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Baumgart's Cafe, Englewood


Fat Guy
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You aren't saying that luncheonettes have a "Jewish audience" also, are you?

No, I but I can say that for the longest period when Baumgart's was owned by Mr. Baumgart, Englewood was nowhere near as integrated a town as it is now.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I told a friend of mine the other day (who is Jewish) that there aren't any good Chinese Restaurants in my immediate area...with all seriousness he told me that perhaps I should move :rolleyes:

I understand exactly what Jason is talking about...no big deal...the only debate is if the food sucks or not. :cool:

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I told a friend of mine the other day (who is Jewish) that there aren't any good Chinese Restaurants in my immediate area...with all seriousness he told me that perhaps I should move  :rolleyes:

I understand exactly what Jason is talking about...no big deal...the only debate is if the food sucks or not. :cool:

A/ This Jewish-Chinese restaurant relationship is much more caricature than fact... It's a line for old Borscht Belt comedians, not for Food boards.

B/ How the heck does the ethnic breakdown of the customers bear relevance to the determination that the food in Baumgart's is lousy?

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If only the food was good enough to merit all the heavy lifting going on in this thread.

Baumgarts is supremely mediocre. Within 100 feet are better versions of most of what they have.

Side note: Directly across the street, I had a dreamy hot pastrami, sauerkraut and russian on rye the other day. Makes me regret even more the time I had a turkey reuben at Baumgarts.

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My two cents:

I have been to both Baumgart's-in Ridgewood and Englewood. Going there was fun the first time, mostly because of the coffeshop kitsch. I still remember my father's reaction when he asked what the soup of the day was, and expecting wonton or egg drop as the answer was greeted with the reply "Manhattan clam chowder." Since then the visits have generally been disappointing, although I always enjoy one of the sundaes as dessert. I do have to say that I had a terrific dish of fried soft-shell crabs in black bean sauce in June (at Ridgewood).

That being said, and somewhat off-topic, to deny the connection of Chinese-American food with the Jewish experience in the metropolitan area is absurd. When my parents emigrated from Brooklyn to Queens in the late 1950s, the first thing they did when looking for Jewish neighborhoods was to look for a local Chinese restaurant--no joke. In my house we had 4 sets of dishes--dairy, meat, paper plates for regular nonkosher take-in, and three pink pieces of china with pictures of pagodas for Chinese take-in. Imagine a separate set of dishes for one country's cuisine!

How many of us know Jews that will shun ham, pork chops, tasso, chorizo and the like, but have no problems with spare ribs and roast pork lo mein?

I think assimilation has taken a toll on this tradition, but it still lives on. If you don't believe me, go into Golden Dynasty in Hillsdale on a Sunday night. There's a good chance that many of the surrounding towns' (Woodcliff Lake, River Vale, Montvale) Jewish population will be there.

Edited by markymark (log)
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That being said, and somewhat off-topic, to deny the connection of Chinese-American food with the Jewish experience in the metropolitan area is absurd

I think some responders here need to go back and read ALL the posts. Of course, anyone paying attention knows of the jokes about Jews and Chinese food, but that is more legend and caricature than fact. (Something like the Irish and drinking). And it had nothing to do with this thread, until someone gave a long history of the Borsht belt and jews and chinese food lore.

The real point is, and that is what I and several others do not understand, is any connection this folklore has to Baumgarts and the opinions expressed that the food is really poor, the ambience is awful, and the prices are exhorbitant. So far, nobody has connected those dots.

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I'm not dismissing the discussion, Tommy. People are free to discuss whatever they want here, but beating a dead horse doesn't do anything to advance the topic. He's said he thinks the food is horrendous and doesn't subscribe to the notion that Jews represent a large portion of the clientele, and he thinks Jews and Chinese food is a myth. We get it. Really.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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do Jews represent a large portion of the clientele at Baumgart's in englewood? i have to admit, i don't even notice those things. but i'd definitely find that interesting if that's the case, and if the percentage of jewish clientele is that out of whack with the community, and if the restaurant is actually "catering" to jewish people.

as an aside, and perhaps even in the way of an explanation of the way this discussion has played out, i've noticed that when posters use another poster's name in their response in a certain way, Jason, it suggests of some sort of passive-aggressive behavior, even if that's not the intention. just an observation (one that i noticed early on in the discussion - personally i don't take offense, but i am aware of the implication and thought i'd bring it up).

Edited by tommy (log)
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