Chanukah Potato Pancakes in the Super Secret “Diamond Dairy”
It’s Chanukah everyone! And in honor of the Holiday, I decided on Friday to go out in search of some Latkes (or potato pancakes) for lunch. I had gotten a few emails from people over the past week asking me where they could find these delicious fried patties of potatoey goodness in Midtown- but I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t really know. The last time I had latkes in Midtown was a billion years ago at the Stage Deli, and I don’t really remember them being that good. But even if I had fond memories of those touristy, over-priced potato pancakes- I don’t think I’d be caught dead eating at the Stage Deli this time of year. The same goes for the Carnegie Deli.
Actually the same goes for every place within walking distance of the tree in Rockefeller Center. Is there any worse place in the world to be in December then Midtown? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. So, to avoid the hoards of tourists, I decided to try and find this hidden Kosher place on 47th St. btw. 5th & 6th called the Diamond Dairy that I’ve read about a few times. A Kosher luncheonette, hidden away in some Jewelry shop, with the best blintzes in town… but this week it’s not about the blintz. It’s about the latke.
More pics and the +/- after the jump…
The address is the best way to find the Diamond Dairy. Walk down 47th between 5th & 6th looking for a restaurant sign, and you’re guaranteed not to find the place. Instead, look for the National Jewelers Exchange at 4 West 47t St. and you’re halfway there. The exchange is one of those gigantic Jewelry stores with different Jewelers selling stuff at individual kiosks. Look up in the “Mezzanine” in the back of the store- and you’ll have found the Diamond Dairy Luncheonette. Make your way to the back left or right hand corner of the store, and there are stairwells on either side to take you up to the diner.
I asked one of the waitresses if they had latkes, and she less than enthusiastically told me yes. I believe that’s what is known as “no-nonsense” waitress’ing. Either that, or she just hated me. Maybe she saw into my soul and knew I’d rather be eating pork… or a fried shrimp po’boy (Is soft shelled crab considered shellfish?). You see, I was born Jewish, but I’m not really a good Jew… and it’s not just the pork and shellfish thing either. It’s also hard for me to practice a religion where the most holy day of the year involves not eating. I just can’t do it… it’s against my religion. Anyway, at least I was semi-celebrating Chanukah by getting some delicious Latkes. I ordered 2 for $5.40 (an order of 3 is $7.40), and took in the awesome surroundings.
They came out bare bones, two on an oval shaped plate, with apple sauce. I heard two guys behind me order latkes and they were given the choice between sour cream and applesauce. I guess their waitress liked them… they must have been good Jews. I asked my waitress for some sour cream in addition to my apple sauce, which cost 50 cents extra. I like the mix of sweet and sour (why do I feel like everything I say sounds like I’m talking about Chinese food?). The latkes were nicely browned on the outside, and hot and moist on the inside. No onions either, which could be a plus or minus depending on how you like your potato pancakes. They were also the thinner variety, which I like. Some places make these gigantic thick monstrosities that have no possible way of staying moist when fried.
All in all it was a great first day of the first night of Chanukah lunch. Delicious latkes, in an amazing hidden setting. Next time I’ll try the blintzes… if I can hold back from ordering the Lo Mein! (That’s right… they serve Lo Mein.)
- It’s Chanukah… so if you want your Latkes, there’s no line at this jem
- The locale is sweet if you like your places hidden
- The latkes come out freshly made, and fried thin so they stay moist
- They don’t make them with onions (if you don’t like onions)
- Everything is ala carte… so even though it’s cheap at $5.50 you don’t get anything with it.
- They don’t give you enough apple sauce (the little cup isn’t enough) and extra costs 50 cents
- The latkes don’t have onions (if you like onions)
Diamond Dairy, 4 W. 47th St. (Mezzanine), 212-719-2694