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Kosher Ethiopian restaurant in NYC/NJ area?

m
mullertwin Aug 20, 2013 08:53 PM

Is anyone aware of a Kosher Ethiopian restaurant in the NYC/NJ area? My non-Jewish friends rave about Ethiopian food and I would love to try some.

  1. t
    tractarian Mar 31, 2014 08:57 AM

    Yeah, it's called my kitchen, Mitba'ah Sheli.

    1. m
      Moishefrompardes Jan 21, 2014 11:29 AM

      http://www.timeout.com/newyork/food-d...

      somebody needs to get them to put a hechsher on this.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Moishefrompardes
        a
        AdinaA Jan 21, 2014 11:42 AM

        yes!

        1. re: AdinaA
          m
          Moishefrompardes Jan 21, 2014 02:33 PM

          just FBd them, their getting certified. boom.

          1. re: Moishefrompardes
            a
            AdinaA Jan 21, 2014 03:12 PM

            Whoo hoo! Who? (is supervising them)

            1. re: Moishefrompardes
              k
              koshergourmetmart Jan 21, 2014 03:58 PM

              suggest they get a reputable agency that most jews eat at

              1. re: koshergourmetmart
                m
                Moishefrompardes Jan 21, 2014 04:18 PM

                honestly, im not sure if thats good advice, look at wild ginger they have ikc & there always packed. Top tier hashgacha isnt cheap, but for the record i offered to give them the pros & cons of different hechshers before they sign up with someone.

                1. re: koshergourmetmart
                  a
                  avitrek Jan 21, 2014 04:33 PM

                  Melman is the best they'd be able to get. None of the other places would certify them being open on Saturday. And all the big places would probably require a mashgiach temidi and the costs associated with that. I wish them the best of luck, but I suspect IKC is probably the right fit for them. Either way, looking forward to trying this, even if it requries a trip to Bushwick.

                  1. re: avitrek
                    c
                    CloggieGirl Jan 21, 2014 09:29 PM

                    Agreed. Definitely worth schlepping for.

                    1. re: CloggieGirl
                      c
                      cheesecake17 Feb 3, 2014 06:17 PM

                      Just saw this.
                      Totally looking forward!

                2. re: Moishefrompardes
                  g
                  GilaB Mar 30, 2014 11:23 AM

                  Any further news on this? Their restaurant has opened, but I haven't heard anything further about a hechsher.

            2. j
              Just Visiting Aug 21, 2013 03:16 PM

              Do you mean glatt kosher or just someplace where you don't have to worry about eating tref meat or shellfish (not that I've ever seen shellfish in an Ethiopian restaurant)? If the former, then no, because they pretty much all offer dishes that have meat and obviously the cooking pots and dishes are not kept separate. But if you mean where you don't have to worry about not eating non-kosher meat, well, a very high percentage of Ethiopian dishes are vegan...

              5 Replies
              1. re: Just Visiting
                m
                mullertwin Aug 21, 2013 03:29 PM

                Yes, Glatt kosher.

                1. re: Just Visiting
                  queenscook Aug 21, 2013 03:37 PM

                  Although the term "kosher" means many different things to many people, I think that on the kosher board, we generally expect that recommendations conform to the pretty basic rules of kosher: separation of milk and meat including pots, dishes, and ovens (almost never done in non-Jewish restaurants, especially where pots and dishes and other equipment might be bought used from restaurant supply places), no shellfish or seafood without fins and scales (eel, octopus, etc), and no treif meats, at the very minimum. While you seem to be using the word "glatt" to mean "super-duper kosher," most of us who keep kosher, and frequent this board, probably do routinely what you would call "glatt" (which, BTW, has a very precise meaning, which doesn't even apply here). In short, very few posters here are just looking for food which doesn't violate the two rules you quoted, but are looking for totally kosher restaurants (or recipes or whatever). And if not, they usually say so, as someone who posts looking for a kosher-style deli platter for a shiva.

                  1. re: queenscook
                    j
                    Just Visiting Sep 13, 2013 02:56 AM

                    I use glatt to mean much more than that. For instance, not open from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Inspected and certified by the mashgiach.

