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What may be the Americas’ best New York-style Jewish deli is in Mexico City

This story was originally published on The Nosher.

(JTA) — In February 2023, Mendl’s Delicatessen opened on a leafy-green street in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City. Condesa is an area that’s been home to Jewish families for 100 years, and is currently extremely trendy, so the fit was right. The New York-style, full-service deli has a walk-up take out window, shaded outdoor tables and two bright and airy dining rooms inside. There’s also pretty much always a wait to get a seat because the place is a vibe, but don’t worry, it never seems to take long to get in, and lounging on the sidewalk benches is a charming part of the experience.

The idea behind the deli was simple: to boil and bake bagels like those of the East Coast of the U.S., and offer Mexico City diners elevated versions of Ashkenazi cuisine heavy hitters.

According to the young and energetic Chef Montserrat Garza Garduño (a Sephardic Jew from Andalusia, Spain), “The idea of the restaurant is to serve traditional American/New York Jewish food.”

Her near obsession to open the spot began with years of extensive research, fueled by a love of Jewish cooking maven Claudia Roden’s books and the drive to get everything just so. The goal was to make the restaurant a love letter to Jewish dining.

Mendl’s takeout window, on a leafy-green street in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City. (Rachael Narins)

It didn’t happen without overcoming some hurdles, though. For one thing, popular Mexican flavor profiles and the old world pantries of the shtetl don’t overlap much.

“Our biggest challenge was finding a good meat purveyor, the right kinds of fish, and things like dill, rye and poppyseeds,” said Garduño, noting that the typical herbs and spices of Eastern Europe are not at all common in Mexico. Much of what she uses has to be imported or is grown by farmers she’s developed relationships with.

She needed those specific items because almost everything that’s served is thoughtfully made in-house.That attention to authenticity makes the spot appealing to expats, world travelers, tourists, Jews, gentiles and all the locals craving or curious about Chef Garduño’s food. While not kosher, the restaurant serves the expected hits, alongside less familiar staples like smoked whitefish, borscht and kreplach.

“We have to educate a lot of people about some of the dishes, but once they try, they’re excited. I send things to my friends to eat and then they will talk about it and order it,” said Garduño.

Mendl’s whole smoked trout. (Rachael Narins)

Part of what also makes this spot a treasure is that it’s just no easy feat to make what they serve. The elevation in Mexico City is more than 7,000 feet, and baking at that altitude is a challenge, though they make it seem effortless. The black and white cookie is a flashback to a childhood dream and the enormously popular bagels that come in all the classic varieties are dense and chewy, with a slight hint of malt (another atypical imported ingredient) and have a bright, shiny exterior. The 48-hour cured lox is a vibrant coral color, beautiful and silky. They cure it plain, with dill and, in a nod to the local love of heat, chile spiced.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the half- and full-sour pickles, which I believe will rival any you’ve ever had. They pack a garlicky punch.

The deep pink pastrami with it’s dark, nubbly and highly spiced exterior is cured for two weeks before going into their rooftop smoker (that also accommodates the exceptional smoked fish) has proven to be a menu favorite as well.

“Mexicans love meat and they love our pastrami. At first we tried to slice it thin, but now do it thick and it’s a bestseller,” said Garduño.

Four and a half ounces of the meat is served on thick pieces of fragrant rye, making it a hefty sandwich. Paired with a house-made cream soda it’s a perfect lunch.

The secret to Mendl’s matzah ball soup is hen stock. “It’s higher in fat and gives more flavor,”says Chef Montserrat Garza Garduño. (Rachael Narins)

Is there matzah ball soup? Oh yes. The matzah ball itself is about the size of a croquet ball and hovers the fine line between airy and dense. The light broth has carrots and fresh dill and is all flavor — bright yellow and clear as a bell. The heady secret, according to Chef Garduño, is that “We use hen stock. It’s higher in fat and gives more flavor.”

This is the of-the-moment restaurant for anyone who wants a top-notch, homey and coquettishly photogenic brunch. The food is just what you’re expecting but somehow a bit better, and they will soon add a natural wine bar serving Sephardi foods to the upstairs area, which will draw in the evening crowds.

Mendl gets it. If you can’t be there in person, send someone in to pick up some of their super cute merch, like a tote bag or t-shirt, to mail to you, or gather some of their assorted jarred goods including halva, preserved lemon and salsas. And start planning your trip to Mexico City for some of the best deli food in North America.

Mendl Delicatessen is located at Citlaltépetl 9, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City.


