By: Elan Kornblum
This month, we’re seeing a trend that I know we can all get behind: well-established restaurants going fully kosher! Pita Grill and The Great American Health Bar in New York, as well as Cofix in Israel have all decided to go kosher. (Not all of the locations are kosher, though, so please check with each location before dining.) These restaurants determined it was time to make the switch when they realized that they were missing out on a significant amount of kosher business. If you have been looking to dine at these places but were hesitant to do so because of a questionable hashgacha, now is the time to try them.
Along with the trend of restaurants going kosher, we’re seeing more and more Israeli and Jewish style restaurants spring up. Falafel, pita, hummus, shakshuka, and everything in between is making its way to our stomachs and we couldn’t be happier. It’s a great time to be a kosher diner in America!
Koshe Poke, Manhattan’s First Kosher Poke Bar– The Grand Opening of “Koshe Poke” took place on August 16th, when foodies and bloggers were invited to try out all new dishes. Poke is a Hawaiian specialty dish, similar to Tartare. The word “poke” means “to slice or cut,” referring to the large cuts of fresh fish you would get at an authentic Hawaiian poke place. This particular Poke Bar will be a small installation opening inside of Eden Wok at 43 East 34th Street. They will be serving Poke Bowls, Poke Salads, and Poke Burritos. It’s a Poke Revolution! (Not to be confused with Pokemon...Go!)
Smoked salmon centered café, Lox, Opens at the Jewish Heritage Museum–Lox is brought to you by the same owner as the former Lox Cafe in the Jewish Museum on the Upper East Side. That space is now occupied by Russ & Daughters’
only certified kosher location. Although the two places do focus on a heavily Jewish-style menu, they are not affiliated in any way. Lox, located in the Museum of Jewish Heritage, will be featuring twists on the classics, including in-house cured salmon in flavors like Pastrami-Style, Sake Ginger, Grapefruit & Gin, Double-Smoked and more. You can taste each flavor of lox on a platter or try them individually in a sandwich. Lox will also feature traditional pastries and desserts, a variety of herring and an extensive sandwich selection. Lox is under OU supervision and is located at 36 Battery Place.
Upper West Side Pita Grill Location Going Kosher Under the OU– This will be the second location of Pita Grill to go kosher, the first being in Midtown on 2nd Avenue and 57th Street. At the end of August, Pita Grill on Amsterdam Avenue and 110th Street brought in a team to kasher the entire restaurant. This Pita Grill location will now be under the supervision of the OU. There are approximately
40 seats available in the spacious Upper West Side restaurant. Pita Grill has been around since 1993 and now that they have started kashering their restaurants one by one, we hope that more of the locations will follow suit! Pita Grill UWS is located at 1028 Amsterdam Avenue in NYC.
The Great American Health Bar Officially Under OK Supervision– It’s official! The Great American Health Bar has been completely re-kashered and is now under the strict supervision of the OK. If you were nervous because of their previous supervisions, now is the time to go back! The extensive menu boasts a variety of options for every diner, regardless of age or dietary preference. The Great American Health Bar is located at 35 W. 57th Street.
Kingston Falafel in Crown Heights Now Open– Kingston Falafel, the small vegetarian/pareve falafel restaurant opened in late August, securing Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights as the ultimate kosher foodie destination. Although the restaurant is quite small with just 15 seats, they will be offering a great lunch special including salad bar options with all of their sandwiches, plus takeout and delivery. Owner Meir Adika, who has had previous experience in the restaurant business, will be focusing on making homemade falafel, salads, and more Israeli specialties using the freshest of ingredients. The restaurant will also be serving fresh juices, salads, and fish & chips. Kingston Falafel is located at 250 Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn and is under CHK supervision.
Brooklyn Branch of Pizza Professor Opening Soon on Avenue M– With a current location in Queens, the Pizza Professor is now expanding to Brooklyn! Their new Brooklyn branch will be opening on Avenue M off of East 19th within the next few weeks. Delivery and catering will be available. The question is, will they have conveyor belt pizza or not? Stay tuned to the Great Kosher Restaurant Foodies Group for updates!
Elan Kornblum, a.k.a “The Restaurant Guy,” is the publisher of Great Kosher Restaurants International Magazine and its accompanying website, www.GKRM.net. The 2015 edition, available at www.GreatKosherDeals.com, has 256 glossy pages and provides a visual description with menus of over 200 top kosher restaurants. Kornblum’s top ranked website makes sure everyone is up-to-date on the latest restaurant news.
Hannah Levy is head of Social Media and Marketing at Great Kosher Restaurants.
Follow @GreatKosherRestaurants on Instagram for drool-worthy kosher food pictures.