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New kosher dairy restaurant in West Hempstead

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inky Feb 22, 2008 03:06 AM

On Hempstead Avenue in West Hempstead (NY) (a few stores away from the I &D kosher butcher, take-out and grocery store), I saw a sign for a kosher dairy restaurant (EJ's --?) coming soon. Does anyone know anything about it?

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  1. havdalahclub RE: inky Feb 22, 2008 12:23 PM

    I saw the same sign. This could be competition for Hunki's and Bageltown if this becomes
    a morning and afternoon hangout spot. I just hope the owners do take out and catering business because West Hempstead may not have enough walk in trade to support another sit down estaurant (unless this is going to be like Central Perk in Cedarhurst).

    1 Reply
    1. re: havdalahclub
      havdalahclub RE: havdalahclub Feb 23, 2008 03:16 PM

      As a follow up, the sign said EJ's Too on the sign. I assume the people, who own the EJ's restaurants in NJ (EJ's in Teaneck, Jerusalem Pizza in Elizabeth, and EJ's @the Scotch Plains JCC) are the same owners of this new venture.

    2. w
      WHKosher RE: inky Feb 25, 2008 04:58 PM

      Yes in deed, a ne kosher reataurant called EJ'S TOO will be opening up. They Will have Pizza, Falafel, and all that stuff. They will open Tuesday, March 4th

      10 Replies
      1. re: WHKosher
        i
        inky RE: WHKosher Feb 26, 2008 03:26 PM

        The sign said a restaurant. I was hoping for a nice , casual dairy restaurant, not another pizza shop. How will 2 pizza stores survive?

        1. re: inky
          w
          WHKosher RE: inky Feb 26, 2008 03:48 PM

          Now that there are enough families in WH, the rabbis allow it

          1. re: WHKosher
            havdalahclub RE: WHKosher Feb 26, 2008 04:27 PM

            When Richie & Tova resumed ownership of Hunki's, they would have better off converting it from a pizza place to a fast food meat place with Israeli food. I know that Richie is a part owner of Wing Wan and this might have
            been a conflict of interest. However, the opening of another pizza place might be the end of Hunki's as a retail operation. From what I have heard, Richie & Tova are trying to sell Hunki's a second time. Who would buy it with a competitor less than half a mile down the road?

            1. re: havdalahclub
              k
              KosherKing RE: havdalahclub Mar 4, 2008 09:11 AM

              Any news on when this new EJ's place is opening?

              1. re: havdalahclub
                k
                KosherDLight RE: havdalahclub Jun 12, 2008 04:53 PM

                I don't know where you heard this, but Richie has never mentioned any interest in selling his business again anytime soon. I have known him for years and he always tells me how this time he wants to continue to serve his loyal customers and provide the same quality and service he has always given.
                Speaking of quality and service, EJ's has none of this. Their pizza is awful along with their employees. This goes for the West Hempstead location as well as the two New Jersey locations. I am sure the only reason they opened up to begin with, is because they saw a weak spot when Richie had sold the business and it wasn't doing well. Now Richie is back and I plan only to eat where the good food is.

                1. re: KosherDLight
                  havdalahclub RE: KosherDLight Jun 12, 2008 05:48 PM

                  Neither West Hempstead pizza place has good pizza. Hunki's in Plainview has much better pizza than the West Hempstead Hunki's (different owners). I wish that both West Hempstead kosher pizza places would change their pizza recipe.

            2. re: inky
              m
              MartyB RE: inky Mar 4, 2008 11:34 AM

              We have a facination with pizza, a real jewish food. For crying out loud, in the 5 towns we have a total of 6 pizza stores (ok, 5 pizza stores with a bagel store that also serves pizza), three of them within a 30 second walk from each other! Let us also not forget Central Perks which also serves pizza. So who knows, maybe two pizza stores can survive in W Hempstead.

