I’m sitting here at Bernstein’s, home of proper Jewish family recipes, munching on a proper salt beef bagel and contemplating whether to warm my steamed glasses up even more with their titled “Proper Chicken Soup”, made with the works: vermicelli noodles and, I’ve been assured by one half of the Bernstein duo, “nice chickens”. Slurping on a root beer provided by the Hackney soda dons, Square Root London, I’ve made myself more than comfortable in the café and bar that’s found a home in my home: Chats’ newest addition.
So now I’m sad because I’ve finished my bagel. If, like me, you’re usually allergic to small portions, don’t let Bernstein’s scare you away, as (from what I remember, it was so long ago…) their bagel packs a generous punch, overflowing with juicy, lean, free-range salt beef, cured on site.
Bernstein’s is also home of the dilemma – do I actually go for their chicken soup? Or one of their classic baked cheesecake slices (I’ve asked, unfortunately, you don’t get the whole thing), made my Mama Bernstein herself? Do I just call it a day with their chocolate tasting board? Or do I feast on one (or three) of their Rinkoffs pastries and wash it down with a silky Mörk’s Peruvian Hot Dark Chocolate, followed by one of craft beers they have on tap? With so much choice, changing daily due to their freshly made menu, it’s hard not to be tempted to spend a week’s wages on all the delights they have to offer. If their evil plan is to use their delicious bagels to keep me there all night until they have to roll me out the door, it’s currently working. Bring a book, bring your laptop, bring provisions, bring anything to keep you occupied, as the warm atmosphere, the dangerously more-ish food and the friendly staff makes this the perfect spot to spend a whole day.
Bernstein’s is at 73 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LH.