Heather with bagels

#Gauteng52, Week 52: Bagels and More From Feigel’s

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.

Feigels sign in GlenhazelThe old-school Feigel’s sign outside the shop in Glenhazel.

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.

Patsy and Jos at Lyndhurst Feigel'sPatsy and Jos at the Lyndhurst deli.

Tamar and staff at Glenhazel Feigel'sTamar (second from left) with her staff at the Glenhazel Feigel’s.

I love this story because:

  1. It’s the tale of a resilient South African immigrant and her family, triumphing in Joburg amidst constant adversity and change.
  2. I’m sort of Jewish.
  3. I love bagels and had only recently begun to realize how much I’ve been missing them.

Bagels at Feigel'sBagels (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.

Lunch at Feigel'sLunch at Feigel’s.

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.)

Costa at Feigel'sThe friendly Costa, who works in the retail section at Lyndhurst.

Sunshine at Feigel'sSunshine, who has been making bagels at Feigel’s for a couple of decades.

Sunshine making bagelsSunshine does her thing.

Bagels risingBagels rising. Once the dough has sufficiently risen, the bagels will be boiled for a few minutes and then baked.

Staff cooking at Feigel'sBusy staff.

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.

Bagel closeup with HeatherA bagel and me. (Photos by Fiver Löcker).

Princess Leia bagel headPrincess Leia bagel head.

Bagel bug eyesBagel bug eyes.

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.

In the meantime, read all of my #Gauteng52 posts and check out the now-complete #Gauteng52 map.

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  • Reply Albert December 28, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Well done on 52 new destinations for each week of the year! It was rivetting to be a passenger on your tour bus. Look forward to reading about your adventures in 2018.

  • Reply autumnashbough December 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    A bagel without cream cheese?! Travesty. 😉

    Does Feigel’s make any flavor besides plain? Like you, I’d take quality over variety any day. I’m just curious.

    • Reply 2summers December 28, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      I know! Cream cheese isn’t as big a deal here, unfortunately. Although it is available – I think Feigel’s just needs a fancy kosher version that isn’t easy to get.

      They definitely had rye bagels and Tamar says they also make cheese, onion and garlic. But plain ones are definitely by far the most plentiful. They also make small ‘cocktail’ versions.

  • Reply Alison Simon December 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    You totally had me at bagel.

    • Reply 2summers December 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Haha. Someday when you come to visit I’ll take you.

  • Reply Gail Scott Wilson December 28, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Congrats on completing the #Gauteng52 project, however I’m really going to miss it but here’s to new beginnings and more adventures. A bagel with cream cheese and pickle would go down well.

  • Reply Sine December 28, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I love this post. Also learned something new about the word “bagel” originating in “beigel”. I just wish I’d known about this place while I lived in Joburg. Never occurred to me to ask!

    • Reply 2summers December 28, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      I’m also embarrassed that it took me so long to find out about it!

      I also didn’t know that the word bagel came from beigel. In fact I didn’t know that until just now when I read your comment, and confirmed it on Google. I thought they were spelling it that way as a joke because it rhymes with Feigel 😂😂😂

  • Reply Kat December 28, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Congrats on making 52weeks. I’ve loved them all and taken lots of your suggestions. Thanks for sharing. I’m now craving a bloody bagel!

    • Reply 2summers December 28, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      Hahaha. Well luckily they’re open tomorrow until 3 🙂

  • Reply Alexandra December 29, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I’m a bit sad that the 52 weeks are over. I really enjoyed to get to know so many places in South Africa. Thank you very much! But I’m also looking forward to what 2018 will bring. Happy New Year!

    • Reply 2summers December 29, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Thanks Alexandra! I’ll try to keep up the pace even though the series has ended 🙂

  • Reply Lesley December 29, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    A magical mystery tour – thank you for exploring Jozi for us – especially those of us who have been living far away from home – can’t wait for the next adventure x

  • Reply Kimayne Grieshaber December 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Please keep going. I looked at your map and although they might fall into the Free State and not Johannesburg you just missed The Vaal region that has the cutest and some fine restaurants along the Vaal river. Parys being one of them. Only about an hour out of Jozi. PS all of the big department stores keep Salmon and cream cheese. My husband and I have bagels and locks for Sunday breakfast at home often. We watch Ina Garten on the coking channel……lol…..it’s a great combo. ❤️

    • Reply 2summers December 30, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Haha, I love Ina! Where do you buy your bagels? None of the grocery stores around me seem to carry them.

      Yes, I know Parys and was sad to have to exclude it from this series. I do need to blog about it anyway though – will make a point in 2018.

  • Reply Lani December 31, 2017 at 2:36 am

    It’s a gift to be able to go behind the scenes and present these stories! Bagel, bagel, bagel. 😉

    • Reply 2summers December 31, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      It is indeed.

  • Reply Bagel lover February 22, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Also been searching for a way to get my bagel fix. I just discovered that Bagel Zone delivers! https://bagelzone.co.za/

    • Reply 2summers February 22, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      It’s next on my list.

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