              1. re: MartyB
                berel RE: MartyB Mar 4, 2008 11:44 AM

                I remember 35 years ago when Sabra was the only kosher pizza store in the 5 towns. the pizza was awful back then. I think the competition over the years has made Sabra (and the others) a better pizza

                1. re: berel
                  i
                  inky RE: berel Mar 12, 2008 04:49 PM

                  Went to EJ's Too tonight (grand Opening was yesterday). It was packed (@75 people). lot of assortment of pizzas, calzones, Israeli food, fish, salads, frozen yogurt,etc. food was pretty good. hope it continues to be busy and successful. West Hempstead needed this dairy place- a larger space, open later at night, open Saturday nights, a wide menu of good tasting food. Now, West Hempstead is ready to support a good quality (not greasy) meat fast food place that has schwarma, shishkebab, burgers, deli, steaks,hearty soups,etc.

                  1. re: inky
                    m
                    MartyB RE: inky Mar 13, 2008 08:42 AM

                    Ah, so it was a Pizza place after all., and packed with 75 people no less. Time for another pizza place to open :)

          2. m
            MAHOSCH RE: inky Mar 16, 2008 01:01 PM

            Yes the propreitor is Elliot Rosenfeld (or close to that) from Teaneck NJ. He has two stores in NJ in Teaneck and I think Elizabeth. Ive eaten a few times in Teaneck and he has a excellent reputation. Food is very good and they are super nice propietors. I hope they give Hunkies some competition as i wont go on......

            1 Reply
            1. re: MAHOSCH
              moonlightgraham RE: MAHOSCH Mar 16, 2008 03:33 PM

              I wish EJ Too the best of luck in their new venture. Time will tell if EJ's can continuously deliver quality food and service. Of course, West Hempsteaders and the neighboring communities will play a large role in helping sustain this new food establishment.

            2. w
              WHKosher RE: inky Mar 20, 2008 04:25 AM

              They even have dip in dots now. there gonna do good, but i feel bad for hunkies

              4 Replies
              1. re: WHKosher
                m
                MartyB RE: WHKosher Mar 20, 2008 04:49 AM

                Can anyone comment on EJ's effect on Huckies? Also is EJ still maintaining its popularity as a previous poster noted that they had 75 people there, or was it just a flash in the pan, with all of W Hempstead checking the new boy in town.

                1. re: MartyB
                  havdalahclub RE: MartyB Mar 20, 2008 09:01 AM

                  I don't think that people are being blown away by EJ's. While the pizza is better than Hunki's (not a challenging task), all it really offers is a wider selection of food items (salads, side dishes, etc.) in a more spacious environment. The parking is difficult because there is a small unpaved lot that it shares with I & D Butcher and other stores.

                  Hunki's has basically focused on their catering operation (Ackerstein Caterers), while not improving the quality of their retail operation (pizza place). Plus, Richie is really focused on trying to sell Hunki's (for the 2nd time).

                  If EJ's can outwit and outplay Hunki's it will survive and thrive. This would mean that EJ's will have to regain some of the off premises catering that the former owners of Hunki's lost (and Mauzone allegedly gained) when they bought the business from Richie.

                  1. re: havdalahclub
                    j
                    Jewish Blogmeister RE: havdalahclub Mar 23, 2008 03:49 PM

                    I've been told the reason EJ's was allowed to open is that when Rabbi Kelemer found out that Richie (the current owner) intended to sell the business to anyone who would buy:kosher or not, he allowed any competition so that there would be an alternative should Hunki's sell in the future. I think that what might likely happen is that Hunki's will sell out to a non- jewish buyer and Ej's will thrive. I hope they can improve on their food as I'm not hearing rave reviews. Hopefully they will have later hours than their competition which is one reason wing wan does so well. If you would like to read a full review of new restaurant in queens read my blog.

                    1. re: Jewish Blogmeister
                      w
                      WillieWillie RE: Jewish Blogmeister Mar 27, 2008 09:58 AM

                      EJ's has a nice assortment of dairy food. But, the pizza crust is so thin, it is almost like a crepe or wrap. Also, there was too much cheese and barely any sauce.I have heard similar complaints from others. I will give it another chance, but the recipe must be changed. In regard to Hunki's , EJs is cleaner, larger, has a bigger selection, and better hours. Some one else mentioned on one of these blogs that Hunki's should turn into a meat place. I welcome the idea. I think it would be successful. Hunkis has an EXCELLENT CATERING reputation. maybe it can become an EXCELLENT meat eatery.

