted salads and sides. There’s also baked Salmon in house or Moroccan style, tuna salad, egg salad, and omelets just to name a few of the treats you’ll find. On Thursday’s and Friday’s they have a special assortment of Shabbat food to go including tshulent, kishke, kugel, gefilte fish, and desserts.
While you’re waiting for your food or enjoying your meal you’re sure to run into someone you know. As I spent a good portion of my Thursday evening dinning and hanging around this new Jewish community center it was impressive to see such a great cross section of the community.
Studies have shown that the Greater Bay Area, as a whole, has the third largest Jewish community behind New York and LA. But for those of us who live here it’s hard to notice. There are regional clusters, each shul has a population, each JCC or Federation, each Day School, but only a few people over lap in these communities. There are many Jews and Israeli’s in the community that don’t participate in any of these organized institutions, and may or may not be part of a havurah (group of friends).
Sitting at Izzy’s Deli, Jews came out of the woodworks. While in the lunch line a friend noted to herself “This is the place to meet Jewish guys.” From unaffiliated to black hat wearing they all come through the double doors of Izzy’s Deli with a smile and schmooze with each other. It’s beautiful to see and it only proves that food does bring Jews together. Word of mouth has served this place well, as all fractions of the Jewish Community are buzzing about this place. I don’t see the novelty wearing off any time soon. In 3 days of business they already have regulars for lunch. Everyone is jazzed over having a Kosher Deli and meat restaurant and about seeing each other. They love reporting who they saw at the Deli to those who weren’t there and each report comes with an ear to ear smile. There’s a real positive aura around the new Izzy’s Deli. I’m sure you’ll catch the Kosher deli fever if you haven’t already.
You don’t need an excuse to check out the place, but in case you do, CBDYAG invites you to “Kosher ‘Meat’ & Greet” at the Deli. Come spend your lunch break with fellow Jewish young adults. We’ll meet the second Tuesday of the month at 1pm. Our first no host lunch will be on Tuesday, June 12.
You can find this communal gathering place in the Hacienda Shopping Center in Sunnyvale, on El Camino between Fair Oaks and Wolfe. Contact them at 408-523-1333 or kosherdeli [at] gmail.com.