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Pan

Matzo ball soup or consomme

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I'm posting this for a friend. She wants recommendations of restaurants or stores in New York (Brooklyn or Manhattan, preferably) that make good, soothing matzo ball soup or consomme. The criteria are that the broth must not be fatty, and she prefers that there not be much that's more solid than matzo balls or something similar. For example, I mentioned that Teresa's makes a good chicken soup with pieces of chicken in it, and she said she'd prefer no pieces of chicken. She doesn't care what the ethnicity or religion of the people cooking the soup are - Jewish, Chinese, Italian, whatever. I think that she would probably prefer the soup not to be very spicy, either. (She's looking for something that's partly curative.)

Thanks in advance for your opinions, which I'll pass on to my friend.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Pan,

I really think that your friend should make her own chicken soup (as if its any of my business).  Its really easy and between Sandra Levine and myself, I'm sure we can provide her with a simple, good recipe.  If she's interested in its curative powers, its always, in my book, better when homemade.

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Stefany, I'd normally agree, but my friend is too sick to make her own chicken soup right now. Her boyfriend, though, could pick some up. (I don't know whether he would make some for her, and I'm not sure whether I will ask. My friend is also my ex-girlfriend, you see.)


Michael aka "Pan

 

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In that case, the only reasonably good chicken soup that I've had other than my own is at 2nd Ave Deli.  Now, I'm not saying that its very good but its passable.  You can ask for just broth, they might accommodate.  Second to that is Artie's Deli, Broadway and 84th, I think.  Zabars has chicken broth in their take-out section thats not bad.

You know, a very simple way to get rich chicken broth is to take a chicken, cut in four pieces.  Place chucks of carrots, onions and celery on the bottom of a pan, lay the chicken pieces in one layer over the vegetabes (there should be enough vegetables to make a bed for the chicken)add a few cups of water, enough to submerge the vegetables but not the chicken, add a little kosher salt and pepper, put on a very low flame, cover and steam the chicken until done (I'm not sure eaxctly how long maybe 30-45 minutes).  The resulting broth is very intense and beautiful and requires almost no work.  Remove the chicken, discard the vegetables and strain the broth.  Put the broth in a container in the refrigerator and remove the fat after it has chilled.  Could this be easier?  Her boyfriend could make this easily.

I hope she feels better.

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Thank you, Stefany, and thanks for caring.

Michael


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I'll second Katz's. Nice chickeny broth, very clear. Fluffy matzo balls. We recently tried Carnegie Deli's and found it inferior in every respect. If you're in the nabe, try the Edison's version, too, in the Hotel Edison, aka The Polish Tea Room. My best wishes for a speedy recovery to your friend.

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If I can add a variation on this theme, the best chicken soup I've had in the city is the Chicken Vegetable soup at EAT on Madison and 80th street. Yes it is outrageously expensive but, it is of a far higher quality than anything else I have found in the city. Matzo balls are usually not available other than at times when the major Jewish holidays are occuring when you can buy them by the matzo ball. As for the obvious group of contenders, I think the 2nd Avenue Deli is quite good. And I've had a terrific chicken in the pot from Artie's Deli on upper Broadway. And not to forget if you happen to be in Miami, that the Rascal House on Collins Avenue makes a mean bowl of soup.

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Liza,

Speaking of Katz's, I've always enjoyed their matzo ball soup the most, because the broth seemed richer, heartier. It was almost as if it was a beef broth, instead of chicken. Is that possible?!! Or would this be sacrilege?

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Pan, I've had the soup from most of the places mentioned and for my money Barney Greengrass has the best tasting soup and matzo balls of any.  Hands down.  They sell it in quart containers to go.  If you like salty chicken soup, Williams BarBQue on Broadway and 86th makes a good one, though their matzo balls are not nearly as good ad BGs.  Arties' matzo balls, the last time I had them,were tasteless.

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A non-traditional source: Blue Ribbon in Manhattan or in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  Absolutely non-greasy, with good matzo-balls.  They take great pride in this soup, for good reason.  Check it out if it is in your nabe --

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There *was* a place on Queens Blvd just west of the GCP called Kew Rest.  It was a Kosher Deli with table service.  The childhood joy of a bowl of consumme with fine noodles....that and the kosher hot dog that bit back.  It was a milestone in my life when I got to order a turkey club sammich.

My mom sister and I had Thanksgiving dinner there in 1973 on the way home from Radio City Music Halls Xmas Show. Probably the last time I ever got to eat there.

They musta closed within a couple of years after then.  It was there from at least the early 50s when my Pop was out there in the field with NYPD.

Does Katz's, since its Kosher, preclude the use of nasty things like soup base mixes in its chicken soup..is it the real thing?  No chemicals, etc?  And would they look at me like Im meschugga if I asked for rice with it?  I cant have egg noodles cuz of the flour.  But Id kill for good chicken soup when I eat out. :raz:

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