SEATTLE — You don't have to know how to spell it... or how to pronounce it. You just have to know how to eat. Zylberschtein's Delicatessen and Bakery in the Pinehurst neighborhood brings a Jewish-style deli to North Seattle. "Hard to say. Easy to enjoy," says owner Josh Grunig.
"Pretty much everything you see we make. We make our own bread, bagels, croissants, all the cookies, cake, and pastry. We make our own matzo balls. As much stuff as we can do, we make it here. Everything's from scratch."
The founder of the erstwhile Standard Bakery runs the place named after his great grandpa Morris Zylberschtein, who emigrated from Poland in the 1920s. On the counter is a nectarine danish next to fresh bagels (they're making more in the bakery in back while we're there) next to pinwheel morning buns just in front of their best seller, the cornflake cookies. And I didn't even mention one of the best cookies I've ever had, a magic combination of sesame seeds and apricots. Grunig's mom oversees much of the baking.
The glass case below displays a cheesecake, which we didn't get to try because a woman came in and bought the whole thing (good move). But there were plenty of fruit tarts with vanilla custard, topped with fresh figs. I've never had a fresh fig. Now I have.
Hard to choose from all the sandwiches. But Grunig recommends the classic Reuben. "We smoke our own pastrami." And you'll want a bowl of matzo ball soup on the side.
Their Russian Potato Salad is the perfect complement to any sandwich. "It has a little apple cider vinegar, honey, red onions."
Grunig says Zylberschtein's is New York deli meets the Northwest. "I would say close to about 90 percent of our ingredients are locally sourced." The meats, fruits, and vegetables are from local farms. Even the flour is local and fresh, from Washington.
And yes, they DO actually cook with schmaltz.
Zylberschtein's Delicatessen and Bakery is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Zylberschtein's Delicatessen and Bakery | 11752 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125 | (206) 403-1202