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"Green Rice" in Chicago

Well, it's still good. And they have the smaller, bottled version back.

Aug 24, 2011
sdrucker in Chicago Area

Mexican Restaurant in Chicago

Tein Li Chow's better than nothing (read: whatever it that attempted kosher meat Asian a couple of years ago on Touhy). But it's closer to 70's stye "Jewish Chinese" than remotely what's available at one of the Lao restaurants in Chinatown.

On the other hand, I'd go to a place that had chicken with chestnuts in a red wine sauce that happened to be kosher (literally, it's something on the menu of a Lao restuarant, and I'd think could be made to be kosher). But how many other people would?

Aug 24, 2011
sdrucker in Kosher

Mexican Restaurant in Chicago

Logically, the only way that a kosher place serving non-Middle Eastern, but remotely interesting food could survive would be if it drew non-observant Jewish clientile that _might_ bring their non-Jewish friends to it, and then build a word of mouth business. IMHO the few kosher meat places cater to their existing (meaning: non-challenging) clientile with what they want: large portions for larger families, with price points that match those portion sizes. In that context, with less dining out than among non-frum, it can work as a "once every so often" thing. The exception is Shallots, which seems to be trying to go for a special occasion and events niche.

It's the rest of us that don't find that as appealing as what's available in NY, LA, North Miami etc. where there's a larger singles base to draw on with more of a need to spend money (read: friends getting together and folks on dates). Let alone a place like Paris, where there's a relatively large percentage of 20-somethings to keep those places busy. You go there, and you'll find Chinese, contemporary French, as well a plethora of couscous places that all serve meat. One of the oddities for an American Jew is finding out that at least some of them they serve shabbat dinner - you have to pay before Shabbat, but it also helps that the sunset on a Friday night in January is closer to 10 PM than 4 PM! But these are Sephardic places, with a different tolerance for observance than Ashkenazim are accustomed to.

We don't keep strict kosher, but like a few people here we'd go to a Mexican kosher meat place that didn't have dairy dishes, as long as it didn't dumb down to food to a Tex-Mex level. I'd think you could offer a modified version of what, say, Xoco does with the right mix of dishes. But it would take a LOT of effort and marketing beyond simply the Jewish frum community to make it work.

Personally, I'd love to see an Indian kosher place. Even using non-dairy creamer as a replacement for yogurt or cream, there's a whole set of Indian cuisines that don't involve dairy: South Indian (based on coconut milk), Pharsee, Keralan come to mind. Heck, take a look at this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_c.... And that's just one example.

Even Mexican isn't _all_ cheese and dairy based: think regional food like Oaxacan, Mexico City tacos, and the like that are more "indgeneous" and less "Spanish-oriented". But they would have to only use the kosher status as a reason for being, and not and end-all.

I agree that it's a heroic tack in a region that seems fixated on pork belly as its favorite meat in new restaurant cuisine. But if anyone can pull it off, it's those folks in the northern suburbs.

Aug 24, 2011
sdrucker in Kosher

Israeli restaurants and Tish B'Av

Thanks - my understanding is that it's more of a custom than a religous law per se. Although Jerusalem being Jerusalem.....

From what I hear, there's more flexibility in Israel, where there's a broader range of Orthodox observance (like peole that keep kosher but are otherwise relatively secular), than in the US, where kosher restaurants might follow practices at the most rigorous level of observance to avoid alienating a smaller but more intense clientile, numerically speaking.

Jul 21, 2009
sdrucker in Middle East & Africa

Best cities for kosher eating

True, but Jerusalem has kosher Ethiopian (meat), so it's at least theoretically possible for someone to do that in the US. Is there anywhere here in the States (LA?) that has kosher Mexican?

