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Sep 28, 2011 08:43 AM

"Off the list" restaurants NYC

Looking for some kosher restaurants that are not listed on kosher section. They would likely be unlisted either because a) they are new (like the Meat place on the UWS) b) their certification is not universally accepted (such as Maoz falafel). c) They are smaller, more bakery/ice cream like (such as Magnolia). d) They just unlisted (Grille de Paris - Brooklyn) Anything coming to mind?

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  1. Azuri Cafe on 51st Street, just off Amsterdam. Really a hole in the wall, but great, great falafel, great soups, shwarma, fried fish. Definitely worth trying. The owner has some great personality (not!) but the food is really good.
    Not sure what, if any, the hashgacha is, but it says it's kosher and so must adhere to the NYC standards for calling itself a kosher restaurant.

    10 Replies
    1. re: helou

      The NYC standard for calling itself a kosher restaurant is merely putting up a sign saying who says you're kosher. If the sign says "I declare myself kosher, by my own standards, you can serve pig.

      1. re: zsero

        First of all, I am sure that my fellow chowhounder Zev did not intend that his generally-targeted words above would be construed to damage the business of a hard-working and diligent man like Ezra, the owner of Azuri Cafe, which is nowhere near Amsterdam Ave, by the way--it is on 51st and 10th. In the second place, Ezra's hashgacha is prominently displayed at his restaurant, and anyone who cares to make a personal judgment--which is the only kind that is relevant---can do so. Tablet K was the last sheet I recall seeing up.
        On the merits, Azuri Cafe makes fantastic shawarma and falafel, delicious salads, and great soup. The prices are fair, for Manhattan, and although cramped, you can have a nice lunch there on one of the two tables inside the place.
        I have always found the food fresh as can be, the portions fair, and the overall quality, terrific. We should support these kinds of restaurants who offer good food at fair prices!

        1. re: rruben1

          Ruben, Sorry about misrepresenting 10th Avenue as Amsterdam - for those not in the know, a little further north (at 57th Street or so) 10th Avenue becomes Amsterdam, 11th Ave. turns into West End Avenue, and 9th Avenue starts preening and is then named Columbus.
          I do agree with Ruben that Azuri is a great place to eat, or I would not have written about it. If I seemed to be loosey-goosey about the hashgacha, it's because I don't have the information close by. We live in NJ, but always stop there for soup, falafel, and fish platters on our way back. Falafel to eat in the car, and the rest to have for supper once we're home.

          1. re: helou

            Amsterdam Avenue does NOT start at 57th Street. In fact, it doesn't start until the 60th street northern corner. Thus, if you direct someone to Azuri telling them to go to Amsterdam, they'll be ten blocks off. I say this not to nit-pick, but in the interest of getting people there, if they want to go there. I have an apartment on 59'th, and I can assure you that there is no Amsterdam Avenue crossing 59th, my chaverim.

          2. re: rruben1

            Azuri is 0.3 miles from Amsterdam Ave, which is pretty darn close, imo.

            1. re: DeisCane

              FYI, Azuri is now under R' Zev Schwarz of the IKC.

          3. re: zsero

            I don't know what the standard for menupages is, but i'm specifically asking about restaurants not listed on that site

            1. re: zsero

              Actually that is not true. New York State is one of the few states where it is illegal to call something kosher if it is, as you say, "pig," per the Kosher Law Protection Act of 2004. This doesn't mean that what they call kosher will be kosher according to everyone's standards and definitions, but it does mean that if an item is called kosher, the basics were observed.

              1. re: JackieR

                You are wrong.

                Here are links to the four sections of the law itself:

                Show me where is says that it's illegal to call pig kosher, or that the "basics" must be observed? What are these "basics" anyway? The court ruled that the state may not dictate what is kosher and what is not. That applies to your so-called "basics" just as much as to hiddurim and chumros. After all, who says that pig is not kosher? The Torah? But how can the state involve itself in determining what is and isn't in the Torah? The Lemmon test says it can't do that, and the court ruled accordingly that the old kosher law had to be thrown out. That's why the new law makes no determination at all. It specifies that kosher is literally whatever the vendor chooses to say it is. He just has to specify that he's his own certifier, and if you're interested you can ask him what his rules are.

            2. Just mentioning that Grille de Paris has been closed for a while.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ATH44

                wow thanks for the heads up! didn't realize that

              2. The original comment has been removed