Potatoes Cooked in Schmalz at Gold Coast Deli, Dish No. 40
Once a keystone of Jewish cuisine, schmalz (chicken fat) was a commonly used cooking and table fat a century ago; now it's rarely seen. Famously, it's always been available at Sammy's Roumanian, a Lower East Side tourist trap peddling expensive retro-Eastern European cuisine.
But the fluffy and oily yellow substance has been enjoying a mini-revival lately.
One of the places that's happening is at a new, slightly upscale deli in an unexpected locale. At the hopping corner of Third Avenue and 86th Street in Bay Ridge, Gold Coast looks more like a bar than a delicatessen, but the tweaked matzo-ball soup, corned beef, and, especially, the pastrami -- which might just be better than anything you'll find in Manhattan -- are all totally on the money.
One retro oddity is a Roumanian-style skirt steak served with schmalz-roasted red potatoes. Some friends and I recently talked Gold Coast into serving us some as a separate side, and they were spectacular.
Gold Coast Delicatessen 8530 Third Avenue 718-238-8020
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