Monday was St. Patrick’s Day, and at Chelsea Market, the former Nabisco plant converted into an arcade of boutique food shops and restaurants, it was business as usual.
There were your green-and-white cookies in the racks of the bakeries, your green-and-white balloons tied to the rafters, your lads and lassies doing the jig to Irish melodies in the aisle, and your kosher corned beef and cabbage.
Kosher corned beef and cabbage?
That would be the doing of Friedman’s Delicatessen. The restaurant, under the kosher supervision of Rabbi Israel Myer Steinbergh, opened a month ago at Ninth Avenue and 15th Street, with corned beef and cabbage on its daily menu.
Monday, it was the featured item.
A sign out front — with green lettering and shamrocks, of course — advertised the holiday fare.
If you serve it, they will come.
Business was brisker than usual, said Henry Kalifowitz, general manager. Most of the customers, kosher-observant Jews and non-Jews, asked for the Irish staple, and a half-dozen local offices placed delivery orders. “They love it. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by everybody. It’s a festive holiday.”
“It’s the same corned beef” — “cured with our special spices … then slow cooked to tender perfection,” according to the restaurant’s menu — that usually teams up with rye and mustard, Kalifowitz said.
And the cabbage.
“It’s just boiled.”
St. Patrick’s Day is the only non-Jewish holiday whose cuisine gets such special treatment at Friedman’s Deli, Kalifowitz said. “Basically, Jewish holidays.”
Today, the food du jour is hamantaschen.