Everfresh in Great Neck
533 Middle Neck Rd. Great Neck, NY 516-773-4600
Everfresh occupies a nether region between supermarket and kosher market. While the laws of kashruth are rigorously enforced in every department, the full-service store also attracts a nonkosher clientele: In these northern reaches of Great Neck, there aren't that many places to buy food, especially since the Food Emporium across the street closed two years ago.
To nonkosher eyes, the produce looks merely varied, abundant and extremely fresh. But produce manager Moishe Schlesinger explained that while his department labors under fewer restrictions than meat, dairy, prepared foods or grocery, there are still rules to be followed. "If we trim the onions, we need to sell them that day," he said.
Everfresh caters to three distinct groups of Jewish customers, according to store manager Martin Salamon: "Americans" - second- and third-generation Jews of Eastern European descent who have lived in Great Neck for decades - as well as more recent Israeli and Persian (i.e. Iranian) emigrants. All of these customers' needs are met in the prepared-foods department, where local standards (grilled vegetables, chicken cutlets, etc.) share the display cases with lachmajine (little meat pies) and bourekas (meat-filled turnovers).
Pride of place is given to "overnight kugel," a silky, slow-cooked potato pudding; yaptzig, potato kugel in which are embedded pieces of flanken; and the pastrami yaptzig, a roulade of pastrami and mashed potatoes brightened with mustard.
Also on offer: house-made mozzarella, sushi, kosher meats, imported dry goods and a full line of soups and salads from Pomegranate, the kosher Brooklyn supermarket under the same ownership as Everfresh. -- Erica Marcus
Behind the prepared-food case, deli manager Ari Freedman, left, and catering manager Avi Werde serve customers at Everfresh in Great Neck. (Newsday Photo, 2010 / Erica Marcus)