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Jan 27, 2010 02:03 PM

Excellent Kosher restaurant in Virginia Beach in winter! and Virginia notes

Following the great reviews on Shamash, we ate at Little Israel in Virginia Beach yesterday. The food was fresh, delicious and worth the 50 minute trip from Williamsburg. Yehuda and Tzion took good care of us. Friendly, accommodating and just good Israeli food. Shnitzel was fresh, plump and not greasy, served in a warm, fluffy pita (not piece of cardboard like we get in NY--Yehuda says the pita comes from Israel). Jerusalem mix was delicious, tasty, moist. Choice of salads (excellent cole slaw!), non-greasy fries, large-size burger, good shish. Just good food. We made note of it for a future summer stay. There are some great Oceanfront Marriotts and other chain hotels nearby. Also, near the Museum of Army Transportation and the Mariners Museum (includes the Monitor exhibit--great museum!). Again, less than an hour from Williamsburg where we were based at the Marriott Villas. Used a large Presto griddle to make fresh pancakes, eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches each morning. Love my griddle! (I make my homemade dry ingredient mix for the pancakes at home and just buy eggs and milk at the hotel minimart). Bring the cheeses and bread from home, although, I saw that Little Israel did have some Kosher cheese and other products. I'm sure there is more in Norfolk (nice Chabad there), but we didn't need it this time. There are other great museums and sites here, plus lazer tag and skating which my kids always love to do. Great vacation! If you're tired of D.C. and are driving down from NY, this is a good place to visit--quite close to D.C. It isn't just about Busch Gardens (closed during the winter) and Colonial Williamsburg (we did like the Colonial thing--met Thomas Jefferson today, nice to talk to him).

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  1. Just an FYI: Williamsburg ios about 2- 2.5 hours from DC or Northern VA (where Ilived and oftenw ent to Williamsburg) I miss being able to do that!
    Thanks for the tip for Virginia Beach, I would like to get here sometime.

    1. Thanks for the tip... we're heading out for a summer vacation to Williamsburg Va - your idea of doing your own pancake pre-mix caught my attention too... care to share the recipe?


      16 Replies
      1. re: quickchef

        From Spice and Spirit:
        Dry ingredients (mix and pour into ziplok gallon bag)
        2 cups flour
        4 tsp baking powder
        1/2 tsp salt
        1/2 cup sugar
        2 eggs
        2 cups milk
        2/1/2 tablespoons oil
        oil for frying or for wetting the griddle

        We will be back in two weeks. Staying on the ocean this time. Have fun!

        1. re: cappucino

          Thanks so much! (BTW is there a way for me to get an alert that a response was posted? I almost forgot to come back for it!!)

          Which area are you staying in this time? We actually have our plans pretty open for our second week... and are still looking for good ideas...

          1. re: quickchef

            Quickchef...if you are already in Virginia Beach, I would highly recommend doing the Outerbanks -- we were just there 2 weeks ago -- I'll warn you though Milk in NC is not always under supervision, I'm glad we brought the Parmalat with us

            1. re: vallevin

              I am curious about the milk. I thought all milk in the US was under the FDA?

              1. re: gsquaredb

                Mostly all milk is under USDA (dept of agriculture) (I'm pretty sure FDA does not get into milk production), but if you also want specific kashrut supervision on the milk, then I'm telling you we had trouble finding it where we stayed in NC.

                1. re: vallevin

                  We are going to NC next month so this is very timely - thanks. AGain if you could be more specific about what you are referring to. I was under the impression that milk production in the US was covered by federal law. Why do you feel that it is different in NC? Can you point me to somewhere on the internet that gives you the impression that there might be non-cows milk mixed in?

                  Thanks so much for your help with this.

                  1. re: gsquaredb


                    In my initial post, when I wrote that the milk was not under supervision, I meant (but did not state) The milk container did not have any particular hechsher of any kashrut agency. This I believe is the general parlance of this kosher board, when any of us refer to "supervision" we are talking about the supervision of various kashrut agencies such as the OU, Chof-K, Star-K etc...

                    I then clarified my statement in the second post. I think there is a possibility that there is some milk sold in the United States, that is actually not USDA approved ( I have not in any of my posts implied anything about "non-cows milk".

                    If you want to discuss the finer details about R. Moshe Feinstein's teudah on milk in the US, and why milk producers still go for Kashrut supervision we can.... on a separate thread, or even privately.

                    But I will (for the last time) state what I have two times before. If you will be on the Outer Banks of NC (specifically Rodanthe or Atlantic Beach in the Southern Outer Banks) and you want to drink milk that produced under the auspices of a kashrut agency, you might want to schlep an extra carton of Parmalat with you.

