Nosh Jewish Delicatessen & Bakery – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Nosh Jewish Delicatessen & Bakery

You see, Elaine, the key to eating a black and white cookie
is that you wanna get some black and some white in each bite.
Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate.
And yet still somehow racial harmony eludes us.
If people would only look to the cookie, all our problems would be solved.
~Jerry Seinfeld

While creative personnel and television promos touted Seinfeld as the “show about nothing,” the truth is every episode of the half-hour comedy offered a number of complex plots, sub-plots and plot twists. So much of the hilarity centered around food moments that readers of Chow declared Seinfeld the “show about food.” It makes sense. In its nine year run, Seinfeld introduced or reintroduced into American pop culture and vernacular such foods and food terms as pastrami, the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats; the really big salad; make and bake our own pizza; vegetable lasagna; Papaya King hot dogs; the soup Nazi and many, many more.

While Albuquerque has become increasingly cosmopolitan, it wasn’t until the August, 2013 launch of Nosh Jewish Delicatessen & Bakery that Duke City diners could discover for themselves some of the iconic foods mentioned on the “show about food.” Located on the southeast corner of Amherst and Silver in the Nob Hill district, Nosh fills one of the food voids most commonly lamented by readers of this blog. It is an authentic Jewish deli and bakery with some contemporary variations on tradition. Those slight variations don’t include red or green chile; not a smidgeon is to be found. A Duke City restaurant not serving chile is as rare as, well…a Jewish deli has been.

The Amherst (Pastrami with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and coleslaw on rye) with a side of fruit and a pickle spear

Step ten feet into the cozy, 1,000 square-foot eatery and you’ll run into the counter where you place your order from menus hanging on the wall. From that counter, you’re witness to the heart and soul of the operation—the open kitchen and bakery where deliciousness is prepared. Your eyes will quickly train on baked goods sealed in clear wrapping and you’ll make a mental note to buy a loaf or three on your way out. You’ll take in the pastry case where luscious desserts will tempt and test your willpower. You’ll marvel that so much can get done in such a relatively small space.

The diminutive dining room means seating is in personal space proximity. Weather permitting, al fresco dining on sidewalk tables is also an option. Nosh also seems to do a robust take-out business. Breakfast (until 11AM) and lunch (after 11AM) menus include a couple of cross-over items (potato latkes and matzo ball soup) which are served on both sides of 11AM, but if you’re looking for Challah bread French toast for lunch or a pastrami sandwich for breakfast, you’re out of luck.

Pastrami on double-baked rye with deli mustard, onion rings and a pickle spear

Whether you visit for breakfast or for lunch, your visit to a Jewish deli wouldn’t be complete without Dr. Brown’s soda (ginger ale, black cherry, cream soda, root beer), alas in a can. Better still, have a chocolate egg cream, which despite its name contains no eggs. An egg cream is a blend of seltzer water, chocolate syrup and milk. It’s a foamy beverage which isn’t overly sweet.

19 October 2013: Our inaugural visit was after 11AM which meant pastrami, which Jerry Seinfeld’s friend George Costanza declared “the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats.” Pastrami has been a passion for me from the moment I discovered it in the Boston area half a lifetime ago. It’s not something most of us would consider incorporating into our bedtime rituals as George Costanza did, but for those of us hooked on pastrami, there is no better deli offering. As do the great delis in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, Nosh makes its own pastrami. It’s a pain-staking process obviously undertaken with love.

Pastrami Sandwich with Latke

19 October 2013: Nosh’s pastrami sandwich is hand sliced and served on double-baked rye with a side of grainy deli mustard. Compared to most Duke City sandwich makers which scrimp on meats, Nosh’s sandwiches are ungashtupt (Yiddish for overstuffed). The pastrami is lean and peppery with that distinctive deliciousness imbued only on pastrami. Nestled on a double-baked rye with personality and a smear of Ba-Tampte (Yiddish for tasty) deli mustard, it’s a sandwich which just might inspire carnal yearning.

