Thursday, March 17, 2016

At Moishe's Bake Shop


[Photo from October by Derek Berg]

The New York Times checks in with a feature on Moishe Perl and Moishe's Bake Shop on Second Avenue ... as part of the paper's "Neighborhood Joint" series.

To an excerpt!

What hasn’t changed at all is the bakery itself, with its stopped-in-time storefront that is almost entirely free of adornment — unless you count the shelves of challah and rye, trays of cookies, ruggeleh and babka, some hand-lettered signs (“Cash Only”) and a worn-looking certificate commemorating a “Best of the Borough” award of uncertain vintage for “Best Smell Ever.”

It does smell pretty good in there, and it probably always has. Mr. Perl swears he opened in autumn 1974, though the website says 1978. He won’t divulge his own age but if you had to guess, you might say around 70, and he hasn’t changed his menu or his recipes one iota in 42 years — everything kosher, no dairy except for the cheese Danish and strudel. His bread slicer, which was there when he bought the place, a former bakery that had been closed for a while, is 80 years old, Mr. Perl said. It rattles like a gas-powered lawn mower.

Moishe's is at 115 Second Ave. between East Sixth Street and East Seventh Street.

Previously

16 comments:

DrGecko said...

Seems to me that the place opened in the 80s sometime, not in the late 70s. Do I need a memory transplant?

Anonymous said...

You won't find better....not 50 years ago, not now and not 50 years from now. This place is timeless and the quality is outstanding.

Anonymous said...

If that bread slicer could talk...

cmarrtyy said...

I stopped going there 20 years ago. Too many stale cakes. I remember after I ordered the counter person would ask" You want it heated or yesterdays? So 2 weeks ago I'm dying for a hamentashon(spelling?). I ask for a prune. She tells me she can't sell it to me because... well... they're too old. So I ask about the poppy. She sells it to me. I bite into it. It's stale. 20 years later it's still stale. And how old was the prune she wouldn't sell me?

Anonymous said...

Thank g-d they finally replaced that window. That place was an eyesore.

Anonymous said...

Really? I am happy with my purchases every week. And my Hammantaschen was freshly filled! tee hee. Really.

Scuba Diva said...

The thing I recall, when I used to go there in the 80s, was that they would often put their pastry in remaindered paper bags from hardware stores and the like; sometimes I got a "WORM BEDDING" bag.

deva said...

I love everything about Moishe's. My favorites are the rye bread and the chocolate-dipped raspberry cookies. Don't ever change, Moishe's! You're already perfect.

blue glass said...

i went back to moishe's after the 7th street blast, and because i wanted to support them i shopped there almost every week or so. i quickly learned to ask when something was from or if they had any in the back. they certainly preferred to sell their old goods in the sometimes half empty front of the store but the people were friendly and didn't seem bothered by my questions and requests.

i went back after the times article and wanted a piece of their cherry pie. the woman i had not seen before asked me how much of it i wanted and when i said a small piece she said it was too small for her to bother.
if she's there next time i go i will let her know how awful her customer service and attitude are and probably not return.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:28 AM It kinda does.

Anonymous said...

@blue glass... I have noticed that the more I stop by, the friendlier the people working there are to me.

Anonymous said...

12:33 AM: How small a piece are you talking about? Micro piece? I've been going there for decades and have never gotten any attitude. When the challah isn't fresh they tell me, and offer me a discount (stale challah is good for French toast). I'm glad to hear that they are getting some tourist business. I don't eat much sweets now but I used to enjoy their babka and rugelach. There is a lot of competition, but their bagels and bialys are not bad for a buck or so. Toasting recommended. Long live Moishe's.

Anonymous said...

I want to go back to the drug laden times of the late eighties where everything rent and drugs were cheap. I love stores like this.

Anonymous said...

Moishe's is the best, I never had problems any stale baked goods there because they will tell you if something fresh or not. How many bakeries do that? Even Veniero's will sell you stale cookies, which has happened to me many times, and they never tell you beforehand. Almost everything at Moishe's is super fresh and delicious, and they are always helpful and friendly.

Donnie Moder said...

First of all, it is made right there fresh on premises, so it is fresh at some point. Try it. If you don't like, or if it is stale, don't go back. Second, don't be mean to these people, they are good people. Third, ask how fresh something is if you really have doubts.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 1980s when I was a near starving grad student my special treat was a poppy seed hamentaschen. Mr. Perl offered me a job if I ever needed extra cash. Fast forward 25 years later the counter help freely gave tastes to my kids. Perhaps some appreciation & respect receives it back?