              2. d
                daverose808 RE: inky Jun 17, 2008 06:40 PM

                I have been eating at EJs Too almost every work day since they opened and here is my review:

                ambiance: excellent. bathrooms clean. tables clean. spacious and attractive for a pizza place.

                pizza: way better than hunkis, but that isnt saying much, bc i HATE hunki's pizza. nevertheless, their pizza is good. for some reason, tho, i rarely have found a fresh pie just come out when im about to order, and i wish i would, bc i love a fresh slice, before the bottom gets crusty from the reheating oven. if u go into elite pizza in great neck, and ask for a fresh slice, they will gladly let u wait for a fresh pie to come out instead of forcing u to take one of their remaining slices from an older pie. most other pizza places, including ejs, unfortunately, get annoyed at this request, and snap back, "this one is fresh; it just came out," even though the cheese has obviously congealed and needs to be reheated... whatever, that's just a personal gripe.

                other foods: i havent tried much, but my coworkers who join me sometimes have always had pleasant experiences with their various dishes. i really like their salad bar. 2 sizes, with any ingredient you want, for reasonable prices. places like dairy king make u pay more for additional ingredients! they also have a $1 soda fountain with free refills, which is great.

                all together, i give this place a 7 1/2.

                1. j
                  JB_Merrick RE: inky May 13, 2009 08:40 PM

                  Decided to try the place and ran into a couple of friends who were there having the Wednesday Special buffet. They said they have been coming every Wed. for it, so we gave it a try. It was a great deal: $12.95 for a complete, eat-all-you-want, self-serve meal. The soup of the day was split pea, quite good, but there was also veg. soup, almost as good, but a little salty. Arranged on the buffet were both teriyaki or creole baked salmon, crisp-fried white fish fillet, baked ziti, roasted potatoes, mixed herbed veggies, and 3 salads: romaine with grape tomatoes, mesclun vinaigrette, and Israeli-style chopped cucumber and tomato. All quite good. Not fancy, but solid home-style cooking in chafing dishes. There were very good mini twist rolls and focaccia squares on the side. Desert was less successful: a platter of rubbery beignets, and another of less than wonderful rugelach. But by then we had eaten so much of the "real" food that the dessert didn't really matter. A multi-flavor soda dispenser and pots of decaf and regular coffee were available throughout. The buffet is open from 5-9 on Wednesdays, and there may be a discount for families of 4 or more. By 8 o'clock when we were there, there was still plenty of food, and it was being replenished. The fried fillet had run out, but it was replaced by a chafing dish of french fries, and crisp, delicately spiced felafel balls. The food was fresh and tasty, plentiful, and very attractively priced. On that particular night in mid-May only about a third of the tables were full, and the staff did a good job of maintaining the buffet and keeping the place clean. I can't say how the staff would hold up wit a bigger crowd. The surroundings were pleasant. For those who prefer to order specific items, there is a counter at the back with hot dishes, sides and salads, and the usual pizza, felafel, etc. A kiosk in front of the counter provides specialty salads, mixed to order from a good selection of greens, veggies, and condiments. For fancy dining, look elsewhere. But for a combination good food, pleasant surroundings, and attractive prices, this place is worth visiting on a Wednesday night. Because specials have a way of changing, call ahead to make sure the buffet is still being offered: 516-279-6096.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JB_Merrick
                    havdalahclub RE: JB_Merrick May 14, 2009 07:12 PM

                    I have been to EJ's several times. The workers are pleasant and the pizza is ok. IMO EJ's would have been better off if they had opened up a Kosher Delight type of establishment instead of a pizza/dairy establishment. West Hempstead can not support 2 kosher pizza establishments.

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