7 April 2015:

Club Sandwich with onion rings
Club Sandwich with onion rings

19 October 2013: As with New Mexican chile, pastrami needs no amelioration as it is incomparably fabulous on its own, but if you want to let your hair down, you’ll want to try Nosh’s Amherst, pastrami (or corned beef) with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and coleslaw on rye. What makes this sandwich sumptuously successful is that the pastrami is still clearly the star. It’s not overwhelmed by the sweet coleslaw or the boldness of the Russian dressing. All sandwiches are served with a pickle spear and your choice of potato salad, coleslaw, onion rings, house or sweet potato fries, or fruit. The onion rings are strictly an out-of-the-bag variety.

16 December 2013: Nosh’s nearest approximation to a skyscraper sized sandwich is the Club Sandwich, a behemoth made on a canvas of lightly toasted Challah bread. Nestled between two slightly sweet slices of the egg-rich bread are a tangle of roasted turkey, pastrami, avocado, red onions, tomato, lettuce, Cheddar (or Swiss) and horseradish. It’s a terrific sandwich though this fire-eater would have appreciated even more horse radish. The vegetables–especially the avocado and tomato–are so fresh that this would have been a great sandwich even without the meats. The meats made it just that much better.

Matzo ball Soup: Chicken noodle soup with a traditional matzo ball

19 October 2013: In a classic Seinfeld episode, George Costanza tells a woman he loves her but is unsure whether or not she heard him. Ever the nurturing friend, Seinfeld’s “consolation’ to George was “that’s one giant matzo ball hanging out there.” Later George ordered matzo ball soup. At Nosh you can order matzo ball soup for breakfast or lunch. It’s good anytime. If you aren’t familiar with or haven’t tried them, matzo balls are a dumpling of sorts. They’re considered a Jewish comfort food favorite. The soup is made from chicken stock, short noodles and vegetables. Save for being just a bit under-salted (my preference), it’s a very good, very healthful chicken noodle soup.

16 December 2013: One of the favorite dishes of my friend Sr. Plata (a proud half Sephardi Jew, who grew up in Los Angeles a mere four blocks from Nosh founding owner Alisa Young) is noodle kugel, a dish which might surprise the unacculturated. After the first time they have it, they might well become addicted. Sometimes made as a savory entree and more often as a dessert, it’s certainly a versatile dish. The Nosh version is made as a dessert. It’s a dish of baked noodles and cream cheese layered in a pan and topped with confectioner’s sugar. The unmistakable flavor of orange is prominent in Nosh’s kugel, atop of which is a dollop of butter and which is accompanied by syrup, neither of which are needed. Sr. Plata thoroughly enjoyed Nosh’s rendition. The question is would he have enjoyed Frank Costanza’s version?

Noodle Kugel
Noodle Kugel

19 October 2013: “You can’t beat the babka.” That was Jerry Seinfeld’s assessment of the chocolate babka at a New York City deli, but which might also apply to the chocolate babka at Nosh. Sometimes considered bread and sometimes considered a cake, chocolate babka has qualities of both. At Nosh it’s sliced like a bread, but its chocolate-cinnamon amalgam says cake. The babka is moist and dense with a flavor profile unlike any other cake you can have. You really can’t beat the babka.

19 October 2013: The black and white cookie, dubbed by Jerry Seinfeld as “two races of flavor living side by side,” is a soft, shortbread type cookie iced on one half with vanilla fondant and on the other half by chocolate fondant. While President Obama may dubbed it “the unity cookie,” just try sneaking a bite from a loved one’s cookie. You’ll be risking life and limb. To preserve peace at your table, order two (or six).

Chocolate Babka and a Black & White Cookie

16 December 2013: Rugelach, a Yiddish word meaning “little corners” may not have made it onto an episode of Seinfeld, but it’s available at Nosh where you can purchase them in quantities of one to a dozen. For that Albuquerque’s pastry paramours should be very grateful. Rugelach is a a rolled triangle of dough around a fruit filling. The filling–Nosh uses apricot–is almost caramelized, but it’s not overly sweet. It’s a wonderful pastry.

19 October 2013: It wouldn’t be a true Jewish deli if bagels weren’t on the menu. Nosh imports its bagel dough from a kosher bakery in New York. Whether you have them with butter or with cream cheese, you’ll enjoy the dense, chewy texture and flavor. The bakery showcases a number of breads, albeit not a marble rye such as the one Jerry Seinfeld swiped from an old woman. The Challah bread is artistic in its braided beauty and absolutely delicious on its own, with a sandwich or on toast.

