PHOTO: Chanukah begins at sunset Dec. 18, so we've scoped out some holiday eats around town. These sufganiyot (jelly donuts) are from Sweet Lorraine’s Latkes & More.
BY KERRY POLITZER
Every year, it seems like there are more Jewish holiday food options in Portland to choose from, and this year is no exception. The city’s smorgasbord of latkes, kugel and sufganiyot is sure to make your Chanukah celebration extra delicious.
One of the most creative and appealing menus comes from a newer entry to Portland, Jacob & Sons Delicatessen. For the past few years, Noah and Dori Jacob have been cooking up an ever-changing array of weekly suppers as well as smoking their own sable, salmon and pastrami. They have opened up a storefront in Old Town, with takeout only.
The Jacobs’ Chanukah menu is a mix of the inventive and the traditional; rye-crusted maitake mushroom schnitzel with rose harissa aioli and zaatar steelhead salmon share a space with hearty tzimmes, chopped liver, matzoh ball soup and braised brisket. This writer can attest that Jacob & Sons’ baked items are excellent – don’t miss the chocolate babka, apricot-almond rugelach and soul-satisfying braided challah (below).
Pre-orders are being taken now, and the deli is also open for day-of, to-go orders. The Jacobs recommend ordering early as popular items tend to sell out. Orders will be available for pickup at 337 NW Broadway Dec. 16-22. Pre-order at jacobandsonspdx.com/hanukkah-menu
Another newer Portland food business is Sweet Lorraine’s Latkes & More, which is now in its second year of operation after a very successful 2021. Inspired by New York landmarks like Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery, the cart is named after the Jewish grandmother of one of its owners. (She was apparently very proud of the business.)
“Our goal is to keep the tradition of the Jewish dairy kitchen alive,” says co-owner Rachel Brashear. “Many of these foods are hard to find in the Pacific Northwest, especially made from scratch! Someday, maybe we will be able to open a small breakfast/lunch counter in a brick and mortar. Until then, we are happy to serve our handmade food out of our little cart on North Albina.”
Sweet Lorraine’s offers kasha varnishkes, latkes (with a gluten-free option) with sour cream and applesauce, savory broccoli Parmesan kugel and sufganiyot. Visit the cart at Eats on Albina, south of 4631 N. Albina Ave., or order at sweetlorraineslatkes.squarespace.com/hanukkahspreorders
New Seasons is a perfect place to grab some Chanukah goodies on your way home. While the stores require a 72-hour notice for special orders, they will be stocked with grab-and-go brisket, chopped liver, baked salmon with herbs, latkes, savory or sweet kugel, challah and even Chanukah cookies. newseasonsmarket.com.
Zupan’s three metro locations also offer Chanukah dinner for 4 including Sweet & Sour Braised Brisket, Sweet Noodle Kugel, Tzimmes and Broccoli’buleh. zupans.com/shop/hanukkah/hanukkah-dinner-for-4/. While you’re there, you can pick up a half dozen raspberry-filled donuts.
Café at the J’s Allen Levin says that he and his staff will be churning out 5,000-6,000 latkes in Portland’s only certified kosher kitchen, “so they aren’t frozen, but fresh.” Customers can pick up latkes with sour cream and applesauce and donuts at the café, and there will be a Tuesday night brisket meal in addition to the Thursday meal pickup for Shabbat. More information at oregonjcc.org/about-us/our-campus/cafe-at-the-j.
For a plant-based Chanukah option, try Ben & Esther’s Vegan Jewish Deli. The completely animal product-free deli sells latkes, bagels, knishes and matzah balls. You can order online or by phone for pickup from two locations in Portland: 6912 NE Sandy Blvd. (503-477-5714), 1800 NE Alberta St. (503-265-8470) benandesthers.com.