Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just one more N.E. Tells Cake before I die!!

Oh boy have times changed! I can clearly remember turning 22 some thirty years ago today and having all these crazy thoughts about what I wanted for my birthday. Either they were sexual in nature or motor vehicular in nature; the numbers were either 36-24-36 with blonde hair, or 340 cubic inches with a 4-barrel and slicks. No, there was no denying that what a young guy wanted or dreamed about when he was turning 22 was surely different than what he'd want when he was 52.

And who the hell knows anyway? My wife is still as beautiful as the day I met her, and I have both those 340's and 440's sitting in my garage upstate dripping oil all over the place. Yes folks I worked hard for all of them, but please don't tell my wife that I'm comparing her to my cars, because although most guys get it, women just don't like to be compared to something you need to register with the DMV every year. No they just don't, and besides she'd probably kill me for even lumping her in with my Plymouth's.

So what does someone who "has it all" dream about for his birthday?

How about an Ebingers mocha cream cake with those little slices of white almonds on it? Along with an NE Tells chocolate cake that had the hard icing on the outside with the soft mocha icing between the outer icing and the yellow cake inside.

Oh yes, I can remember going in NE Tells and seeing the guys in the back making those cakes from where you used to stand in line. They'd hold the cake in one hand on a platter and then stick their other hand into a vat of chocolate icing, gently letting it fall all over the cake while smoothing it with their long fingers. I mean no plastic gloves or anything like that, no just bare hands into the chocolate and then on the cake. Wow, who the hell cared about the health department in those days, no not us.

Yes, an NE Tells chocolate cake or an Ebingers mocha cream.
And still missing them both after all these years.

Wow, have times changed!

At one time they both stood, proud and mighty. Just daring the next to be better, without ever throwing a punch. With clean glass and stainless steel each was an awesome giant, forever protecting their good name and block.

Their weapons were soft and sweet, and known to many throughout Kensington. Come early Sunday at the break of dawn, you could smell their proud aroma along the deserted sidewalks of Church Avenue. Tempting those who were brave enough to wait outside their locked doors until they opened, hoping the pleasure would soon be all theirs to enjoy.

Next to the Beverly stood “Ebingers” and about a block and a half down by East 3rd street stood “N.E. Tells”. These two bakeries had
to be the finest in the land, and they were all ours, right here
in Kensington.

As a kid growing up you’d sometimes argue with your best friends about which one was better. And always hoped to see either one at a Birthday party on the block. Because when it came to great cakes, they were both truly the best. And it really didn’t matter which was was better, because they were both the most wonderful bakeries
in Brooklyn.

Yeah, what a lucky bunch we were, In the days when giants roamed the land, all you’d have to do is walk up to Church Avenue and open their doors.

“Oh yes, how sweet it was”.

Ron Lopez


Anonymous said...

Tells had the best bread too, I remember that old slicing machine. I never had better brownies anywhere since. I remember that spool of red and white string hanging from the ceiling to tie up the boxes, what a great memory,Will

Joy said...

Happy Birthday, Ron! Have a wonderful day. And Happy New Year!

Ebinger's was before my time here, but I remember Tell's fondly. Yummmmm!!!

Spinner said...

Happy Birthday Lopez! 52? You don't look a day over 50! You are a smart man to realize you hooked a good one. Don't tell Virginia I am comparing her to a fish either. I remember you could buy an N.E. Tells roll for 14 cents and they were so good you didn't even need butter. Hope to see you soon, Spinner

Jim K. said...

I can still taste the Othello cupcakes from Ebinger's after all these years.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh Tells I remember it well....yes, Will Best Brownies for sure..but the two things I miss most was , My Father would go every Sunday morning and get the warm just baked ROLLS, Kaiser & onion ummm soooo good. Will your mother Edith turned me onto Montel Bread I think thats what it was called she would have it all the time on the Holidays. I do miss a good bakery living in PA.oh yeah you cant forget the Cheese Danish...ok I'm getting fat just from talking about it...MD

Michael said...

Thanks for this post - the flood of memories of both Tell's and Ebinger's came right back to me. I can almost smell the stores now.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that was Mondel bread, a Jewish biscotti, I loved the shit out of that stuff, the harder the better, I gotta try to make it once, take care,Will

Martha Rodriguez said...

Just came across this story. Wow so many wonderful memories. I grew up living in the apartment directly over N.E. Tells, the crew was like a second family to me. We lived there from 1966 till around 1989...good times!

Anonymous said...

Tell's was my Dad's bakery. I was a lucky kid.

Anonymous said...

My dad used to work for N.E. Tells I remember him bringing home cakes and cookies home every week