A half dozen Ruggelach
A half dozen Rugelach

Those of us who didn’t grow up with a Jewish bubbe (Yiddish for grandmother) may have missed out on Jewish cooking, but frequent visits to the Nosh Jewish Delicatessen & Bakery will make sure we make up for it. Now, there will be naysayers who declare Nosh falls short of their favorite New York or Los Angeles delis they’ve frequented for decades. Instead, we should all celebrate that Nosh has the chutzpah (Yiddish for boldness coupled with supreme self-confidence) to open a Jewish Deli in Albuquerque where transplants will ultimately make those comparisons.

Nosh Jewish Delicatessen & Bakery
116 Amherst, S.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 16 April 2015
1st VISIT: 19 October 2013
COST: $$
BEST BET: The Amherst, Pastrami Sandwich, Matza Ball Soup, Chocolate Babka, Black & White Cookie, Bagel, Challah Bread, Club Sandwich, Noodle Kugel, Rugelach, Chocolate Egg Cream

Nosh on Urbanspoon

46 thoughts on “Nosh Jewish Delicatessen & Bakery – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

  1. Hoping a Jewish Deli that serves monster Pastrami and Triple Decker sandwich would show up but I haven’t heard of any ( has anyone seen or experienced one)???

  2. Yep, I am seriously bummed 🙁 The owner did say they will have some of their items available at Natural Grocers, and they are still available for catering, bread orders, etc. But it’s not the same. I will miss their scrambles, lox on bagel, carrot cake, challah french toast, and more.

  3. I’m obsessed with their carrot cake. My husband and me walk the dogs down nearly every Saturday morning. We get it so regularly that when we walk in they say “two slices of carrot cake and coffee?”- you bet!

  4. An updatte, the day after.
    The pastrami from Nosh was not even close to the pastrami at California Pastrami and More.
    Sliced too thick which effected its tenderness, too peppery for my taste.
    The rugelach was good, really enjoyed by my wife more than I simply because it had a crunchy, carmelized exterior when I’m partial to an exterior that is more like a pecan sandy. That’s the closest description I can describe. More of a matte finish than a glossy one.
    I’d still like to try Nosh’s potato latkes and their chopped liver (not the best choice for some who experienced cardiac arrest and had a triple bypass).
    There is still corned beef to be sampled.
    Seven layer cake and the NY style cheesecake for sure.
    And yesterday was breakfast so there was no Dr. Browns cream soda or cel-ray, just a good cup of coffee.

  5. just had breakfast at Nosh with my wife.
    I had the bagel and nova platter and it was okay.
    My wife has the pastrami and egg scramble, an old fave from our NY days. Her bagel was a bit stale mine was good, but again it. Was not unlike any other bagel in Albuquerque.
    It may be NY dough but it didn’t have the crusty exterior with the doughy interior that makes a NY bagel a New York bagel
    The pastrami was very heavily peppered but I’m reserving final judgement for the pastrami on rye I took home. I did take a side of cole slaw and my wife had some and said it very standard.and I really prefer cream cole slaw.
    Very ambitious menu, would have liked to try the chopped liver, the potato latkes and maybe a knish.
    Good service, good coffee. I want my picture on the wall of Jews, perhaps between Jerry Seinfeld and Dustin Hoffman.
    My request got a “no”.
    Bought a 6 pack of rugelach to try later.
    They looked pretty good.
    The restaurant was small on the inside, much smaller than it looked in Gil’s review.

  6. Mr Schor, You beat me to it. I was going to log on this am and tell Mr Bob the same thing.

    Mr Bob I have the mortal fear that you actually took me seriously. It is one thing when a friend like El Bruto posts these kinds of comments but when a complete stranger like me does it you have no way of knowing where I am coming from. My Bad!

    I will not hold you to an imaginary promise that we all know you never made to feed us. If you knew me you would know that I am rarely very serious except when I am giving my Child Bride hell for always being dead serious. Please come back with your poetic comments.

