Latkes at Roxy’s: What’s Not To Love?

It’s Chanukuh. Everyone should be eating fried potato pancakes.

By Jessica Voelker December 3, 2010

A little bit burnt, a little bit greasy.

I was raised Catholic, but I grew up attending a latke party thrown by family friends every year on the first Friday of Chanukuh.

This party I looked forward to immensely.

How often, during childhood, do you get to dine on fried potato pancakes, smothered in sour cream and apple sauce and then followed up by a few dozen chocolate coins? And then there were the rows of plastic soda bottles standing unsupervised on the formica kitchen table: Sprite, Coke, Cherry 7-Up—as much as I wanted to pour into my red plastic cup.

Also, this family had redecorated their basement rec room into a sort of 80s paradise, with splatter-paint-patterned cushions and a massive TV outfitted with premium cable. All the kids would hang out there post latke gorge, the younger siblings relishing the hang time with the older siblings, the older siblings conspiring around how they would sneak out to smoke cigarettes in the alley.

It was the party of the year as far as kid-me was concerned, and I always went home with a few plastic dreidels as souvenir. These I’d store in the earring compartments of my pink velour-lined jewelry box, underused anyway since my mom believed (and continues to believe) that pierced ears on little kids is tacky.

And that is what I think of when I think of latkes, which, when prepared in the way I like best, are greasy and a little burnt at the edges. I spread a thin mixture of sour cream and applesauce carefully on top with my knife, as one might when preparing a pizza or spackling a crack in the wall.

The latke destination in Seattle is Roxy’s in Fremont—a bustling beacon of East Coast treats in this inky-gray West Coast city. At Roxy’s you can, and should, order fried eggs and latkes for breakfast. Go early if you don’t want to shiver outside on the street until a table opens up. But even if you need to hang out a bit, consider waiting it out. It should be worth it when you taste that first crackling bite of fried latke goodness. Happy Chanukuh.

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