If you’re Jewish and live in Glasgow, chance are you’ve made a visit (or a million) to Mark’s Deli and Cafe. For the uninitiated, you’ll find delicious traditional European Jewish food exactly like Bubby (grandma) used to make. From health giving Jewish Penicillin (chicken soup and matzo balls) to deliciously moreish latkes, salt beef sandwiches on sweet and sour bread (or rye bread as I know it from North America) and bagels with smoked salmon, there’s plenty of choice, all of which I want NOW! *drool*
**A quick note for everyone not versed in the ways of kosher food, you won’t find any milk, dairy or anything close to cheese in the cafe since they serve meat. Fear not tea and coffee drinkers, they use a milk substitute so you can still have milky tea or a cappucino**
Since the Lady started big girl nursery in January, I’ve been spending a whole lot more time in the south side. From doing my shopping to hanging out at my in-laws to do work (thanks for letting me use your house as my office!) to eating out, I’m there much more than I’ve ever been in the over a decade I’ve been living in Glasgow. And that means more frequent trips to the Deli (also colloquially known as Mark’s). But its more than just just the kosher credentials that attract me. I like it because its clean, relaxed, has scrummy food I crave and don’t make enough of in my own home, and caters well to kids.
Case in point, I’ve been to the Deli two weeks in a row after our usual playgroup!
Bringing a friend for a lunch date both weeks, we made our way for a quick lunch before an afternoon nursery drop-off. Arriving at the beginning of the shift, before the lunch rush, we were fortunate enough to have a quiet space perfect for the kids to make a bit of noise and go a bit crazy (but not too crazy).
With colouring book and crayons supplied, some biscuits distributed on arrival (thank you lovely staff!) for a kids treat, and on the second visit, the TV tuned to Cbeebies, there’s was plenty to occupy the hungry and tired kids.
Ordering was a breeze at Mark’s with their bespoke kids menu. For under a fiver you get some tasty grub, an apple juice box and some cute chewy sweets for afters. Not bad considering you can pay more for a kids meal somewhere not kosher and get a pretty crappy meal.
To ensure there wasn’t meal jealousy between the Lady and her friend, they both ordered the same meal both weeks. Week one’s fish fingers and chips were to die for, while week two’s mini savoloy hotdogs, chips and beans were steal-ably good. (I can’t help it! I have a problem not eating her food when its so good… DAD I BLAME YOU!)
More than the delicious food, I love going there to look at the Jewish jokes and images they have displayed on the walls. It’s almost like a tribute to the best (and worst) corney Jewish jokes you can find. It’s not the comfiest cafe you’ll be to, nor the most beautifully appointed, but the chairs aren’t uncomfortable and the tables are always kept clean. There’s plenty of room between tables and in the aisle so you don’t feel smooshed and on a sunny day, you’ll be flooded with light from the front windows.
One downfall to Mark’s is the lack of change table. But, if your little one is toilet trained than you’ll be fine!
Another great plus is their shop in the front. When you’re in for your shopping, you may as well just stop in for a cuppa, a cake, or why not a tasty salt beef sandwich… and cake?! 🙂
With it being kosher you’d imagine you’d pay an arm and a leg for your food. But in actual fact, it’s actually quite reasonable priced. And, there’s plenty of choice, from burgers to falafel, and their daily specials.
My verdict, it’s well worth a visit! And kids are definitely very welcome.
(Just a reminder that it’s always best to check their Facebook page for opening times and dates. They are closed on a Saturday and days relating to some Jewish Festivals).