    Please forgive my miserable typing. It is always bad but I just had the first cataract cut out and my glasses now don’t wok. It is almost impossible to see anything less than a mile away. About a month after the second one comes out I can get new reading glasses. So if I have transposed letters and typed an obscene insult it is unitentional.

    1. Jim,
      I had cataract surgery about 18 months ago and for the life of me I don’t know why both eyes can’t be done at the same time.
      The correction was great, only thing was after wearing glasses for 58 years or so they had become part of my persona.
      I even took lenses out of my glasses and wore just frames for a week or so.
      Good luck with your new found 20/20 vision.

  7. Where’s El Bobo?
    I hope he’s OK and not just incognito re concerns per the Feast with Friends of Gil.
    Come out, come out wherever you are, El Bobo. Nobody expects you to pick up the tab for 10 to 12 eaters.
    Once again, El Bobo, all is forgiven, come home.

  8. Back to Gil, he is our Sensei and we need to thank and appreciate all he has done for us. For where else would a mixture of people of different tribes come together and be at peace with some really good food. I would like to hear some types of food or places to go that would make Gil be filled with glee. Sorry, don’t eat Reubens as I am not into the sauerkraut but I did appreciate they dropped their sandwiches when the Conservative-Orthodox youngster spoke her peace. Where else would we find Chabad directly across the street from San Pedro Food Mart, world peace being solved over Hummus in Albuquerque, who would have known…

  9. Oh, oh.
    I feel the wrath of La Gloria about to rain down upon us for being unPC bullies.

    I have actually dined with El Bobo and can say with utter confidence he bears no resemblance to the construction worker of the Village People.
    Didn’t one of them don a pith helmet? That’s more accurate.

    I am excited by the Millington proposal. Let’s hope El Bobo embraces it as well.
    Meanwhile “Where’s Bobo.”

  10. It just hit me. The reason Mr. Bob has not accepted all of our warmly & kindly offers to be treated at the Dog House is that the Dog House does not accept the Press Pass, thus he would be humiliated at paying full list price. I have a solution which would satisfy everyone. Chez Axel does accept the Press Pass and, as far as I know, does not use cumin in anything. Bob would be happy; cumin haters would be happy, and we nom-comin haters don’t insist that it be in everything.

    He is now free to extend a formal invitation to the world.

  11. Could it be El Bobo of the Village People (I’m picturing the construction worker) is shy or maybe intimidated at the prospect of meeting La Gloriosa. I would think he’d relish the opportunity to impress her as he pulls up in his Firebird wearing his tweed suit and black and white wing tips, reeking of Old, Old Spice and ordering foot longs with chili for everyone.

  12. Schuyler,
    The response from El Bobo re his magnanimous offer to pick up the tab at the
    Dog House has been deafening. I have the feeling he is not going to be cajoled into being the benefactor of the first meeting of Gil’s Gourmands. Unless he can get a quantity discount for items on the Kids Menu.
    Re Nosh, I’m holding my opinion until I get there and sample their wares.
    And finally, what was El Bobo’s single word/comment about Reubens and the Amherst?
    Do I have to read an entire article about meat and other things between 2 slices of bread to get one word from El Bobo?
    And “Where’s El Bobo” “per” his offer to set up and pay for a meal out? Is he just going to ignore those of us who would like a sit down with Gil and a have a nice Chili Cheese tube steak?

  13. Roberto del pueblo de Los Ranchos, this was hilarious. I can’t help but think Sr. Plata and La Brute will weigh in on the NYC versus LA debate.

    Muchissimas gracias for your generous offer to pick up the tab for the shindig with Gil’s friends. The least we can do is pay the tip.

  14. Gil. I am beginning to think that I am speaking to a wall here. Nosh is great. However, less than a mile down the street you could have had breakfast at El Sabor de Juarez.

    1. As a left tackle for the Peñasco Panthers back in the dark ages when football was played with leather helmets, I’d like to think I was a wall in pass-protecting for our quarterback. Working in Rio Rancho makes it a challenge for me to break away for breakfast such a distance from the office. My workday visit to Nosh was an early Christmas celebration with my friends Sr. Plata and Paul “Boomer” Lilly. During our visit to Nosh, we took our annual photograph for my “Thrilling (And Filling) Year in Food” review. Look for it sometime after Christmas. It’s been an exciting year.

