A lot of what we serve at Max & Louie’s is steeped in tradition. Like our light, eggy challah bread. If you come to the diner early in the morning, you’ll immediately bask in the wonderful aroma of bagels, challah and other baked from scratch deliciousness coming out of the oven. If you’d like to learn more about how we make our bagels every day, check out our video from the link at the end of this blog.
Challah (pronounced haa-luh) is a light, fluffy, silky smooth, soft eggy bread. It’s traditionally served in Jewish homes to begin the weekly Sabbath celebration, but because it’s so delicious and versatile it’s become a bread for any day of the week. That makes every day a challah day!
Challah is Max & Louie’s most popular bread, which is why we bake dozens of loaves every day. It’s the bread we use for our famous French Toast and French Toast Grilled Cheese. It’s also perfect for sandwiches, and is especially great for tuna salad, egg salad and chopped liver sandwiches. It’s an ideal bread for soaking up the gravy on our hot open-face turkey and roast beef sandwiches. And of course, it makes incredibly great toast to go along with our huge platters of omelets and eggs.
But challah isn’t the only savory bread we bake in our busy kitchen. Because we serve breakfast all day, we also make fluffy biscuits for our homestyle biscuits and country gravy, a key ingredient of our Southern Breakfast Platter.
Naturally, we bake rye bread here too – the classic bread for our traditional deli sandwiches, each stuffed with half a pound of freshly sliced meats. Our rich brioche buns – served fresh from the oven – make our burgers extra special, and extra popular too.
We also bake fragrant onion rolls, also called onion pockets on the East Coast. They’re soft and eggy, like our challah, and each roll has a generous portion of chopped caramelized onions and a sprinkle of poppy seeds. We serve these fantastic fold-over rolls with the New York Deli Dip – our version of the classic French Dip sandwich – and we use them for our deli roast beef sandwiches. Next time, ask for one as a base for any sandwich you order, or sub one for the toast beside your eggs.
And finally, don’t overlook our fantastic fresh-baked hoagie rolls. Crunchy on the outside, soft in the center, they’ll help you manage the generous sauce on many of our huge hero sandwiches.
Sweet baked goods, like our traditional rugelach, are also a huge part of the authentic New York diner experience. We handmake traditional rugelach and many other sweet breads right here in our kitchen – and they’re all rich with history and filled with memories. Recipes for two of my favorite treats, rugelach and babka, were brought to the United States by Jewish immigrants from across Europe including Austria, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Poland and the bordering nations that no longer exist.
Rugelach, which translates to “little twists” in Yiddish, are filled and rolled pastries. The dough contains cream cheese and is both fluffy and flaky at the same time. We make several rugelach flavors – chocolate, raspberry, cinnamon, nut, and apricot. Pair a few with a cup of coffee for a perfect afternoon break, or try them for dessert ang enjoy a delicate finish to your meal.
Babka, which means “little grandmother” in Yiddish, is a sweet, soft but full-bodied bread. We make both popular babka flavors, chocolate and cinnamon. Traditional family-size babka loaves are available for holidays, but we serve more manageable individual loaves daily. Babka is rich, moist, and unbelievably delicious. If you’re having a rough day, I promise you, babka (like the love of a sweet grandmother) will make it better.
We also make “kugel kupcakes,” our version of the Jewish sweet noodle casserole called kugel. We mix tender egg noodles and raisins into a sweet egg custard, swirl in cinnamon, then bake it into individual portions so you can keep it all to yourself.
We also make jam-filled sandwich cookies called Linzer Tarts: two layers of crispy, buttery cookies slathered with luxurious raspberry jam and topped with powdered sugar. My son Jason loves these cookies. As a kid, Jason often sported a powdered sugar mustache from Linzer Tarts. Now, of course, he’s got a real mustache and a beard. Still, whenever he visits home, he’ll find a way to dust his mustache with Linzer Tart powdered sugar.
The bakers at Max & Louie’s also make several types of cookies, and as you’d imagine, they’re giant cookies. That includes our famous New York Black and Whites, made the old-fashioned way with a soft cake-like bottom topped with chocolate and vanilla ganache. After all, why should you have to choose between chocolate and vanilla when you can have both?
Everything we serve here at Max & Louie’s New York Diner has a backstory and a place in our heart. I hope you’ll come in soon and try something new, something nostalgic, or something steeped in tradition. Come in and taste one of our delicious baked treats – I promise you’ll love them as much as I do.
While you’re here, ask for me and let me know what you thought of this blog. I’ll see you soon.