Meatless Monday: Bagels and blintzes at Izzy & Mo's
Let's get this out of the way first: Almost everything you'll fork, chew, dip and sip at Izzy & Mo's is made from scratch. Fans of neighboring restaurant Till have come to expect as much from biodynamic-bent chef Magdiale Wolmark, who wouldn't have it any other way.
Over the last three years, you could say the neo-Jewish deli went through development hell-a name change, a concept shift, an expensive refurbishment. But I wouldn't have known as much from Wolmark's smiling face peeking up from the prep counter Saturday morning when I visited for breakfast. The deli is a tribute of sorts to Wolmark's parents, Israel and Moriah, the menu a snapshot of flavor memories from his youth in Philadelphia. Sure, there's lox and pastrami, but there's also pickled veggies, scrambled eggs and potatoes and tofu-and-eggplant salad sandwiches.
My favorite order was the Mo Bagel plate ($9)-a chewy Jerusalem bagel (longer and more oval-shaped than traditional Polish-style bagels) topped with za'atar and served with a plate of baba ghanoush and fig and olive relish. Instead of slicing them open and spreading on a topping, these bagels are meant to be treated more like a pretzel. Just tear and dip.
I also enjoyed a sufganiyot ($3), or a Jewish-style powdered jelly doughnut. Mine was sweetened and soured with a tart cherry filling, made with fruit plucked from the deli's backyard garden. The sufganiyot fillings change regularly, as do those inside the made-to-order blintzes ($6). During my visit there were ricotta-honey and sour cream-blueberry renditions.
Izzy & Mo's is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Most of the sweet stuff is served all day, while Wolmark adds more soups and sandwiches at lunch time. Check out the deli's full menu here.