  15. Sr. Plata, I intend to check it out and very soon.
    It is a bit of a schlep for me too but the idea of a legit deli is to good to let distance dissuade me from a good pastrami sandwich with all the trimmings.
    My daughter lives in the Los Angeles area but so far I’ve only eaten at Factor’s.
    Maybe Nate and Al’s at the end of January.
    Can I bring back some pastrami for you, kugel, maybe a chopped liver knish.
    Last visit tonFactor’s I noticed a menu item called stuffed casing.
    It was stuffed derma but because they now use synthetic casing the name had to be changed to reflect the casing.
    What’s this world coming to?
    By the way Pink’s left me wondering what all the fuss was about, waiting 45 minutes on line to get a ball park frank seemed like a waste of time.

  16. Imagine 1) Finally finding a Deli of the Tribe in the middle (or almost) of Albquerque and 2) Find out the owner went to my High and Jr High School. Who would know. Bruce Shor, I read what you wrote but hope you check it out. It’s hard when I use Nate N Al’s in Beverly Hills as the BAR but… Anyways, I had an Amherst sandwich which was Pastrami with Slaw piled pretty high which was really good. I had a side of Cole Slaw. I also had warmed Noodle Kugel which was very good and sweet. I would definitely return but they are just too far for this Correleno to return very often, SO Nosh Owners, come out NorthWest! I would say though that breakfast should be served all day, I would love to have a typical omelette L.A. Deli Style and serverd anytime of the day. BUT, let me say its about time we have a real Jewish Deli and I call on the Masses in Albuquerque to help these find folks who have been robbed twice now in 3 months stay open and hopefully move into a much larger area with multiple locations.

    1. Sr. Plata – I regret I was unable to join you, Boomer, and Gil on Monday. I loves me some Pastrami, for sure! I miss you guys! All the best for the holidays.

  17. One more thing.
    I went online and looked up two venerable delis in NYC, Katz’s and the Stage Deli. Neither is calling itself “kosher”.
    They have gone the way of kosher delis catering to the more eclectic tastes of modern times.
    For anyone going to NYC and wants a kosher experience there is Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes, 103 years in the same spot and everything they sell is Kosher.
    The Knishes are famous and when I was there years ago the basement had the kitchen, the ground floor the selling area and you Knishes came up on a dumb waiter, it’s worked for over 100 years and I have no reason to think anything has changed.
    It’s located on the Lower East side.

  18. Gil,
    I’m impressed with your Yiddish. When it comes to food blogs you’re a mensch. I tend more to the balaboostah. (Sp?).
    Did you have a coach, perhaps Sr. Plata?
    One thing I have to say is that traditional kosher delis didn’t have bagels which would and should be served with cream cheese (the venerable schmear) or butter and that would have violated the rules of kosher which prohibits the mixing of dairy and meat. Bagels in big cities and even ABQbare usually stand alone businesses.
    As kosher delis became extinct the newcomers kept less kosher than their predecessors, mixing bagel lox and cream cheese platters with the pastrami, corned beef, and tongue.
    By the way, does Nosh have 7-layer cake in their bakery?

    1. Ah, my Yiddish…That’s probably best explained by another quote from Seinfeld. In a Seinfeld episode, a gorgeous model sitting next to Jerry on a flight from St. Louis told Jerry, “I’ve never met anyone who knew so much about nothing.” That would pretty much describe me…a little knowledge about a lot of different things…and you know what they say about a little knowledge.

      Nosh does indeed offer a seven-layer cake. It goes for five dollars a slice or twenty-two dollars for a whole cake.

      1. Seven layer cake at $5/slice (or 71 cents per layer) Just sayin… Ms. Queue would probably lament that it is not like Sara Lee. Cheers!

  19. OMG! was that the original, indeed sadly, long lost Suzie Queue who recently bemused us? What was that all about? All it took was aromas of steamy pastrami, toasty bagels con creamy cheez, matzo soup for s/he to be lured out to nosh at Nosh and opine? Oy vey!

  20. They did’nt have anything from Bore’s Head. There was no baloney, no pickle and pimento loaf, no cotto salamie, no motadella. But there other sandwiches were pretty good but lets face it its no Subway.

