Happy St. Patrick's Day, Hopkinton.
Strangely enough - or not - the best corned beef in MetroWest is at Zaftig's Jewish Deli which recently opened a second location at Natick's Christmas Tree Mall (Sherwood Plaza) to join its longtime restaurant on Brookline's Harvard Street.
In 1997, Zaftig's filled the empty space in Coolidge Corner's stomachs after the 1971 closing, about a block away, of Jack and Marion's. (One reason customers said Jack and Marion's had panache: Some dishes on its gigantic menu carried a star with the note, "A good profit item for Jack & Marion's. Please order.")
Now Zaftig's has replaced Joan and Ed's in Natick. (Joan and Ed's started out across the highway in Framingham at the old Shoppers World.)
See a trend here? Restaurants named after couples who own them - out. Restaurants named after voluptuousness - in.
And voluptuous Zaftig's is. My stealth eater said it has a great vibe. That's restaurant talk that means you feel good while you're there even when you're not eating.
There's still the (slightly repositioned) deli counter as you walk in the front door where you can get corned beef on pumpernickel with mustard to go (or however you want it but trust me on this), knishes, and yes, I'll say it, noshes.
Zaftig's has added the most beautiful touch (unless my memory fails me which is entirely possible) and taken the former waitressing window and made it into a deco-style counter with spinning stools. Very cool!
Ms. Stealth Eater says the prices are a little higher than in Joan and Ed days but isn't everything? More important, she said, the prices are well worth it (about $12 for a corned beef sandwich that J&E charged $10 for.)
Believe me, if Ms. S.E. says it's worth it, this is an eater who knows her potato pancakes.