Welcome to Week 52 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week — the final week! — I visit Feigel’s Kosher Delicatessen, with locations in Glenhazel and Lyndhurst.
For the last couple of weeks I’d been wracking my brain, trying to think of somewhere special to go for the 52nd week of my #Gauteng52 challenge. I wanted it to be a place in Joburg with an interesting story and some kind of personal significance for me.
In a post last week I mentioned the tasty bagel I had for breakfast at the Immigrant, and lamented that bagels are hard to find in Joburg. A reader named Colleen commented and tipped me off to Feigel’s Kosher Delicatessen.
I immediately knew Feigel’s would be my final #Gauteng52 post.
Feigel’s sells bagels, of course, and the bagels are delicious. But there’s a lot more to the story. Here’s the short version:
Feigel was a Lithuanian girl who moved to South Africa in the 1920s. Years later in 1968, Feigel and her two children, Patsy and Jos, rented a shop on Rockey Street in Yeoville and opened a kosher deli. Yeoville had a large Jewish population in those days. Feigel’s became the local go-to for kosher food.
Feigel’s moved several times as the neighborhoods changed — from Yeoville to Bellevue to Bramley and finally to Glenhazel, which is now home to a large Jewish community. At some point along the way Feigel’s also opened a larger kitchen and takeaway deli in Lyndhurst, just down the road from Glenahazel. (Hopefully I’ve gotten the history right. Read more on the Feigel’s blog.)
Today, although Feigel herself has long since passed away, Feigel’s Kosher Delicatessen is nearing its 50th anniversary. Patsy and Jos are preparing to move into consulting roles and hand management of the deli over to Patsy’s daughter Tamar and her partner Neil.
I love this story because:
- It’s the tale of a resilient South African immigrant and her family, triumphing in Joburg amidst constant adversity and change.
- I’m sort of Jewish.
- I love bagels and had only recently begun to realize how much I’ve been missing them.
Bagels (or beigels, as the word is spelled at Feigel’s) for sale — R6 ($.50) apiece. Feigel’s bagels don’t come in a million different flavors, like American bagels do, but I’ll take quality over selection any day. Feigel’s also sells “half-baked” bagels in the refrigerated section, which customers can buy and finish baking themselves at home.
Bagels for Lunch
Yesterday Marie-Lais and I sat down for lunch with Tamar in Glenhazel. The deli was hosting a children’s day for a Jewish moms’ Facebook group, so we were surrounded by frisky children getting their faces painted and romping in a jumping castle as their parents sipped coffee and chatted.
I had an “egg mayo” (South African for “egg salad”) bagel sandwich and Marie-Lais had roast beef with piccalilli. We shared a potato latke.
The bagels taste just like good bagels should — crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, with a faint sweetness that Tamar says comes from orange juice. The latke, also crispy and slightly sweet, melted in my mouth.
I was happy. My only disappointment was I couldn’t have my bagel with cream cheese — apparently Feigel’s cream cheese was out of stock. We did have some homemade, non-dairy ice cream for dessert though, which I highly recommend.
After lunch we drove ten minutes to the Lyndhurst location, where Feigel’s beigels and other kosher foods are made. Patsy was waiting to give us a tour. (Note: The Lyndhurst location is in a busy industrial area and a little tricky to find. Look for it in a complex of warehouses behind the Shell garage.)
As this is my last #Gauteng52 post, I had meant to get a photo of myself at the final destination. But I forgot.
So Fiver and I did a little Feigel’s photoshoot later with the bagels I brought home with me.
And then we ate them.
Feigel’s is at 3 Queen’s Place, Kingswood Road in Glenhazel, and at the corner of Modderfontein and Johannesburg Road in Lyndhurst. Call +27-11-887-1364.
I can’t believe it’s the end of #Gauteng52. I am truly sad about this, a feeling I’ll expound upon in my next post. I know some of you might be sad, too. Have no fear though. I’ve got some interesting post-Gauteng52 plans for 2018.