Things move fast in the kitchen of the Jewish Community Centre on Shelbourne Street.
Volunteer cook Rose Carr picks up the orders as quickly as they pile up on the pass bar.
For 26 years, Carr has served traditional Jewish fare such as the Nosher’s Plate, and blintzes, to the customers from the centre’s Lox, Stock and Bagel Deli.
The centre also offers various programming, and has served the Jewish and non-Jewish community from its home at 3636 Shelbourne St.
“I definitely know what I’m doing now, it’s been long enough,” Carr joked.
Seats fill quickly in the centre’s large hall.
The cheese-filled blintzes, or crepes, are always a popular item, said Carr. So is the Nosher’s Plate, with an assortment of traditional items, such as smoked salmon lox, cream cheese, pickled herring, knish crackers, kugel (think mac and cheese) and kishka, mashed potatoes and friend onion baked in a pastry.
The bagels come fresh from the Mount Royal Bagel Factory in North Park.
What many people still don’t realize, said president of the JCC board Larry Gontovnick, is that the deli serves a traditional Jewish lunch, Tuesday to Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The centre is run by one staff member and many volunteers, and it’s frequented by people of all types.
“This centre is open to anyone, whether you’re Jewish or not,” said Gontovnick. “It started in 1988 as a place for Jewish programming, and it’s open to the various levels of Judaism, and for non-Jewish people whether you practice the religion or not.”
Once a week a group of seniors visit for a roundtable lunch, many of which are picked up from local care homes and driven by volunteers.
In many ways, the centre is a supporting, and welcoming place for Saanich and the Greater Victoria community, Gontovnick added. Programming is busy with regular groups, some who study the Torah, some who play ping pong, and others who sip tea.
While others just come for the hot mustard on the classic pastrami on rye break, said Gontovnick.
The Lox, Stock and Bagel Deli is open 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday every week. See the menu at jccvictoria.ca/index.html.