I honestly cannot go near the vicinity of 91st between First Ave and York without being pleasurably overwhelmed by the smell of freshly baked bread. For an Irish girl like myself – there is no better smell (except maybe a Smithwick's draft). This is the aroma of Eli's Vinegar Factory, a more-than-your-average grocery store. (If I could afford to shop there daily, I certainly would, no doubt). The food is always fresh and extravagant and definitely worth every cent after far as quality is concerned.
Eli's, scattered throughout Manhattan, was started by Eli Zabar in 1973 as E.A.T. – a supreme delicatessen. Zabar expanded over-time, opening an Eli's Bread, Eli's Vinegar Factory and even Eli's The Restaurant.
As an Upper East Side resident, my "home" Eli's is on 91st – and we have a very special relationship between the pounds of home-made lasagne and freshly prepared baguette sandwiches. But, I have to say that my personal favorite element of Eli's is the weekend brunch. So good that I will gladly drag my butt out of bed for a stack of multi-grain pancakes and a killer cup of coffee, brewed to perfection. You only get a four hour window (8am-12pm on Saturday and Sunday) to capitalize on this overly satisfying (and immensely filling) meal.