You don’t need to be observant— or even Jewish—to appreciate matzo brei, Passover’s gift to the brunch table. Variously rendered as a flat pancake or a ragged scrambled mound, the egg-and-matzo fry-up can be sweet or savory, breath-challengingly oniony or drizzled with maple syrup for a cognoscente’s faux French toast. Devotees can find it year-round at some of New York’s historic delis and dairy restaurants, but at Passover, even secular chefs reach for the Streit’s.
The reputation of Anne Rosenzweig’s matzo brei precedes her. During Passover, it comes two ways: with asparagus and caramelized onion, and smoked salmon and dill.
9 Jones St., nr. W. 4th St.; 212-229-9999
Less renowned, perhaps, than his colossal lemon-meringue cake, Scott Bieber’s weekend-brunch matzo brei is extra oniony, just the way owner Eli Zabar likes it, and served with Eli’s brand fig or plum jam.
1413 Third Ave., nr. 80th St.; 212-717-9798
Blue Ribbon Bakery
The matzo, baked in-house in an old wood-burning brick oven, makes all the difference—that, and frying it in either Crisco or chicken fat. It arrives flat or scrambled (depending on the matzo-baking conditions), minus onions.
33 Downing St., at Bedford St.; 212-337-0404
B & H Dairy
The Yiddish theaters might be gone, but this atmospheric East Village lunch counter remains, serving up filling soups, creamy blintzes, and your basic matzo brei, all year long.
127 Second Ave., nr. St. Marks Pl.; 212-505-8065
Otherwise known as the Polish Tea Room, this rough-around- the-edges theater-district cafeteria has been a second home to Neil Simon and the rest of Broadway’s creative community. The matzo brei, like the staff, is genuine, and served with apple sauce or sour cream.
228 W. 47th St., nr. Broadway; 212-840-5000