The post What may be the Americas’ best New York-style Jewish deli is in Mexico City appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Israeli Actress Shira Haas Stars in New ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ Trailer

Shira Haas in the new trailer for “Captain America: Brave New World.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Marvel Studios debuted the first teaser for “Captain America: Brave New World” on Friday and it shows Israeli actress Shira Haas as an Israeli superhero alongside the other stars of the film, including Anthony Mackie, Harrison Ford, Sebastian Stan and Giancarlo Esposito.

The upcoming superhero movie is the fourth film in the “Captain America” ​​franchise but the first movie to star Mackie’s character, Sam Wilson, as the new Captain America. Esposito plays the villain in the new film and the final moments of the trailer also gives audiences a first look at Red Hulk catching Captain America’s vibranium shield.

“After meeting with newly elected US President Thaddeus Ross, played by Harrison Ford in his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, Sam finds himself in the middle of an international incident,” said a synopsis from Marvel Studios. “He must discover the reason behind a nefarious global plot before the true mastermind has the entire world seeing red.”

Marvel announced in September 2022 that Haas will star in “Captain America: Brave New World” as an Israeli superhero named Sabra, whose real name is Ruth Bat-Seraph. The character, who first appeared in the Marvel comics in 1980, is an Israeli mutant who serves as a member of the Israeli Police and an agent for the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency. Her superpowers include superhuman strength, speed, a regenerative healing power and the ability to charge others by transferring her life energy to them. “Sabra” is a term in Hebrew used to describe someone who is native to Israel.

Since Marvel’s announcement in 2022, supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel tried, unsuccessful, to urge Marvel to drop Haas from the film. They also threatened to boycott the new “Captain America” movie if it includes the Emmy-nominated actress, who credits include the popular Netflix shows “Shtisel” and “Unorthodox.” In response to all the backlash, which intensified after the start of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Marvel Studios said in a statement that it would take a “new approach” to the Sabra character in the upcoming Captain America film. Marvel add that “while our characters and stories are inspired by the comics, they are always freshly imagined for the screen and today’s audience.”

Marvel did not elaborate further on its approach to the Sabra character but Israel’s Mako reported on Friday that Haas’s role in the film was in fact expanded and she was given additional parts in the movie.

At the end of 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” Steve Rogers, the original Captain America played by actor Chris Evans, passed the torch to Mackie’s character when he decided to return to the past and live out the remainder of his life peacefully with his partner Peggy Carter. He gives his famous shield to his good friend Sam Wilson, making him the new Captain America. In the television miniseries “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” which streams on Disney Plus, Wilson at first declines to become the new Captain America and it was announced that another person would take on the role, a new character in the Marvel Universe named John Walker. But by the end of the series, the title was stripped from Walker, and Wilson decided to take the title upon himself, transforming him from “The Falcon” to “Captain America.”

Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Brave New World” opens in US theaters on Feb. 14, 2025.



The post Israeli Actress Shira Haas Stars in New ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ Trailer first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Delta Permits Only US Pins on Flight Attendants After Palestinian Flag Pins Called ‘Hamas Badges’

Delta Air Lines planes are seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport on the July 4th weekend in Queens, New York City, U.S., July 2, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Delta Air Lines announced this week that effective July 15, flight attendants will only be permitted to wear pins of the US flag on their uniforms after a recent incident involving two flight attendants who wore Palestinian flag pins that mislabeled as “Hamas badges.”

On Tuesday, a user on X posted two images of Delta Airlines flight attendants wearing Palestinian pin flags and in the caption described them as “Hamas badges” and also referenced 9/11.

“Since 2001 we take off our shoes in every airport because [of] a terrorist attack in US soil,” the post said. “Now imagine getting into a @Delta flight and seeing workers with Hamas badges in the air. What do you do?” The photos in the tweet showed flight attendants on separate flights on different days — a male flight attendant on a Boston to West Palm Beach flight on July 5 and a female flight attendant on an Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale flight that took place days after, according to StopAntisemitism.org.

Delta’s official X account replied to the post, saying, “I hear you as I’d be terrified as well, personally. Our employees reflect our culture and we do not take it lightly when our policy is not being followed.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is the country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, criticized Delta for the “racist anti-Palestinian tweet” on Wednesday. CAIR demanded an apology, urged Delta to educate its staff members better, and said Delta’s response supports the original tweet’s false claim that a “Palestinian flag pin worn by a flight attendant was a ‘Hamas badge.’”