              2. re: vallevin

                I have never heard Cholov Stam people looking for a Hecsher on Milk. The only time I check is if I am using half & half because it might have non kosher ingredients. Do you know something I don't know? Has something changed in Milk production? Or, is this a personal choice? Do you know many people who look for a hechsher?

                1. re: bigkhuna


                  I try look for the hechsher on all food that I buy, supervision stops and starts all time on various products...or changes supervision.

                  I also make a point of not sticking my busy-body nose into other people's business by way of asking of them "do you look for the kosher symbols on all the foods that you buy?". I trust my kosher-keeping friends to keep kosher, what they do is between them and G-d.

                  Not sure what you mean by "is this a personal choice".

                  I think I can clarify the milk situation a little in that the dairy that produced the milk was one I never heard I was doubly careful to look for a hechsher...

                  The way I learned Rav Moshe's Teudah (with Rabbi Daniel Wasserman of Pittsburgh) is that while all milk in America that is produced under USDA is equivalent to Chalav Yisroel (thus making it acceptable), it is preferable to get milk with a hechsher. Rabbi Wasserman also feels strongly that bottled water does NOT need a hechsher

                  And while I am at it, let's beat the dead horse (again)

                  >>If you will be on the Outer Banks of NC (specifically Rodanthe or Atlantic Beach in the Southern Outer Banks) and you want to drink milk that produced under the auspices of a kashrut agency, you might want to schlep an extra carton of Parmalat with yo

              3. re: quickchef

                Unfortunately, I just spoke to Little Israel and they told me they are closing this week. We are so disappointed. They told us to follow them on facebook because they hope to reopen closer to the Jewish community in Norfolk. I hope they do. In the meantime, we will be in VA beach oceanfront Marriott with meals I will have to prepare in advance and no restaurant night. We are going to do some hiking and barbequing at First Landing park. I think we will have to pick up the meat at the Market at Ghent in Norfolk. I will be checking with someone named David to make sure they have meat available. Oh well.

                1. re: quickchef

                  Quick Chef, we are revamping our vacation due to the closing of Little Israel. We will be shortening our stay in VA beach and moving West to Richmond to attend the Maccabee games at the Richmond JCC. This is a big event bringing Jewish athletes from all over the U.S. and some international athletes and this year Richmond is hosting. The JCC has a kosher cafe (with pizza!) with supervision by the local Orthodox Rabbi. We're glad the kids will get to see some of the games. Have to register as spectators to be allowed admission. After, we move North to the D.C. area to do some museums and eat at Pita Plus in College Park, MD (a great restaurant, no need to fight the D.C. traffic as it is in a college town just outside). Beautiful park (Greenbelt) near Pita Plus and convenient to Marriotts.

                  1. re: cappucino

                    Please note that (sadly) Pita Plus has been sold and is no longer under supervision. Of course, there is Pita Hut in Rockville MD which is in that same niche.

                    1. re: chowdog613

                      That is so strange. We had a long conversation with the owner and it didn't seem like she was thinking of closing. . Oh, well.

                      1. re: chowdog613

                        Rockville, MD and Virginia Beach , VA are HOURS apart like maybe 3-4 hours each way, bummer.
                        Has anyone ever been to Pita Hut? I love a good fallefel, and though I rarely get to Rockville anymore, it is always good to know a good place to eat

                        1. re: Prettypoodle

                          If you're on your way back up to the NY area, it is a sensible stop. Now the entire setup is messed up with both restaurants closed. We still hold out hope for VA beach/Norfolk. It's just a great area full of things to do. A small Israeli restaurant may still make it if it is placed right. Pita Plus was located right near the University so I thought it would survive.

                          1. re: cappucino

                            Ahh ok now it all makes sence. I used to live in Northern VA. UMCP was a drive for us (maybebe 45 min or so) and VA Beach was prob 3-4 hours away.
                            I bummed to hear about Pita Hut. My hubby graduated UMCP and once ina while we go there. i guess we'll never get to try it now. :(

              4. What is the advantage of your pancake over buying a bottle of Bisquick? You just add water and ready to griddle. You don't have to deal with the eggs and milk and it doesn't need refigaration.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bigkhuna

                  homemade pancakes taste better than the bisquick stuff.. at least in my opinion. it's also much cheaper!

                  1. re: bigkhuna

                    So you're asking what the difference is between a bottle of bisquick and homemade pancakes? I guess you don't get to eat homemade pancakes that often. My sympathies. Also, as far as I recall all mixes (including cake mixes) use a ridiculous amount of salt. I don't use salt in my pancakes.