                    That is not "super-duper kosher." That is kosher. You can pick-and-chose which rules matter to you, but dem's the rules!

                    To me, if someone is really concerned about a kosher meal in a restaurant, the inspection and certification are actually critical.

                    1. re: Just Visiting
                      g
                      GilaB Sep 13, 2013 07:01 AM

                      "Glatt' is a specific term, meaning kosher meat (not poultry) from animals whose lungs were clear of certain sorts of adhesions. It doesn't mean 'closed on Shabbos, supervised by a mashgiach,' which is why people asked for clarification.

                      1. re: Just Visiting
                        a
                        AdinaA Sep 13, 2013 07:10 AM

                        "strictly" is the word you need. "strictly kosher"

                  2. a
                    alpidarkomama Aug 21, 2013 02:52 PM

                    Yum. We adopted two of our kids from Ethiopia, and as soon as pesach was over (imagine eating nothing but tuna, egg, matzo, and veggies) I got cooking lessons from the staff. Beans and peas never tasted so good! I brought my own pan and knife and kashered the stove. They were really amused by us! I make my own injera, and it's no more trouble than making sourdough bread. Bob's Red Mill makes kosher teff flour. Oh, yum. Some of my favorite food, and it's really cheap to make.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: alpidarkomama
                      c
                      cheesecake17 Sep 12, 2013 06:19 PM

                      I'd love to know how you make injera!

                      1. re: cheesecake17
                        k
                        koshergourmetmart Sep 12, 2013 08:04 PM

                        http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/...

                        1. re: cheesecake17
                          r
                          rockycat Sep 12, 2013 08:11 PM

                          http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.ph...

                        2. re: alpidarkomama
                          d
                          dndicicco Jan 20, 2014 12:00 PM

                          Seems so easy. One wonders why Ethiopian restaurants almost always mix their teff with wheat? Is it to appeal to an American palette (less sour) and/or save on costs?

                        3. d
                          DevorahL Aug 21, 2013 11:00 AM

                          I'm so curious to know what Ethiopian food is! Does anyone know of a website or blog with accessible recipes?

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: DevorahL
                            a
                            AdinaA Aug 21, 2013 11:12 AM

                            The web is full of recipes. Lots of vegan and meat stews, classic spice mixes. the fun part is scooping up the stew with the injera, a yeast flat bread more like an American pancake than it is like pita. It's a nuisance to make. Chef Moshe at Pardes has been serving injera this summer, as a base for wonderful food - but not as a base for traditional Ethiopian stews.

                            What's really hard is knowing what it is supposed to taste like. I mean, a recipe for an Ethnic spice blends like Ethiopian berbere http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... will only get you so far.

                            Wish there was a kosher Ethiopian place, because without one I have no idea what it is really supposed to taste like.

                            1. re: AdinaA
                              queenscook Aug 21, 2013 11:24 AM

                              Yes, but that's true for other cuisines as well, if you keep kosher. Thai comes to mind.

                              1. re: AdinaA
                                r
                                rockycat Aug 21, 2013 11:29 AM

                                A number of years ago we had the owner of a local Ethiopian restaurant cook at our shul as part of a program on Ethiopian Jewry. She's not Jewish and the shul provided all her requested ingredients, but we ended up with a very authentic selection of dishes. She held a small class and distributed recipes, too.

                                1. re: AdinaA
                                  k
                                  koshergourmetmart Aug 21, 2013 11:52 AM

                                  when you are in israel go to the place in tel aviv-just go during lunch. at night it looked somewhat like a seedy area

                                2. re: DevorahL
                                  n
                                  noya Sep 12, 2013 10:31 AM

                                  You could arrange a kosher cooking class with a chef from an Ethiopian restaurant. Our local restaurant in NJ does this.

                                3. a
                                  AdinaA Aug 21, 2013 07:09 AM

                                  Wish I had a local restaurant that would change ethnicity every few months.

                                  Serious quesiton for mavens of the restaurant business: Could a restaurant under good supervision open with an Ethiopian menu. Announcing that after six months the menu would become Thai, then, in another six months, Mexican, then Moroccon, then...

                                  The city seems to be full of cooks who can handle these cuisines. Could it work?

