From Our Editors
"This is really funny," says Chompie's co-founder Lovey Borenstein in a thick New York accent, reminiscing about the restaurant's early days. "[This guy] comes into the restaurant ... he says to me, 'You have egg creams?' I said, 'Yeah, sure.' [He] sits down on the floor, starts to cry." The man, who'd been living in Arizona for 40 years, hadn't seen an egg cream in all that time. And that shock and awe at the lack of New York–style food in the Southwest is exactly the thing that inspired Lovey and her husband, Lou—both Queens natives—to open their first bagel factory in Arizona in 1979.
The quirky couple has, not surprisingly, earned a ton of fans over the years, expanding Chompie's from a single bakery to an award-winning family of delicatessens that serves an impossibly long menu. Borenstein family favorites include matzo brye deep-fried "Lou's way," and Grandma Sarah's hand-grated potato pancakes. Fan favorites include the original Jewish sliders—mini challah rolls layered with lean brisket, latkes, and cheese that Adam Richman famously sampled on Man v. Food and probably again in his dreams later that night. Customers can sign up to Chompie’s email club to receive promotions and specials.