FOOD DELI21

A pastrami sandwich on rye bread is served up at Langer's Deli in Los Angeles. Bakersfield may not have its own Jewish deli but it's got the next best thing in the Jewish Pop-up Deli being held at Chabad Jewish Community Center on Dec. 14.

Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

If you had to envision a gift worthy of all eight days of Hanukkah, it might be the return of the Pop-Up Jewish Deli on Dec. 14. It's supersized for the holiday season with bigger sandwiches (one-third a pound of meat) and Hanukkah doughnuts.

It's not surprising that Chabad of Bakersfield will host this second pop-up at its new Chabad Jewish Community Center.

After an immensely popular kick-off event in October, organizers knew they were onto something special.

"It was a very big response, overwhemingly big," said Esther Schlanger, director of the community center.

Attendees could not suppress their excitement to finally enjoy the delicious deli options, since it's been many years since Bakersfield has had anything resembling a traditional Jewish deli.

Response for next week's event has grown, with dozens of meals already preordered through Chabad's website (chabadofbakersfield.com/jewishdeli).

What's on the menu? Sandwiches, now packed with one-third pound of meat (pastrami, corned beef or smoked turkey pastrami) — up from a quarter-pound last time — that is imported from New York.

Each deli sandwich is served on rye bread with topping options (lettuce, tomato, onions, mustard, mayo or Russian dressing) and is served with a half-sour pickle slice, choice of potato salad or cole slaw and drink (Coke, Diet Coke or water). Plates range from $13.99 to $16.99.

Salads, which are made at the center, will be sold as sides — potato salad, coleslaw or Israeli salad, $2.99. Potato knishes ($2.99), also made on site, are available as well as potato chips and sliced half-sour pickle ($1.50 each).

Children can opt for a kosher hot dog ($3.50), served with a bag of chips. And this recent chilly weather, makes it the perfect time for a bowl of chicken matzo ball soup ($3.99).

Dessert has changed, serving traditional chocolate rugelach and sufganiyot, Hanukkah doughnuts, available filled with jelly or custard, for $1.50.

And since the event falls during the third night of Hanukkah, the evening will include a menorah lighting at 6:30 p.m.

Schlanger said the community center, which opened this summer on Ming Avenue, is a great venue for the event.

"The place is really beautiful," she said. "We have a nice space. It's set up like a restaurant (for the event), a big room with lots of tables."

People can take their chances the night of the event, but Schlanger urged people to pre-order by Monday to guarantee availability.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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