Latke Love, which started two years ago as a mobile food vendor, has opened a brick-and-mortar location in north Park Hill serving traditional potato pancakes smothered with all kinds of non-traditional toppings.
"We had a food truck before. It's a lot of work getting out there in the world and running around," says Steve Shander, who owns Latke Love with his wife, Tina, and his sister, Dina. "It's nice to have a location now where people come to you."
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That location, at Fairfax Street and East 28th Avenue, is along what neighbors used to call "soul food row" because there were several similar restaurants there; only one, A &A Fish Market and Restaurant, remains.
He takes pride in serving "Jewish soul food," Shander says. "It's a tough little area because it is right in the neighborhood. But we are getting a combination of people from the area and from people all over town who have heard of us and know what we are about."
The latkes themselves are based on a recipe handed down to Tina by her grandmother, but the traditional aspects stop there.
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Some of the unusual latke toppings include spicy pork green chile, cheddar cheese and a fried egg; pulled pork, barbecue sauce and pickled onion; braised brisket, gravy and carrots; and corn beef hash and a fried egg.
"Tastes change and perceptions change, and people want to have something fun. That is what we are doing," Shander says. "Our tagline is 'A Modern Deli,' and we say we're a cross between a Jewish deli and a Chipotle." At some point soon, Shander hopes to begin serving other Jewish specialties, like knishes and blintzes.
Latke Love has indoor seating, along with a patio that encourages neighbors to not just eat, but gather. "The plan is to be here for a long time," Shander concludes.