Shelsky's is on a drag of Court Street in Brooklyn that is busy and appealing to browse, a frequent haunt for me off of the F train. It's also right around the corner from a great walking strip of antique stories on Atlantic as well as the delights of both Sahadi's and Damascus for middle eastern prepared foods and pastries. And it's easily followed by a long meander to Brooklyn Heights, a favorite neighborhood of mine every since watching Moonstruck in my room as a lonely middle schooler. Shelsky's is perfection of smoked fish and cream cheese on an everything bagel or bialy. It is an old school Jewish deli with a modern twist, an engaging palate giving the lox-and-cream-cheese a rebirth.
Much of what's sold at the deli counter is made in-house or sourced from top Jewish food purveyors across the city. The appetizing shop brings the main stays of the like of the Upper West Side's glorious Zabar's, so Brooklynites don't have to go that far for quality smoked fish.
It's quite busy at breakfast or brunch during the weekend. I've found the best time to find yourself in the beautiful smoked fish heaven is the late afternoon, for that either late lunch or early pre-dinner snack. We always split a sandwich, sitting at the counter in the front.
I use to be a bialy novice before Shelsky's. Yet a delightful combination of the Gaspe Nova, Smoked Whitefish Salad, Pickled Herring, and sour pickle, on bialy convinced me otherwise.
Remember to wash down with a Dr. Brown for that classic New York City Jewish deli flavor experience.
Shelsky's 141 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201