CLOSE
Original image
"The O.G." (Napkin Friends, Photo: Hilary Gorenstein)

14 Delicious Latkes From Across the Country 

Original image
"The O.G." (Napkin Friends, Photo: Hilary Gorenstein)

Think beyond the traditional potato pancake this Hanukkah with these 14 tasty takes on latkes.

1. NAPKIN FRIENDS // SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Chef Jonny Silverberg has been serving up latke press sandwiches (that's a panino with latkes in place of the bun) out of a defunct UPS truck since 2014. Featured on the menu is The O.G—Silverberg's first foray into the world of latke sandwiches—which comes packed with house pastrami, Mama Lil's peppers, arugula, Thousand Island dressing, horseradish cream, and gruyere cheese. Health-conscious diners will be happy to know the dish is gluten-free.

2. RUSS & DAUGHTERS CAFE // NEW YORK, NEW YORK

The cafe version of the Lower East Side institution offers a popular year-round potato latke topped with salmon roe and crème fraîche. There's no shame in ordering the modest dish for breakfast, either, as The New York Times' Pete Wells suggests.

3. LULU'S ALLSTON // BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Photo courtesy of Lulu's Allston

Head chef Sarah Wade, whose Southern-inspired comfort food restaurant Lulu's Allston opened its doors to the public in 2014, puts a playful spin on the traditional potato dish. Not long after Hanukkah began last year, the restaurant offered a classic potato latke with duck confit and cranberry chutney, a root vegetable latke with ginger-spiced sour cream, and—as pictured above—a three-onion latke with bleu cheese fondue. The bleu cheese fondue along with the root vegetable varieties will be returning to the menu for December 26 through January 1. Wade told mental_ floss that she will also be introducing sweet potato latkes with Tasso ham cream and latkes with a wild mushroom-bacon sauce this year.

4. DGS DELICATESSEN // WASHINGTON, D.C.

Dupont's hip deli draws crowds year-round for its artisan noshes—most notably its eight-day house-cured pastrami. Speaking of eight days: In December, it's all about the potato latkes, served with apple preserves (and a dash of lemon juice and cinnamon) and sour cream. The more adventurous can try the latke poutine—a recently re-added entree available through the end of Hanukkah—which features a sweet onion gravy with farmer's cheese and scallion.

5. FAMOUS 4TH STREET DELI // PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

This deli in Philly's Queen Village, helmed by fourth-generation deli man Russ Cowan, is a go-to for anyone looking to taste an authentic potato pancake. It also has POTUS's endorsement: President Obama made a surprise visit to the historic landmark back in 2010 after speaking at Temple University and ordered a corned beef Reuben with potato pancakes.

6. IMPERIAL // PORTLAND, OREGON

Photo courtesy of Imperial

The acclaimed hotel eatery has earned raves for pulling off an adult-friendly, vegan berry Pop-Tart. Others, however, know this popular brunch spot best for its potato latkes, topped with a duck egg, smoked salmon, and a dollop of sour cream.

7. AKASHA // CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA

Akasha Richmand, the owner of this farm-to-table restaurant, knows how to generate buzz with her innovative latke creations: In 2009, her "vodka and latke" menu made headlines, and in 2013, it was her "accidental" brussels sprout latkes, a versatile Thanksgiving-Hanukkah hybrid. Arguably, the restaurant's most eye-catching (and Instagram-able) offering is its potato latkes with meyer lemon and fennel-cured king salmon, housemade crème fraîche, and a pretty borage on top.

8. JOSH'S DELICATESSEN // MIAMI, FLORIDA

As part of its breakfast menu (served all day), Josh's offers a spicy tuna latke with Sriracha cream cheese. Purists shouldn't be turned off by the surfside establishment's inventive dish; Josh's breakfast menu also offers a straightforward potato pancake, served with apples and sour cream.

9. CRAIGIE ON MAIN // CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

Each year, Craigie on Main's James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Maws reimagines his childhood Hanukkah dinners with a special eight-day menu. Partaking in the culinary "festival" will set you back $98—that gets you a six-course, prix fixe menu—but if you're a fan of modern spins on Grandma's recipes, Maws's sweet potato latke with smoked sturgeon, black radish, sweet pear, and housemade crème fraîche might just be the Hanukkah miracle you've been waiting for.

10. VESELKA // NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Photo courtesy of Veselka

A recipient of the People's Choice Best Latke at last year's Latke Festival in Manhattan, East Village Ukranian restaurant Veselka's latke mushroom julienne was an undisputed favorite amongst festival-goers. Veselka’s proprietor, Jason Birchard, described the winning dish as "inspired by historical, cultural staples (mushrooms and potatoes)—not gimmicks or pop culture." Birchard told mental_floss that the restaurant's official submission to the upcoming 8th Annual Latke Festival this year will be a potato/zucchini pancake topped with chicken liver pâté and roasted vegetables. Not headed to the festival? You can always take advantage of Veselka's pan-fried potato pancakes served with sour cream and applesauce, which is available year-round.

11. MILLER'S EAST COAST DELI // SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

Miller's Potato Latke Delight—that's two potato pancakes with corned beef and pastrami on top—caught the attention of Guy Fieri, who chowed down on the meaty dish in a memorable holiday episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Fieri described the latke as "nice and crispy but tender on the inside," the corned beef "dynamite," and he remarked of the pastrami, "that dude goes bananas!"

12. CLYDE COMMON // PORTLAND, OREGON

Photo courtesy of Clyde Common

The Oregonian's Michael Russell wrote that if you go to Clyde Common—Portland's new-wave Filipino restaurant attached to the Ace Hotel—"looking for basic, you've come to the wrong place." The restaurant is offering a celery root and sauerkraut latke for the holiday. The dish comes topped with smoked steelhead trout and roe, tomato vinaigrette, and watercress.

13. HAROLD'S CABIN // CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

It's only been open to the public since April, but Bill Murray's new cabin-bar and eatery—operating out of the historic mercantile once run by Harold Jacobs—has received glowing reviews. Its eclectic menu includes the Harold & Lillian, a latke dish with lox, apples, and crème fraîche. What's more, a portion of the sales from this dish will go towards "local Jewish foundations," according to its menu [PDF].

14. MANNY'S CAFETERIA AND DELICATESSEN // CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

In 2013, ABC reported that this cafeteria-style deli was selling roughly 1000 potato pancakes each day—and that's not even during Hanukkah. For those unable to visit the S. Jefferson Street location, Manny's also offers its own potato pancake mix for purchase so you can experience a true Chicago Hanukkah from afar.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Animals
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
Original image
iStock

According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

Original image
iStock
arrow
fun
How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
Original image
iStock

If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios