Another week and another new kosher food cart has hit the streets of New York. Or so it seems recently.
Food trucks became all the rage in New York about six years ago. And I should know – I gained 7 lbs sampling the abundance of fusion tacos, schnitzel sandwiches and red velvet whoopie pies when the trend first arrived. I then spent hundreds of dollars on a personal trainer to lose the weight. Thanks food trucks.
But many years later, kosher food seems to finally be jumping on the bandwagon. I recently spent time with the Israeli threesome behind The Shuka Truck, and just yesterday stopped by The Holy Rollers (ten points for a great name) a new meat-centric sausage cart parked in midtown.
I love hot dogs, and I once even ate four in one sitting washed down by a pitcher of margaritas. Not my finest moment. I have also taken a sausage-making class. So with my love of hot dogs and sausage in mind, I was pretty excited to try the new cart. I ordered two of the sausage heroes, both topped with pulled brisket, pastrami and chili, and truth be told, I was a bit underwhelmed despite the abundance of meat. I thought the brisket was too sweet and saucy, there was too much bread, and not enough sausage because they don’t actually give you a whole sausage: they cut it in half. But they charge you nearly $15 for the hero, quite a bit more than your average $2 street hot dog, and certainly more than I prefer to spend on an average lunch.
However, my co-workers thought the sandwiches were great and really loved all the meat together. In fact my vegetarian co-worker was so enchanted by the scent of pastrami she decided to forgo her vegetarianism and didn’t look back, also loving the sausage hero. And so, it might just be me. Or it might be that the Holy Rollers have a decent product and hopefully will improve as they become more experienced. So if you love a whole lotta meat on top of sausage drenched in the sauce of your choice, you will probably enjoy the Holy Rollers and I would say go check them out. You can find them on Facebook.
Moving on from my own eating adventures to the news of the week: have you heard the recent news that the key to avoiding peanut allergies in kids might be the Israeli snack bamba? But no, seriously. A recent medical study has released findings that, contrary to what has been a popularly held belief for Americans, exposing children to small amounts of peanuts can actually ensure their ability to tolerate the food. And the study specifically explored why Israeli Jewish children had less incidents of peanut allergies than their American counterparts. One of the reasons? Bamba. So go ahead and enjoy your peanut-flavored snacks, and make sure to give it to your kids or grandkids too.
New Yorkers are about to get yet another new kosher restaurant. Tablet reports that Top Chef alum Alex Reznik is set to open a much-anticipated restaurant, Bedford Kitchen in Queens in six weeks from now.
And perhaps the most controversial of news this week was reported by the New York Post: a company in Colorado is working with rabbis in New York on a plan to start selling legal, edible marijuana products that are certified kosher. Marijuana itself doesn’t need to be certified kosher since it is a plant, but any edible item made with marijuana would need certification.
So there you have it, this week in kosher and Jewish news.
It’s a new year and there’s plenty going on in the world of Jewish and kosher food.
Here in New York, The Prime Grill will be celebrating its Bar Mitzvah year by relocating to its new location at 25 West 56th Street. Joey Allaham, owner of Prime Hospitality Group, felt that it was time to move on to another space and present the customers with the “new generation” of The Prime Grill.
According to the press release last week, the expanded Prime Grill will feature more options on the menu and a wood-brick oven. It will also offer a new feature, The Herzog Room where customers will be able to enjoy rare vintages of Herzog Kosher wine, as well as arrange tastings & pairings with a Herzog sommelier.
Meanwhile one of my favorite kosher eateries continues to expand – Soom Soom will soon open its newest location on the Upper East Side. I love everything at Soom Soom, but my favorite things to order are the Sabich sandwich, limonana and the fried potato on a stick – its heavenly! And the best part? Mondays are buy one-get one free night – buy one sandwich and get the second free! Best kosher dinner deal around.
If you love to hear and share stories about family and food, an upcoming event at 92Y Tribeca might be just the ticket for you. On January 16th the venue will be hosting “Beyond Bubbie: Tales from the Kitchen.” More about the event:
Join MC David Sax (Save the Deli) as the stories overflow like your Bubbie’s boiling chicken soup. Raconteurs include Mo Rocca (“My Grandmother’s Ravioli,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”), Carla Hall (“The Chew,” “Top Chef” and Cooking with Love), Joan Nathan (New York Times Contributor and cookbook author), Jake Dell (Katz’s Deli), Alan Richman (GQ food correspondent and James Beard Award winner), Judy Batalion and Cantor Shira Ginsburg Bubby’s Kitchen.
You can join in on the show and share a one-minute story – write to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be chosen to dish out your culinary guru’s story. And don’t forget to bring a favorite recipe to be entered into a drawing for a variety of gift certificates and prizes. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.92y.org/tribeca/tickets/production.aspx?pid=90553.
I’ve been pretty NYC-centric in this update so I wanted to share some non-New York Jewish Foodie news, which comes straight from our Nosher contributor What Jew Wanna Eat. On February 10th, Austin, TX will hold their 8th Annual Kosher Chili Cook-Off at the JCC. This cook-off is not just some small-time community cook-off – sounds like they take their chili contests seriously!
Anyone who deems their recipe worthy can enter in a four-person team and battle it out for chili glory. In the past, restaurants and foodies of all ages have participated. Upon arrival at sunrise (okay, 8:00 a.m.), each team will receive 20 pounds of beef (except the vegetarians of course) and the kitchen utensils needed to feed a few hundred community members. Teams can bring in the spices, vegetables, beans and sauces they desire, but everything must be in the original packaging, not pre-chopped and certified kosher. Rabbi Neil Blumofe will be onsite to inspect the items.
I just wish I could be there to taste! Got some good Jewish Foodie News? Let us know!