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Preserving Brookline's Local Charm: Featuring The Brookline Booksmith and Rubin's Kosher Restaurant

By Kristen Bosse

Dare to venture a few minutes outside of the city, and you will stumble upon one of New England's most unique communities, Brookline. The town celebrates all things including New England's most successful independent movie theater, local coffee shops and bookstores, and even some of Greater Boston's most authentic Kosher eats. Brookline Booksmith and Rubin's Restaurant are two great examples of this. The Booksmith does its part by featuring local artists and remaining a familiar part of Coolidge Corner. With an increasingly large Jewish population, restaurants like Rubin's give Jewish residents a taste of home. Both businesses were nice enough to give us some inside information on how they help preserve Brookline's charm.

The Brookline Booksmith

For over 45 years, the Booksmith has provided books, cards, and gifts to the wonderful readers of Brookline. This neighborhood, independent bookstore has thousands of old and new books across a variety of genres, with a staff eager to help you find something as soon as you walk through the door. The shop itself has added a great sense of character and personality to the many chains in Coolidge Corner.

Dana Brigham, Co-Owner and Store Manager of this cozy shop, explained why her store, and those like hers, are important to the town of Brookline.
"Most locally owned businesses are very involved in the life of the community - charities, town government, schools, religious entities, non-profits. Dollars spent in a local business are well documented as staying in town at a much higher percentage than chains, etc. Customers come to rely upon the selection, service and style of a local shop."

Customers are welcome to take advantage of their many offerings, including an "Essential Reads" case- a shelf full of books the staff demands you read. Their book club meets the second Monday of every month and is welcome to everyone- no sign up necessary! Book signing events are also held frequently, where customers have a chance to meet some of their favorite authors. Local authors featured include Edith Pearlman, Linda Barnes, Gabe Galambos, and Douglas Starr. The fact that a student can go inside and read a book written by someone from the same town, perhaps even down the street, undoubtedly adds to its true local appeal.

Rubin's Kosher Restaurant

With an overwhelming Jewish population, Greater Boston holds some of the best and most authentic Jewish (Kosher) cuisine all over the United States. Rubin's Restaurant no doubt tops the list, being named "Best Jewish Deli" by Best of Boston in 2012. For the last 87 years, Rubin's has been serving up some of the best certified Kosher food. Customers can grab a quality pastrami sandwich, homemade matzo ball soup, and fresh Challah, all in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Need someone to cater your event? Look no further. Rubin's is very experienced when it comes to catering, and is known in the town of Brookline as the go-to for Jewish events.

Although the food may be just as authentic as other delis further into the city, what really sets Rubin's apart is the atmosphere. Step inside and be transported back to the first Jewish Delis in NYC, chomping down on a sour pickle and indulging in piled-high corned beef sandwiches. Brookline's Jewish residents (and others!) appreciate that they can walk down the street and step back into Grandma's kitchen.

Owner Allen Gellerman was nice enough to describe two of his favorite dishes, which his customers seem to enjoy as well.
"Our Gramercy Park Deli Sandwich is extremely popular. A combination of our prepared hot Romanian pastrami and savory corned beef with a generous helping of Russian dressing and fresh coleslaw may not leave you with much room for dessert, but you'll always want to come back for more! Our Brisket is also a great choice. Slow cooked for four hours in a mirepoix of coarsely diced carrots, celery, and onions that, combined with the juices of the meat itself, creates a savory and hearty sauce to accompany any sandwich. Paired with a traditional Jewish rye bread, the tender meat melts in your mouth with each bite."

As a town known for its Jewish inhabitants, Brookline was bound to have some great Kosher eats. However, they really hit the jackpot with Rubin's, a restaurant not only with authentic cuisine, but friendly staff that make you feel like a part of the family!

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

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