Monday, May 12, 2014

Nu Modern Jewish Bistro

On a beautiful, sunny day last week, I had a doctor appointment. After seeing the doctor and then going off to have blood sucked out (and hear the usual 'I cannot find a vein, your veins are so skinny, so tiny' as they poke poke poke trying to make one show itself and my arm starts to hurt and slowly turns numb from the band around it and I start to think it's going to fall off), it was noon, which means it was lunch time, so we decided to treat ourselves to a rare lunch date.

But where to go? Somehow traffic, a few unplanned turns, and our inability to decide landed us in Squirrel Hill. SP wanted to try Nu Modern Jewish Bistro. So that's where we went.

Nu is right next to Pamela's (pancakes!) and is run by the same people. Apparently, 'nu' is Yiddish for "Well?" "What's up?" or "So?" It's cute inside, wood tables and chairs, though a little close together, there's a chalkboard of daily specials, and pictures and explanations of various Jewish foods on the walls. Those were much appreciated because the menu was foreign territory for me! I'm not Jewish, and my knowledge of Jewish food is limited to what I gleaned from my best friend and her family when we were growing up. I remember matzo and Passover foods and attending her bat mitzvah service and celebration, but that's about it!
Of course I only had my cell phone camera, but there was lots of sunlight shining through the window. We started with an order of Potato Latkes. I ate mine with sour cream, SP ate his with apple butter. These were yummy. Shredded potatoes, fried crisp. I tried making potato latke once and mine were sort of moist and mealy, so these were a treat since they did not taste like mine!
SP chose a BLT Sandwich. It came on a parchment lined cookie sheet and was served with cole slaw in a little Chinese take-out box. In this case, the B was crispy fried chicken skin. I was stunned that SP ordered something so unhealthy! There was a lot on the sandwich, with tomato and lettuce, a smear of chicken liver pate, and it was on toasted rye. He said it was delicious and he ate the entire sandwich. I didn't try any. Up close:
I opted for Upstreet Dip Sandwich, brisket with sauteed onions and horseradish cream cheese on baguette with dipping juice and cole slaw and pickle:
The cole slaw was good - shredded cabbage and carrot; I like carrot in my cole slaw. I gave SP my pickle. The sandwich was huge. I wasn't quite sure how to eat it - it was too big for my mouth! Every time I tried to squash it, meat fell out. But the meat - it was so darn tender. A chunk fell in my dipping sauce and it was hard to fish it out with a fork because stabbing this meat just makes it shred. The baguette was fantastic. When I finally got to bites with the horseradish cream cheese - oh my gosh so good. I could only finish half the sandwich.
We both enjoyed our lunch at Nu. Our server was very friendly. The food was delicious, if not especially healthy (fried chicken skin?!?!). I liked the cozy interior, but might not have liked it if it had been jam packed because the tables are a bit close together and it might get loud inside. My one wee quibble is that I do not think the iced tea was fresh brewed. It was unsweetened, served with lemon wedges & sweeteners on the side, but it had that taste that I associate with pre-made, packaged iced tea. I guess I am an iced tea snob. Only fresh brewed will do, with little/no ice.

We would like to go back to Nu and try the chicken soup, maybe try kreplach, and definitely leave some room for one of the babka desserts.

Nu Modern Jewish Bistro on Urbanspoon

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