Jul 20, 2009
sdrucker in Kosher

Best cities for kosher eating

Taboun can hold its own, as can Shallots (if you don't mind the cost) or Hylife in the right mood, but that's about it. No good Asian, no Indian, no Mexican, that's for sure. All I know is that Cafe Classico beats the pants off of Slice of Life. I'd kill for a good kosher Persian or Ethiopian place.

Jul 20, 2009
sdrucker in Kosher

Israeli restaurants and Tish B'Av

Hi,
As indicated in an another thread on visiting Israel in August, we'll be in Israel ourselves for 10 days starting Sunday (7/26). Just as we were looking forward to checking out old favorites (Darna, Ethio-Israel) and some new ones (Eucalyptus), we realized that we were coming into Jerusalem right during the Nine Days period before Tish B'Av. We're Jewish but not strictly kosher types, so I didn't realize it until I noticed the Hebrew calendar date on a website.

Does anyone know how seriously the kosher restaurants in Jerusalem go meatless during the nine days before Tish B'Av (July 30th)? In the US it's the norm, but I do know of at least one kosher Israeli grill in the States that will do take out if it's outside, and being Israel, the exact pattern of observance aren't always the same as here (e.g. kitniyot/legumes being much more accepted in Israel during Passover than here).

If we can expect most meat restaurants to, well, not do meat, we're either going to do a unique parve/seafood experience, or may check out some other choices that aren't neccessarily kosher. I'm aware that most restaurants (all kosher for sure) will be closed, period, on the actual holiday. Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks!

Jul 20, 2009
sdrucker in Middle East & Africa

Visiting Israel - August

Oddly enough, we're going to be there at the same time. I don't have specific recommendations for Raanana or Tzfat, but I'll give you some ethnic choices in Tel Aviv that are some of our favorites when we visit:

Nanutchka, a Georgian restaurant on Lillenblum, is a warm, somewhat rambunctious place for a long leisurely dinner, with a very cozy bar
Poyke in Jaffa is a South African steakhouse, with things like rump steak in rum sauce
Agenda in the Tel Aviv Port is good, high quality Middle Eastern
Orna and Ella, for a relaxed place for people watching and a cafe setting
Boccacio, on Hayarkon across from the Dan, for Italian and good, fresh pasta and veal dishes
Tsuzanah, Middle Eastern/casual in the Neveh Tsedek neighborhood, for quiet, all day dining across from Susanne Dallal (if you sit outside, you have the novel experience of having the occasional cat walk around the area - Tel Aviv is famous for wandering cats)

Tel Aviv, being a cosmopolitan city, has restaurants from many different places, so it's not too hard to find Italian, Spanish, and Asian choices.

As a rule, a good place to look for restaurants is Time Out Tel Aviv (in English, can be found in hotels) or the Haaretz website (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/Sh... for restaurant listings).

Jul 20, 2009
sdrucker in Middle East & Africa

Best food (any price pt) Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Galil?

I'll second the recommendation for Boccacio. It's on Hayarkon across the street from the Dan Tel Aviv, and has extremely fresh pasta and several great veal dishes (we particularly liked the Egel Boccaccio with the Port Wine reduction).

A couple of other restaurants worth trying in Tel Aviv/Jaffa if you want to get something off the beaten track, but still relatively fine dining, would be Nanotchka on Lillenblum (a Georgian bistro/bar) and Poyke in Jaffa, which is a South African steakhouse.

Also, a good reference for dining in Israel, particularly Tel Aviv, is the Haaretz Friday Magazine, which is in English.

Apr 21, 2009
sdrucker in Middle East & Africa

"Green Rice" in Chicago

I've never seen it at a restaurant, but I've seen it at Fox and Obel and bought it a few times. I've tried it, and it does have a bit of a nutty taste with green tea overtones, and came out fluffier than, say, jasmine rice. I don't know if there are any restaurants serving green rice in Chicago, but I do remember seeing red rice at Shanghai Terrace two or there years ago and about five years ago at Flattop Grill.

Apr 21, 2009
sdrucker in Chicago Area