  21. Denise, you are making me envious that you’ve been to Nosh.
    To paraphrase Gil’s remarks about risotto in Albuquerque, a good egg cream is as rare as snow in June in NM. Maybe even rarer.
    And you spelled rugelach correctly.
    Just don’t have the egg cream with your pastrami sandwich, my kosher grandmother will be spinning in her grave.

  22. First, a disclaimer.
    I have not yet been to Nosh.
    I wonder if their pastrami is sliced to order? In Gil’s photo it looks like pre sliced pastrami and not pastrami sliced to order. Does Nosh offer “lean” vs regular. I really prefer regular because of the flavor imparted by the steamed ribbons of fat.
    One more thing, are Dr. Brown’s bottled sodas available.
    That way I can have pastrami on hard crusted rye with a side of good potato salad and a Dr. Brown’s cream soda.
    Many NY delis follow those 4000 calories with a really good slice of 7-layer cake to bring the grand total to 5250 calories.

    1. YES not only are Dr Brown’s sodas available but they also make the BEST egg cremes AND 7 layer cake 😉 Plus the best rugelach this side of New Jersey!!

  23. I am Verklempt!

    This 12 year transplant from NY [has it been that long??] to the ‘Q has been Jones-ing for deli for soooo long. Gotta make my way over to Nosh to do just that – NOSH! Thanks!

  24. Made it to Nosh twice for breakfast and once for lunch. Husband love the eggs and pastrami for breakfast. I had the bagel with lox once and plain bagel with cream cheese the second time. With lox and all the fixings was great, but the test of a good bagel is just with a shmear – it was okay, which since it’s a Jewish deli, is disappointing. Do they fly in the dough or the finished bagels, I wonder?

    For lunch I had a pastrami Rueben which was to die for… their pastrami is really tender and delicious. I’ve got my eye on the matzo ball soup for the next cold day.

  25. Not really the place to comment, but if BOTVOLR can, well…

    I have the same issues with this site when trying to access it via my phone. I like to sometimes try and pull up the site when we try a new place in the spur of the moment to see if 1) Gil has already tried it, or 2) what he recommends. It crashes every browser I use! 🙁

    Oh well, just need plan ahead better, I guess…

    1. Hello Noe

      I’ve got an iPhone 5 (Verizon plan) and within the metropolitan area experience performance issues only in parts of Corrales which seems to be a black hole for content.

      I’m working with Google to land my content on a new Web app called Field Trip which links information sources (such as my reviews) to your smartphone’s GPS, resulting in alerts to interesting things currently around you. Ostensibly, as you travel around Albuquerque and are in GPS proximity to a restaurant on my blog, Field Trip will alert you to that restaurant. It should help readers whose phones lack the horsepower to launch my reviews.


  26. I’ve Thumbed-upped Nosh in ‘Dining in ABQ’ prior to Gil’s visit.

    (Side note: Torino’s will be on Dinners/Drive-in/Dives on Tues. Nov. 1 on the Food Network. Pardon-to-All per this miss-mash of a comment. Time on almost dead computer is short lived.)

    (Gil: note the new E-addy per crashing computer which I’m able to use for this brief moment. I.e. I lost my previous Email App as well as Favs/Pics/Word/etc. At other times, I’m hobbling on a Tablet, but it won’t access the Blog completely. I think it’s not capable of ‘dealing’ with the ‘lateral flowing, scenic pic header’.)

  27. Finally! Used to be we had to go to Santa Fe and the New York Deli for Jewish food. I wonder? Do they also have the more esoteric items like chopped chicken liver and tongue sandwiches. Probably not. That would really be pushing it in ABQ. Hope to get over there to try it out.

  28. My S.O. and I tried NOSH for lunch. Great food! Best pastrami sandwich in town and the potato latkes were really good. Gotta return to try their other offerings.

  29. Fussy Epicure also recently reviewed this place. It’s just down the street from me…can’t wait to try it! Ha ha…love the Seinfeld reference. I think that’s the episode when Jerry gets sick with the black & white cookie and breaks his “no-vomiting streak” He tells the story when he found a hair in his farina!

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