Story and photos by Mark Sterling-Ogle, May 2015 Issue.
One of the great things about contributing this column is that I am compelled to seek out different eating establishments on a regular basis. I keep my ear close to the culinary beat of Phoenix, seeking out new openings and catching up with well-established eateries, some of which I have yet to enjoy. Such is the case with this review.
Scott’s Generations has been in operation since 1989, when the Snyder family moved to the Valley with the vision of bringing a piece of the Big Apple with them. In June of 1989, Gene and Scott Snyder (father and son) opened Scott’s Generations and since have been serving the Valley authentic New York, kosher deli-style cuisine, including homemade soups, salads, knishes, meats, cheesecake and east coast smoked fish specialties, which are flown-in weekly.
My husband and I paid the deli an afternoon visit and quickly realized we’d found a gem of a spot. The deli coolers brimmed with fresh Jewish-style pastries, hunks of dried and smoked fish and an assortment of knishes. Although the gentleman behind the counter was threating the ever-ringing phone with a timely death, he acknowledged us with a welcoming smile and asked if we were going to dine in or carry out. We told him that we would be dining in and he welcomingly told us to have a seat wherever we pleased.
The narrow dining room is lined with spacious booths, photos of extended family and many of the celebrities touted to have dined here, sports memorabilia and kitschy knickknacks. Upon further investigation, I found an adjacent dining area with additional seating, too.
The menu here is extensive. Breakfast options – from omelets made to order, to buttermilk pancakes are listed with latkes and even matzo brie (fried matzo with egg) – are available from the time they open into the late afternoon.
The smoked fish section of the menu is served all day. Such tempting specialties as sliced sable, lake sturgeon, belly lox, baked salmon or whitefish are all served up with lettuce, tomatoes, slaw and either a bagel or roll at a very reasonable price.
There are just shy of 20 specialty sandwiches, including the classics club and the exclusive “Scottswich,” which tempts with pastrami, melted Swiss and grilled onions on garlic bread. There are also about a dozen salads varieties, boasting almost every combination of fresh meats and veggies imaginable.
My husband, who is not fond of “fruits de mar,” spied a kosher hot dog in the menu’s Franks, Knocks and Burgers section. I was in the mood for a Reuben sandwich and I could not have come to a better place. Scott’s Perfect Reuben-Reuben is offered with either corned beef or pastrami (I opted for the pastrami), Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. This perfectly grilled, two-handed creation came with coleslaw, American fries, pickles and a side of Russian dressing. Needless to say, I don’t believe I will ever find its equal in the Valley.
Since we had a busy day ahead of us we decided to order take away as well – so as to avoid cooking dinner altogether. I found the sweet and sour cabbage rolls, stuffed with seasoned beef and rice and swimming in a rich tomato broth, to be very sweet as I began to enjoy, but the flavors became more balanced the more I polished off. The slices of chewy rye were a great compliment, as was the side of pickled green tomatoes. Finally, the New York-style cheesecake, a substantial wedge of creamy goodness, rounded things out while living up to its name.
Flipping through the menu reminded me that a return visit is most certainly in order. Under the “Taste Tempting and Delicious” header, the fresh fried chicken feast caught my eye. This order – half a large chicken, cut in quarters, breaded and fried fresh – comes with the declaimer: “Please allow 12-15 minutes; we fry each order fresh. Believe me, it’s worth the wait.” And I have every faith that it is.
5555 N. Seventh St., Ste. 108, Phoenix
602-277-5662 | scottsgenerations.com
Hours: 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Sat; 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun