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Rabbi Israel Mayer Steinberg of Vaad Harabonim Lemeshmeret Hakashrut

I get a lot of searches recently looking for more information on him and his kosherness/validity.  Does anyone have more information?  PLEASE share in the comments what you know as well as which restaurants he is supervising and I will compile a list of everything and post it soon.

I read here that he allows restaurants to be open on Shabbat which is a no-no for the Frum community.  His reasoning is that it gives Jews (non-orthodox, obviously) the choice to eat somewhere that is at least kosher instead of going elsewhere.  I can see how this may be a semi-OK excuse for somewhere outside of NY but in NYC there are many kosher and non kosher places and this is a pretty lame excuse.

As far as I can find he is the overseeing Rabbi at

  • Little Lads
  • Chickpea (6th Ave & 14th Street locations)

Like I said please drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you know so we can get to the bottom of this!

Popularity: 100% [?]

Benny’s Pizzeria & Restaurant: Cheese Pie Edition

Benny's

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Rating (out of 5): 

QUICK REVIEW!!!

Ok so last time I promised I would return to Benny’s to have a taste of their regular cheese slice.  I also promised my fiance at that time (now my wife as of January 7th!!) that we would pig out after the wedding on a whole pie of pizza together.  Today I fullfilled that promise.

First off being the fatties that we were we ordered it before we got there so it would be funky fresh as soon as we walked in – and it was.  And for one of the first times in a long time we didn’t panic and order a bunch of extra things like a side of spicy fries (mmmmm, spicy fries) or a falafel.  We just focused on the pizza this time.

The pie was pretty good (I had 3 4 slices), but not as good as Rosa’s in the city.

Let’s break it down:

Dough: Perfectly cooked, just barely crispy with a good dough-e flavor
Cheese: Worse part about it? It still tastes good just not as flavorful as it should be.  They may be using cheap or a low fat kind of cheese
Sauce:  Perfect tomato-e flavor, not sweet like some places like to do

So overall the pizza was better than say La pizzeria or Benjy’s but like I said not a Rosa’s.  Rosa’s has them beat with better cheese.

I think they might have messed up on the price because we got the pie and a bottle of Fresca for $14.50 which was an amazing deal! Was it mistake or a Wednesday night special? I’m not sure and we were too afraid to ask!

Heres a tip: get a side of their creamy caeser dressing (even though I think it was 98% mayonnaise) to dip the crust in – it’s delicious!

Def a top kosher pizza joint if you are ever looking to grab a quick slice!

Price: $
Benny’s Kosher
181-30 Union Turnpike
Fresh Meadows, NY
(718)969-1928
map

Popularity: 3% [?]

Little lads is also kosher again

FYI – Little Lads at 120 Broadway (map) is now kosher again under the supervision of Rabbi Israel Mayer Steinberg.

PS. I am seeing a lot of searches wondering about the validity of his kashrut as well as the kosherness of the Vaad Harabonim Lemeshmeret Hakashrut. Anyone reading this care to tell us what you know?

Popularity: 6% [?]

The Prime Grill to open Japanese Restaurant “Prime KO” on the UWS

The Prime Grills new restaurant, Prime KO is under construction and set to open up towards the end of February.  The Japanese Steakhouse and full Sushi bar (sounds like another Sushi Metsuyan/Estihana) claims it will have moderate pricing (not sure what that means in the Kosher restaurant biz).

There will be two party rooms that can accommodate up to 100 people so there may finally be somewhere else to go other than Clubhouse to celebrate.

It will be located at 217 West 85th Street (off of Broadway). map

Do you think you will eat there??

217 W. 85th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212)496-1888

Popularity: 9% [?]

Chickpea is now Kosher again!

In breaking news, two of Chickpeas stores are kosher again.  The locations have now been verified as Glatt kosher (yay!!) under the supervision of Rav Israel Steinberg of the Vaad Harabonim Lemeshmeret Hakashrut.

  • 688 6th Avenue (22nd Street) map
  • 210 East 14th Street (3rd Avenue) map

Does anyone want to guess how soon it will be until they decide to change their name and go un-kosher again?

I’ll give them two weeks, max.

[via koshertopia.com]

Popularity: 8% [?]

Rosa’s Kosher Pizza

rosas kosher pizzaRating (out of 5):

Best Kosher Pizza. Period.  Well, it comes in a close second to Pizza Sababa on Emek Rafaim in Jerusalem.  But as far as the USA is concerned however it is #1.

