Just in time for Hanukkah, Portlanders can feast upon some delicious Jewish deli news. Zupan’s Markets announced last week that they're offering a menu of Hanukkah holiday dishes, curated by Chef Noah Jacob, formerly of Jacob & Sons Delicatessen.

Jacob joined Zupan's as director of food service in September, and brought with him recipes for matzoh ball soup, potato latkes, and sweet & sour braised brisket, among other dishes. All of the Hanukkah menu can be ordered à la carte, but there's also an option for a four-person dinner for $99, which includes the brisket, Zupan's crowd-favorite broccoli'bouleh (broccoli tabbouleh), sweet noodle kugel, and a tzimmes of sweet potato, apricot, carrot, and prunes.

We wrote about Jacob & Sons Delicatessen in August, after Jacob organized the first-ever Portland Bagel-Off at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE). Based on the event's speedy sell out and the businesses' prominent placement—operating Lefty's Deli in the OJMCHE first floor cafe—Jacob & Sons seemed to be thriving. But the business abruptly closed in September, leaving the museum's cafe temporarily closed.

Including the supper club he started out with, Jacob & Sons had survived for nearly three years, Jacob told the Mercury over the phone. But the business' model was based around wholesale of the deli's baked goods, like babka, challah, and rugelach. 

"Wholesale just takes a really long time to establish," he explained. By some measurements the business was doing well, selling products in 50 stores. But the large orders the business needed simply never materialized. 

In a surprising twist, the bakery side of Jacob & Sons was purchased by Henry Higgins—who won the title of Portland's Best Bagel at the Bagel-Off. The challah and chocolate babka on the Zupan's Hanukkah menu is still baked in the former Jacob & Sons bakery by former Jacob & Sons staff, but now it's sold under Henry Higgins name.

"They took our staff and our space," Jacob explained. "They were able to keep our staff employed, and in a funny twist of fate, I became the buyer for those products at Zupan's."

Zupan's also bought the bankrupt deli's entire inventory of painstakingly hand-cured lox, which is the only thing still being sold under the Jacob & Sons name—until it all sells out. "If people come in and they wanna buy it, we can start making lox at Zupan's too," Jacob said. "Jewish deli lox is the gold standard of lox."

While he's now in charge of all prepared foods for the gourmet grocer, Jacob said he's excited to continue his role as a local advocate for deli culture here in Portland.

In the Mercury's own Holiday Brisket Roundup, we noted a consternating lack of Jewish restaurants on our list. Kornblatt’s, Kenny & Zuke’s, and Holy Smokes have all closed within the last year. Jacob spoke fondly of those shops, but noted that they were often providing a Pacific Northwest version of Jewish deli staples. Through he's a Portland native, Jacob said he brings a more New York style approach to his deli curation, making foods you can't find in the city currently.

"The idea of a Jewish deli, in my mind, is a place that's making its own pastrami, its own mustard—artisans making traditional Jewish deli products." Jacob said—in what was probably the most delicious sentence anyone had ever said to this particular food critic.

The market's Hanukkah menu can be preordered and picked up at any of the store's three locations from December 6-15.