Skip to comments.Ruby the knish man (legendary food vendor from Canarsie section of Brooklyn, NY)
Posted on 03/22/2012 3:14:51 PM PDT by lowbridge
Ruby was a knishman who I remember in Bayview Projects, Canarsie, in the early-mid sixties. Everyone remembered his most famous quote, spoken with a BOOMING voice:
"GET YOUR HOT POTATO KNISHES, I WANT TO SEND MY WIFE TO FLORIDA!
My other recollections of Ruby as a kid not yet 10 years old are: -Ruby was always in the best of spirits (I do not recall EVER seeing such a serious face as in the picture).
-We often did not have the 12 cents for the knish. Ruby would still let us hang out by his wagon. He would give us free salt as a substitute. He let many run a tab with him. He never turned anyone away. I never forgot this attitude of his, and is the reason I spend time dedicating a web page to him.
-The tin cup of salt (in the picture) looked about 100 years old. It also looked like a bullet had dented it at some point.
-The knish wagon was also legendary. It looked older than the tin cup of salt.
-The knishes were unbelievable in taste. Never been another like it, and I've had everything from Shatzkins to Mrs. Stahl's, to Whitey's of Brighton Beach. There are reports that the superb taste was due to the ashes that fell on them when Ruby smoked his cigarettes,creating a unique seasoning.
-Years later, my dad and I ran into Ruby somewhere in Brooklyn. My dad flat-out asked him, "Ruby, did you EVER send your wife to Florida?"Ruby laughed, and said, still in that booming voice:"Yeah, but she made me go with her"....
(Excerpt) Read more at brucebrodinsky.com ...
Pic and many nostalgic reminisces at the link
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Really enjoyed the Rudy before the Knishes part. Part of Patton’s Third Army.
Amazing that that one guy had such a great influence and generated so many fond memories.
Spent some time reading the memories from so many people who consider Ruby part of their childhood. It occurred to me that Ruby was a vital part of what is called community. America has lost it’s community because of nonsensical regulations from bureaucrats who have nothing else to do but interfere in other folks’ lives. Ruby has become the symbol of a lost innocence. He was a real part of something special. I almost cried reading the stories from people who grew up in a gentler age. America, where have you gone?
I would kill for one of his knishes right now! One of the things I miss about living in New You City is its great foods.
It would seem to be a common desire. Sadly, I’m one of those disadvantaged who had no idea was a Knish was or is. LOL. Now, hog jowl and blackeyed peas I can identify.
--H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
Well viking, I looked it up and got a video recipe. I think I will try making them, because I love potatoes and onions and that kind of pastry dough is to kill for.
Yea me to I would love one right now. When we go to Yankee Stadium we always stop in Yonkers for Pizza, bring a few pies home back to worst food in the world in PA!
LOL, when I was a kid we had relatives from the Allentown area who’d come to NYC for ballgames and return home loaded with cheesecakes.
LOL, that’s the one I chose also. It looked pretty easy. I only do easy.
Not ketchup! Sour cream.
I’ve never seen a street vendor offer sour cream as a condiment.
I’ve never eaten a knish anywhere except at home.
I love potato knishes w/sour cream.
Neither ketchup or sour cream!