The Palestinian flag, which represents the Palestinian people, features black, white and green horizontal stripes, with a red triangle on the left side. The Hamas terrorist organization has its own flag, which has a green background with white writing of the Shahada, an Islamic declaration of faith.

The Delta post on X has since been deleted. The airline said in a statement on Thursday that the “mistakenly posted comment on X” was removed “because it was not in line with our values and our mission to connect the world.”

“The team member responsible for the post has been counseled and no longer supports Delta’s social channels. We apologize for this error,” a spokesperson of the airline added.

Whether this racist post on Delta’s X account was approved or unauthorized, Delta must apologize and take steps to educate its employees about this type of dangerous anti-Palestinian racism. Bigotry against Palestinian-Americans is absolutely out of control in workplaces and at… pic.twitter.com/3wezN6W8iN

— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) July 10, 2024

Delta said neither of the flight attendees who wore the Palestinian flag pins have been fired since they “both were compliant with Delta uniform guidelines.” The airline is also in contact with the flight attendants “to offer support.”

“However … Delta is shifting its pin allowance policy effective July 15,” the airline announced. “Beginning then, only US flags will be permitted to be worn on uniforms. Previously, pins representing countries/nationalities of the world had been permitted. We are taking this step to help ensure a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for all. We are proud of our diverse base of employees and customers and the foundation of our brand, which is to connect the world and provide a premium experience.”

The post Delta Permits Only US Pins on Flight Attendants After Palestinian Flag Pins Called ‘Hamas Badges’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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US State Department Spokesperson Shuts Down Suggestion Israel Responsible for Majority of Oct. 7 Casualties

An Israeli soldier stands during a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day, at an installation at the site of the Nova festival where party goers were killed and kidnapped during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, in Reim, southern Israel, May 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller shut down a conspiracy theory floated by a Palestinian journalist that Israel killed most of its own civilians who died during the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

During a State Department press briefing on Thursday, Said Arikat — the Washington bureau chief for Al Quds, a Palestinian daily newspaper — asked if the department believed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed the majority of civilians on Oct. 7, citing a report recently published by the left-wing Israeli outlet Haaretz. The article alleged that the IDF approved of the controversial Hannibal Directive, a military protocol which reportedly sanctions use of maximum force to prevent soldiers from being taken hostage, even if it results in increased civilian and military casualties.

Arikat asked Miller if the report changed or influenced the State Department’s :position or perspective on what happened [on Oct. 7].”

“Israel may be responsible for killing a majority of people that died,” Arikat added. 

Miller gave a testy retort to Arikat’s attempt to seemingly shift the blame of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel. The spokesperson asserted that Hamas, which rules Gaza Gaza, is responsible for the vast majority of Oct. 7 casualties.   

“I don’t think that there’s any question that it was Hamas that was responsible for the overwhelming number of deaths on Oct. 7,” Miller responded.

Watch as Al Quds reporter pressed Matthew Miller, saying “Israel—responsible for killing a majority of people that died [on Oct. 7th].”

Miller immediately shuts him down. pic.twitter.com/DMU3WDODpX

— Eyal Yakoby (@EYakoby) July 11, 2024

Haaretz obtained documents and soldier testimony claiming that the IDF launched the Hannibal Directive on Oct. 7. According to Haaretz, the IDF ordered the directive as a response to being “overwhelmed” by the sheer number of Hamas terrorists flooding into southern Israel.

The IDF has launched internal investigations into what transpired on Oct. 7.

“The aim of these investigations is to learn and to draw lessons which could be used in continuing the battle. When these investigations are concluded, the results will be presented to the public with transparency,” the military said in a statement.

Israel first approved the Hannibal Directive in 1986 in response to IDF members being taken hostage by enemy forces such as Hezbollah. The IDF officially repealed the controversial procedure in 2016, saying it would instead create new orders better tailored to the various situations that soldiers may find themselves in.

Critics of Israel have falsely claimed that the Haaretz article suggests that the IDF intentionally killed Israelis Oct. 7 in an apparent attempt to defend Hamas’ brutal invasion of the Jewish state.

Arikat has been an outspoken critic of Israel, accusing the IDF of deliberately killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

During a May press briefing, Arikat said that Hamas was not motivated by an “ancient desire to eliminate Jews.” Miller, who was conducting the briefing, responded that Hamas has repeatedly proclaimed it is “committed to the destruction of the state of Israel and committed to the death of the Israeli people.”

The post US State Department Spokesperson Shuts Down Suggestion Israel Responsible for Majority of Oct. 7 Casualties first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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