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Feb 13, 2012 08:33 AM

Bravo Pizza - now Kosher!

Rumor has it that the Bravo Pizza on 37th and Bway is now kosher (under O-K)!!!! I used to live across the street from one of their locations, and (from before I kept kosher) remember it to have been quite good! Has anyone been yet? Reviews? I really hope it's as good as I remember...

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    1. I think this conversion raises an interesting question that was raised before in the general pizza discussion. Why do kosher places feel the need to offer french fries?

      This is the Bravo Pizza menu from the remaining non-kosher locations:

      And this is the menu from the new kosher Bravo Pizza:

      I realize that they had to remove the buffalo wings and beef patty, but why was that accompanied by adding french fries? Why did they remove the Garlic Knots Parmigiana? Should we expect the next menu revision to include a sushi section?

      11 Replies
      1. re: avitrek

        This only applies to places that have either converted to kosher or were bought from previously trayf locations, but perhaps because most existing pizzerias have a fryer built in (for wings?) so might as well use it??

        1. re: avitrek

          also noticed a price difference between the two menus, but I suppose that is to be expected...

          I'm really looking forward to the Chicago-style deep dish... hard to find that kosher around here

          1. re: avitrek

            The milchig garlic knots may be gone because the hechsher may consider it to be a kind of bread, which halacha generally requires to be parev. It sounds silly, but I know one store that was told exactly this by its hashgacha.

            1. re: zsero

              The reason that the store was told that by its hashgacha is that milchig bread was banned so that people would not accidentally make a meat sandwich on dairy bread. The only exception exists when the bread has a sign on it which designates to all that it is dairy. It is for this reason that you cannot find OU, OK or Star-K dairy bread. This is also why bread sold at Costcos with kosher bakeries lacks a hashgacha symbol on it, while everything else baked in that bakery will bear a hashgachs (OK, Vaad of Five Towns, etc...).

              1. re: KosherLawNY

                Isn't the fact that the bread would be sold in a milchig restaurant enough of a sign? It's different than milchig bread sold in a supermarket selling all types of products.

                1. re: mrfood16

                  Not meaning to make this a forum for shaalos, but the gemara and piskei teshuva don't draw a distincition (which is why the major kashrus organizations don't allow it).

                  Besides, if you take the garlic knots out of the restaraunt, there is nothing indicating on the bread itself that it is milchig. One could envision a scenario where the bag of garlic knots is sitting on a counter in the house and another occupant is looking for bread to eat with spaghetti & meat sauce. He/she sees the garlic knots and eats them together because there is no indication they are dairy. This is what the gemara was looking to avoid.

                  1. re: KosherLawNY

                    Most/many garlic knots have parmesan sprinkled on them as part of the presentation. i would think that would be an indication.

                    1. re: KosherLawNY

                      Just an FYI - The OU supervises Milk & Honey on 45th, and they definitely offer dairy garlic knots.

                  2. re: KosherLawNY

                    I know why milchig bread is forbidden. That's not silly at all, and it's an explicit law in Shulchan Aruch. But it seems silly to me that garlic knots made and sold in a pizza store would be covered by this halacha. Surely they're distinctive enough by shape, and also small enough to fall under the other exception, that one may make a milchig loaf that's so small it will be sure to be consumed in one sitting.

                    Nevertheless I know of a case where a machshir so ruled.

                2. re: avitrek

                  I think French fries are served because you can get them stuffed in a falafel in Israel, and guys who learned in Israel are a ready market for this.

                  1. re: Dovid

                    Huh? So because they serve french fries in falafel in Israel, a restaurant in NY that is not serving falafel needs to serve french fries because guys who spent time in israel and are used to french fries in falafel will be a market for a pizza store without falafel?

                    I think I'm missing one or two points in your logic?

                3. It will be interesting to see if the pizza will remain the same. There has been a lot of discussion on these boards over the years regarding the superior quality of Italian/non-Kosher pizza. Most people who have tasted both say there's no comparison.

                  It seems to me that a product made of dough, vegetarian marinara sauce and cheese shouldn't be all that hard to duplicate.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: helou

                    It's more expensive and takes more time to get better ingredients, make your own sauce, get a good oven, etc so any restaurant balances quality vs. price that people are willing to pay. In the kosher world, there are plenty of consumers who will pay more for lower quality food than other places.

                    Also, marinara sauce is vegetarian by definition.

                    1. re: CloggieGirl

                      I thought marinara sauce by *definition* contained shellfish, it's just that most Americans ignore the definition :-)

                      1. re: zsero

                        oxford dictionary says that marinara sauce is " sauce made from tomatoes, onions, and herbs, served especially with pasta" wikipedia says "There are at least two folk theories as to the origin of this sauce: One says cooks aboard Neapolitan ships invented marinara sauce in the mid-16th century after Spaniards introduced the tomato (a New World fruit) to Europe. This meat-free sauce was easy to make and resisted spoiling due to the high acid content of tomatoes. This made it ideal for lengthy sea voyages hundreds of years before refrigeration methods were invented. Another theory states this was a sauce prepared by the wives of Neapolitan sailors upon their return from sea"

                        1. re: koshergourmetmart

                          Me neither. The name would suggest something oceanic, but I've never seen anything other than the sauce you described; in Italy or elsewhere.

                        2. re: zsero

                          I've never seen marinara with shellfish, in the states or anywhere in Europe.

                    2. Another through to consider: This is relatively close to Rosa's Kosher pizza in the Empire State bldg. It was also a non-kosher place that became kosher, I believe. For a hole in the wall, by the slice pizzeria, Rosa's is pretty good, but they have limited hours. Do you guys think Bravo will be competition for them?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: PotatoPuff

                        Rosas-in the Empire State Building? How about Jerusalem II--a few doors away?

                          1. re: PotatoPuff

                            Well, not next door for long. J2 appears to be closing on 2/28. A "Jerusalem Cafe" will opening on 2/29 on W. 36 bet. 5th and 6th Avenues.

                            1. re: robocop

                              Was there a sign in the window?

                              1. re: robocop

                                I heard a rumor that when it was announced that J2 was closing a chabad rabbi convinced Bravo to go kosher so there would still be a kosher pizza place right there.... anyone know if there is truth to this one?

                                1. re: robocop

                                  Jerusalem Cafe was open when I passed by yesterday.

                          2. Some of the other locations have beer - I hope this one does too!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: PotatoPuff

                              Quick notes: A nice selection of toppings, styles (deep dish, stuffed, Sicilian, etc.). I sampled a plain slice as a baseline indicator. It was decent by which I mean better than most. The crust is unusually light and crispy on the bottom. Some may like that; I like my crusts to be thin but a bit chewier. Sauce was decent and cheese was plentiful. I would like to try some of their other offerings. Pluses: they are open until 11 pm and they serve beer. They might consider removing the large poster showing a pepperoni pizza that is in the dining area. The slice was not quite as good as Rosa’s but location and hours make it a good option for me.

                              1. re: Kosher Critic

                                I'd be interested to see if someone who ate there before thinks it tastes the same now. Probably unlikely since this is the Kosher board, but there are a number of people here who eat out dairy.

                                If you've had Bravo both ways, pease let us know.

                                1. re: helou

                                  I had Bravo many years ago before I kept kosher. Hopefully I'm going to try the kosher one tonight and I will see if it is as good as I remember....

                                2. re: Kosher Critic

                                  Ate there tonight. Pizza was quite good, but the garlic knots were overdone.

                                  1. re: Kosher Critic

                                    pepperoni pizza picture was covered with a new picture when I went...