Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival returns to Clearwater next month, with NYC's best exports in tow

Junior’s cheesecakes, Green’s Bakery and Carnegie Deli are all on the menu, and you must order by Jan. 31.

click to enlarge Knishes—a tradtional Jewish snack typically made out of potato, onion, and/or cheese. - C/O TAMPA BAY JEWISH FOOD FESTIVAL
c/o Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival
Knishes—a tradtional Jewish snack typically made out of potato, onion, and/or cheese.
The Best of the Bay-winning Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival returns to Clearwater’s Temple B'nai Israel for its 2022 edition, and it will be the easiest way to get some of the tastiest Jewish food in the Bay area delivered right to you (literally).

The festival set for Sunday., Feb 27 will be drive-thru only, and all food orders must be placed online by Monday, Jan. 31. Orders can be placed on the festival website, and you will have to select a window of time on Feb. 27 to pick up your big ol' bag of goodies.

Orders can be picked up from Temple B'nai Israel at 1685 S Belcher Rd. in Clearwater from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., and if you drop more than $85 on food, you’ll get an insulated Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival food bag as well.

The menu for this year’s festival is extensive, ranging from traditional dishes like matzo ball soup, chopped liver, smoked whitefish salad and Kosher herring and lox spread to sweet treats like New York-style cheesecake, cinnamon and chocolate babka and raspberry Linzer tart pie.

Although most of the food offered will be made in-house by temple volunteers, there will be a wide range of meats and deli spreads shipped straight from New York, including Junior’s cheesecakes and babkas from the Green’s Bakery from Brooklyn, and corned beef and pastrami from NYC’s famous Carnegie Deli in Manhattan.

click to enlarge Sliced Carnegie Deli corned beef. - C/O TAMPA BAY JEWISH FOOD FESTIVAL
c/o Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival
Sliced Carnegie Deli corned beef.
And for anyone who’s new to the Jewish food game, corned beef is leaner than pastrami, while pastrami is fattier.

Once your order is placed, all you have to do is roll up to the Temple B'nai Israel at your allotted time on Feb. 27, and one of the dozens of festival volunteers will place your food in either in your trunk or back seat.

Festival organizer Pete Tanner told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival started back in 2017 and used to be a typical in-person food festival until early 2020. Since the pandemic started, there have been four different drive-thru installations that took place in 2020 and 2021.
The probability of another Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival happening later this year is pretty high, so keep your eyes peeled on @TampaBayJewishFoodFest on Facebook to see if 2022 will be blessed with more Kosher pickles and fat slices of pastrami later on in the year.

“While we do enjoy our drive-thru events, we miss the fun of having thousands of guests on our temple property enjoying our wonderful food and entertainment,” Tanner told CL in an email. “Our hope is that we can return to our original format in late 2022 or early 2023.”

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