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May 30, 2014 11:41 AM

Small Jewish communities WITH a kosher restaurant...worth eating at

To complement the discussion about places without restaurants, what smaller cities have a restaurant worth eating at? A place that you'd go to even if there was more options. Any particular dish to try? I'll start it off with a rec for Bagel Bin in Omaha. I had really fantastic asparagus soup there. The bagel was also very good. Bonus points because there was a group of old men discussing Cornhusker football at the table next to me. Only downside is Its a bit far from downtown.

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  1. I recall that being a decent bagel place. My top choice has to be Tierra Sur in Oxnard, if you include it as a "small Jewish community." It's really a (very) outer suburb of LA.

    1. Macabee's Kosher Deli in Des Moines, IA - typical deli fare - the sandwiches are great -

      Holy Cow in Memphis TN - I like the roast beef or BBQ beef sandwiches -

      It has been a while but I liked the Kosher Store in the HEB in Austin TX - They made an excellent steak - you go to the meat counter and select a steak on display and they will cook it to order - the steak was great and reasonably priced -

      5 Replies
      1. re: weinstein5

        I have to agree about Austin, TX
        The quality of meat in the kosher section was surprisingly high.
        The ambiance? Well, it's a handful of tables in a supermarket.

        1. re: follick

          I was last in Austin some 17 years ago; at that time the kosher bakery at the HEB made the most amazing breads, including one with sundried tomatoes that was so good I brought some back with me to NY. Does it still make them?

          1. re: zsero

            I was there in March and I don't recall seeing any baked goods, but they did still have some good sandwiches.

            Unfortunately Madras Pavilion in Austin, which IMO had Indian food that actually was better than the Indian food we have in NY, lost its hechsher in January due to a number of violations. The guys don't seem to want to fix that, but yet they still advertise as Kosher.

            1. re: tamarw

              There is still one kosher MP in Houston. We take non- Jewish/non-kosher business guests there and they all seem to love it.

              Me? Well let's just say they know me there and make something for me that's not really on the menu.

              1. re: SoCal Mother

                Oh I know that per my conversations with the Vaad, but Austin is not exactly in Houston's backyard :) I wasn't going to drive 3 hours to get Indian especially when I was there for SXSW and there was always something to do!

      2. If we can wander slightly off topic to memories of restaurants that no longer exist, Detroit used to have a wonderful dairy restaurant in the West Bloomfield JCC. I forget what it was called, but it was well worth a trip, until it closed.

        5 Replies
        1. re: zsero

          Milk and Honey... Jerusalem Pizza moved into that space about a year ago and opened up a sit-down version of their restaurant called Jerusalem Bistro.

          1. re: asher13

            Yes, that's the one. The operators had a chain of non-kosher restaurants, and ran this one by (what I assume were) the same standards they kept up in those. The food was at least as good as one would find in NY, but the service was well above what I've encountered almost anywhere else.

            Is the new place any good?

            1. re: zsero

              Yes. It's definitely not as fancy as Milk & Honey was but they have some good fish and pasta dishes. Sometimes it's just nice to have a sit down place with table service - something I totally took for granted when we lived in Teaneck before moving to Southfield :-).

              The people who ran Milk & Honey (The Epicurean Group) still have a kosher arm and they can do meals at their other properties (like Coach's Insignia at the RenCen) with enough advance notice (they cook it offsite and then plate it on china, etc).

          2. re: zsero

            Noah's Bagels. A Northern California chain with great bagels and fresh challah on Fridays although the neighborhoods it served had few to zero observant Jews. It was wonderful while it lasted. If memory serves, the owner sold the chain and the kosher aspect ended, although he briefly had a wonderful restaurant in Berkeley, where the community has always been very small.

            1. re: AdinaA

              Ah, yes. I grew up with those bagels so I never thought most NY bagels were such a big deal until I was exposed to the frozen and shelf-stable awfulness that exists elsewhere. If a bagel is still totally edible the next day, it probably wasn't so good to begin with.

          3. Go for Gumbo to Metairie, a suburban neighborhood of New Orleans. I believe that the beignet at Cafe du Monde is also still under supervision.

            1. Honolulu - Chabad there has a chef on contract (I don't know the terms f the arrangement, he works out of a kitchen in the building Chabad leases and uses for services, meals and to run a school) He does an excellent job with both Shabbat communal meals and take-out that can be shipped to the outer islands.