Recipe for Life: Ilyse Fishman Lerner

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Ilyse Fishman Lerner grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, known to many as New York City’s sixth borough because of its large Jewish population. The retirement-friendly beach town is home to many traditional Jewish delis; food that Lerner was missing in her adopted city of Washington, D.C. So the former lawyer decided to open On Rye – in the heart of D.C.’s Chinatown. But On Rye is not your grandma’s Jewish deli. It serves the classics with a twist.

Lerner’s version of the Reuben sandwich loses the corned beef for smoked beets and replaces the Swiss cheese with the more flavorful Gouda. Another favorite is Lerner’s babka ice cream sandwich, which uses babka bread as the “cookie” and vanilla gelato as the ice cream. But Lerner still pays homage to the classics, like the Chocolate Egg Cream, which as CGTN’s Asieh Namdar found out, doesn’t contain any eggs or cream!