Blintz Attack: Stan's Metro Deli vs. Scott's Generations
With so many Phoenicians hailing from elsewhere, a few local restaurants have tapped into the transplant market -- offering everything from Chicago deep-dish pizzas and Kansas City BBQ to Southern collard greens & biscuits or farm fresh California style salads. Among the choices for homesick New Yorkers, cheese blintzes have been one of the hardest menu items to find.
For this week's Battle of the Dishes, we tracked down this Jewish Deli staple at two Best of Phoenix award-winning delis. Now let's get blintzed together!
Stan's Metro Deli is tucked at the end of Mill Ave's up-and-coming (we hope!) dining district across from Caffe Boa. The family-owned deli had it's heyday in the '90s, closed, and then recently reopened. It's a trip back to NYC circa 1985: Black-and-white parquet floors, diner tables, vinyl banquettes and customer service that's top-notch. At Stan's, the manager and owner are always popping by for a quick chat or to ask you about your meal. They'll also come out and personally apologize if they're out of the dish you order.
Three neatly wrapped blintzes arrived on a crisp white plate with a side of sour cream and strawberry preserves. The outside of the crepes were perfectly browned, with a golden yellow color. I bit in and tasted... home. The crepe was delicate and moist. The filling was light and fluffy, with a strong salty taste that contrasted nicely with the sugary jelly. I say jelly because it lacked the chunks of fruit associated with canned preserves. Sour cream alone made the blintz too tart, but the combination of sweet jelly and sour cream was satisfying.
"This is really unusual," remarked my dining companion, who'd never seen the inside of a NY deli or a blintz before. "It's not as sweet as I expected."
While some modern restaurants replace the filling with a blend of ricotta and cream cheese, Stan's blintzes use traditional cottage cheese. It makes for a dish that's lighter on your waistline and in your stomach. The only downside to the dish was that I wanted more blintzes and would've preferred blueberry preserves to the strawberry jelly. Stan's may run out of blintzes a lot, but they're worth the wait.