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: AdinaA
                                    a
                                    avitrek Aug 21, 2013 07:16 AM

                                    I'd rather have a restaurant focus on one cuisine and do it well. Unless they want to rotate through guest chefs every 6 months I can't imagine one chef being able to handle all those cuisines and doing them well. Especially with kosher adaptations thrown into the mix.

                                    1. re: AdinaA
                                      r
                                      rockycat Aug 21, 2013 07:17 AM

                                      I have no restaurant experience, but I would think both pantry and staff training would pose some problems. Those cuisines have very different flavor profiles and would require all kinds of different seasonings, herbs, veggies, etc. For the perishables, that could create inventory challenges.

                                      In terms of training, it's hard enough to find staff who knows what they're doing in the first place. But then to have to train them in explaining an ever-changing menu to kosher diners who may not be familiar with the dishes? Oy.

                                      Neat idea, though.

                                      1. re: AdinaA
                                        g
                                        GilaB Aug 21, 2013 07:28 AM

                                        That sounds kind of like Grant Achatz's (nonkosher) Chicago restaurant, Next, which does an entirely new themed tasting menu every few months, I think. (Think 'Paris 1906,' then 'Kyoto,' then 'The Hunt,' then 'Childhood.' I have these out of order, but they're real menus that they've done there.) It seems to be a Herculean effort for everybody involved, though, and to require an insanely creative team at the top.

                                        1. re: GilaB
                                          a
                                          AdinaA Aug 21, 2013 08:16 AM

                                          I was assuming that they could hire cooks who had worked in these cuisines on a temporary basis, these types of ethnic restaurants are common, after all, it's just kosher versions that are rare. They wouldn't have to invent the wheel, like Grant Achatz. And the dining-out crowd in Manhattan wouldn't need much educating.

                                          But it sounds lit it would be tougher than I imagined. Businesses you know nothing about often do seem like they would be so easy to run.

                                          1. re: AdinaA
                                            d
                                            DeisCane Aug 21, 2013 08:44 AM

                                            I would guess there must be some ethiopian vegetarian places in the metro area that could get a hechscher a la the curry hill places. Ethiopians tend to place a lot of respect into vegetarianism.

                                      2. hill food Aug 20, 2013 09:28 PM

                                        but then again, very little (if anything) could be considered full-on treyf (I know I know, not the same thing as certified K)

                                        it is sort of odd that after that group of long separated Ethiopian Jews were reunited to Israel about 20 years ago one hasn't shown up. I mean doesn't everyone and everything make it to NYC sooner or later?

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: hill food
                                          c
                                          cresyd Aug 21, 2013 12:17 AM

                                          Even within Israel, compared to how many Ethiopian restaurants there are - not a high percentage of them are certified. In Jerusalem, I'm not sure if there even is a kosher Ethiopian restaurant anymore. So whether or not they've made it to NYC, even in Israel, certification hasn't really become a "thing".

                                          1. re: hill food
                                            r
                                            rockycat Aug 21, 2013 06:28 AM

                                            Traditionally, some Ethiopian dishes use neter kiba, a seasoned butter, to flavor meat. While they don't use many inherently non-kosher foodstuffs, the meat and milk thing is something to watch out for.

                                            1. re: rockycat
                                              hill food Aug 22, 2013 01:10 AM

                                              oh that's an important point I hadn't recalled, I forgot they do cook with a lot of butter, even the little beef they do use.

                                              1. re: hill food
                                                c
                                                cresyd Aug 22, 2013 01:23 AM

                                                From the Jewish Ethiopian community I wonder how use of neter kiba and kashrut in general are applied. In Israel, Ethiopian restaurants largely don't get certification, but I don't know if that is because the recipes themselves aren't kosher or it's a combination of one more government agency to avoid and - even in Israel - to be able to make the food more cheaply.

                                                1. re: cresyd
                                                  hill food Aug 22, 2013 01:39 AM

                                                  beats me, but an interesting question.

                                                  1. re: cresyd
                                                    z
                                                    zsero Aug 22, 2013 08:42 AM

                                                    I think it's mostly wanting to be open on Shabbat.

                                                    1. re: zsero
                                                      c
                                                      cresyd Aug 22, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                      Speaking of the ones I'm familiar with in Jerusalem, a lot are open on Shabbat - but that's not the case with all of them.