Situated on the first floor of the empire state building (easiest access is from 33rd street) you can expect to see a diverse crowd of patrons at this pizzeria at all business hours.

Their variety rivals that of non-kosher restaurants (minus the meat of course). At any given time you can also expect to see about 10 different kinds of pizzas on the table.  Today I went with two regular slices which were fresh from the oven and did not need reheating.  They were amazing!! The taste of the dough/sauce/cheese just has its own kind of flavor and doesn’t taste generic like most all other kosher pizzerias.  At $2.50 a slice its a much better deal than Jerusalem 2 also so why not eat better pizza and save money at the same time.  The fresh mozzarella slice however is the best slice they offer and it is amazing, I highly recommend going with it and a regular slice if it’s your first time there.  Get a side of ranch from the salad bar and dip your pizza in it – you won’t be let down at the awesomeness that will enter your mouth.

Some downsides of this place was that the counter guy was kind of a jerk and impatient with peoples ordering.  It also took a few minutes to pay which in the world of hot pizza every minute counts towards freshness.

Still – the pizza is amazing and you should definitely go there if you are ever in midtown!

PS. Like most kosher places, a dairy restaurant would not be complete with a sushi and salad bar tucked away in the corner and Rosas is no exception to the rule.  I have had a salmon avocado roll as well as a regular salad and they were both up to par and definitely a viable option if you do not feel like having pizza.

Price: $
Rosa’s Kosher Pizza
350 5th Avenue (1st Floor – Empire State Building)
New York, NY 10118
(212)239-4700
map

Popularity: 3% [?]

Betty’s Glatt Kosher Restaurant

Rating (out of 5): 

All the buzz in Great Neck lately is to go try the Persian food at Betty’s.  After years of Colbeh I would have to agree with everyone that someone has to be able to make Persian food better so this time it’s Betty’s turn.

Located in Great Neck off of Middle Neck Road Betty’s is a totally new restaurant.  The decor is typical of a Persian restaurant with its Persian tapestries and paintings around the place.   We happened to go on a Tuesday night with a large crowd (approximately 20 people – it was my wedding “rehearsal” dinner).

With the size of our crowd being said, and them probably not being ready to accommodate for us (although they should be able to get it done – no excuses!)

There was a small Persian band playing, I am not sure if they have these guys regularly however the acoustics were not so good in the room which caused our ears to hurt while the played because the music was so quiet loud.  Funny though that no one asked them to turn it down.  Some of our group got up and danced around which drew stares from the other patrons but we did not mind because of the occasion.

Like most new restaurants they tend to lack in some areas (hence the negative review, see below) – especially for large crowds and Betty’s was no different in terms of service and food.

We started off with some beers which WE had to ask for.  I don’t get why kosher restaurants don’t put more emphasis on beverage purchases and be more pro-active in getting people to order them because that is where your biggest profits are in the food industry. The guy was slow to bring the drinks out and didn’t push us to get drinks like they should be doing.

We ordered combination’s (if you don’t know, a combination at a Persian restaurant usually consists of a few different types of rice, Persian salad, and a few types of kebabs) for everyone to ease the ordering process.  Although the waiters service was good they were understaffed and one side of our group would get food while the other would have to wait a few minutes till they got theirs which is not fun.  While the portions were good the kebabs were all just OK (too salty) and nothing special.  I actually think Colbeh is better and that is not saying much.

Yes, it’s a new restaurant and yes we had a large crowd and some new restaurants cannot cook to par for large groups.  But that is part of the food business and I hope they can get their act together in these areas of they plan to last, especially since they are trying to do catering as well.

Overall, I wasn’t satisfied with eating here, however I will try to make it back again (if they are still around) with a small group to see if they can do any better.

Price: $$
Betty’s Glatt Kosher Restaurant and Catering
451 Middle Neck Road
New York, NY 11023
(516)487-3300
map

Popularity: 3% [?]

bohjan

bhojan

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Bohjan
102 Lexington Avenue (Between 27 and 28 streets)
New York, NY 10016
(212)213-9615
map
http://www.bhojanny.com

Popularity: 3% [?]

Dakshin II

Dakshin Indian Bistro

1713 First Avenue (between 63 and 64 street)
New York, NY 10028
(212)987-9839
www.dakshinmidtowneast.com – Can Order Online via Seamless Web
map

Popularity: 3% [?]

Shalom Bombay

Shalom Bombay

39th and Lexington
New York, NY 10463

Popularity: 3% [?]