Passover is pretty much our all-time favorite holiday. As we like to explain it, it’s basically the Jewish Thanksgiving, but with more wine and better food. (In case you can’t tell, we’re very secular.) There are lots of Passover treats we crave year round (charoset, we’re looking at you), but none more so than matzo ball soup. In case you’ve never been to a Seder, matzo ball soup is, essentially chicken soup embellished with balls of matzo meal, seltzer, and fat. It is so much better than it sounds. To get the full effect, the soup should be made from scratch (stock is for cheaters and anyways, the chicken you use to make the soup is great for noshing on while you cook). The matzo balls themselves may be light (wrong) or dense (right), large (right) or small (wrong). No matter which way you make them, matzo ball soup is an excellent snack and good for what ails you. Seriously, a good cup of matzo ball soup can make a flu go away like that. Below, four places to stock up on Jewish penicillin.
•Rubin’s is the most atmospheric restaurant in town. Walking into this small spot just past Coolidge Corner feels like stepping into a time capsule and into a Jewish deli from a long ago time - an illusion that is furthered by the rock bottom prices.
•Zaftigs Delicatessen lets you add as many matzo balls as you like for 50 cents apiece. Do as we do and have a big bowl of matzo balls with just a touch of soup.
•We’ve always found the food that isn’t traditionally Jewish at S&S; Restaurant to be a little sketch, but the matzo ball soup is truly second to none.
•We’re loath to recommend a chain for your matzo ball needs, but we must grudgingly admit that the matzo ball soup at New England Soup Factory is not half bad. For the record, we also sort of like the hearty beef and vegetable soup.