                                                      In Jerusalem in particular, working with the rabbinute to get certification - particularly in the Machene Yehuda area - is something quite involved. To simplify the rabbinute's work load, restaurants are required to buy vegetables from a very narrow list of vendors - even if their previous vendors provided certified kosher products. For those who do care about certification, when eating at establishments in the shuk be sure to check individual restaurants because over the past year or two a number of restaurants have dropped their certification because of the rabbinute demands. There is a growing movement across Jerusalem of about 12 or so restaurants that are trying to put together their own informal "certification" - but as all official certification can only come from the government - it's not offical.

                                                      Basically it's a decision that I don't think is necessarily summed up so quickly.

                                                      1. re: cresyd
                                                        z
                                                        zsero Aug 22, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                        Yes, the issue of vegetables is complicated in Israel; not only are insects much more of a problem than they are in America, because of the climate, but there are all the additional restrictions that apply only in Israel (teruma, maaser, orlah, shmita, etc.), so that Israel is the only country where you need a hechsher on produce.

                                                        (Terumah and maaser can be fixed, if you care and know how, but orlah and shemita cannot. When I was there for Purim, and gave someone shalach manot, I started telling them that the pastry was from Angels, etc., and they said never mind about any of that, we trust you on the other things, but where did you get the avocado? Since I don't live there, they couldn't be sure I'd remembered that fruit needs a hechsher. I assured them that the greengrocer was certified by the Badatz.)

                                                        And checking for insects is one thing on the scale of an individual household, but quite another on the scale of a restaurant. So it's understandable that the rabbanut would prefer that they buy only from trusted vendors; paying for an extra mashgiach to check the untrusted stuff will be far more expensive.

                                                        1. re: zsero
                                                          queenscook Aug 22, 2013 10:22 AM

                                                          A friend of mine used to joke that here in the States, when you find yourself at some sort of party or the home of someone who doesn't keep kosher, you can always have a piece of fruit, but that in Israel, the baked goods are generally safe (especially years ago when Angels was the most popular supplier), while you had to worry about whether the fruit was OK to eat!

                                                          1. re: zsero
                                                            c
                                                            cresyd Aug 22, 2013 02:49 PM

                                                            I don't keep kosher - so admittedly I have far less of a "horse" in this race. But from what I've read and heard, the issue occurred when neighborhoods got cut up. From how I understood it, it meant that the mashgiach that checked the restaurant then had to check with the mashgiach that checked with the vendor. It wasn't that vendors weren't certified - they were just being certified by someone else.

                                                            When the change came down, restaurants felt like they were being forced to only shop from a few vendors and leave their long standing relationships (with certified vendors). Either way, it's been interesting to follow.

                                                      2. re: cresyd
                                                        n
                                                        noya Sep 12, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                        the vegetarian dishes can be made either dairy or pareve and vegan. Such a rich assortment of food.

                                                        1. re: noya
                                                          c
                                                          cresyd Sep 12, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                          The ability of the dishes to be cooked parve or is just one of the issues with gaining a kashrut certificate in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem it ends up being a very involved relationship with a State office that some establishments choose to forgo - even though it typically means a loss in revenue.

                                                2. queenscook Aug 20, 2013 09:08 PM

                                                  Don't think there is such an animal, alas.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: queenscook
                                                    m
                                                    mullertwin Aug 20, 2013 09:11 PM

                                                    :( I was afraid that was going to be the answer.

                                                    1. re: mullertwin
                                                      k
                                                      koshergourmetmart Aug 21, 2013 06:41 AM

                                                      we were in tel aviv and ate at an authentic kosher eithiopian restaurant called habash. it is located on 8 HaNegev street. It was a meat restaurant and quite good

                                                      http://www.rol.co.il/images/sites/hab...

                                                      the one in jerusalem is closed-the owners had a difference of opinion on keeping kosher.

                                                      no kosher eithiopian in ny.

                                                      1. re: koshergourmetmart
                                                        k
                                                        koshergourmetmart Aug 22, 2013 08:05 PM

                                                        photos from our Eithiopian meal along with the hostess

                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
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