A Kosher Day in Brooklyn, New York

by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on August 30, 2010

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Please accept my apologies for spotty posting for the last two weeks.  I have just returned from one of my visits to East Coast, in search of shopping bargains and new kosher places to dine.  Kosher certified foods, not readily available on the West Coast are also on my lookout list.  Fortunately, for me I have a sister that lives at the Jersey Shore.  My sister’s home makes a great base to set out on our adventures. 

On Monday, we headed out, destination Brooklyn.  Although old, dirty, and in parts broken down, it fascinates me.  Brooklyn is an incredible cross section of America.  Just driving the old worn streets and observing the signage and foot traffic is exhilarating.  Everything from religious Jewish neighborhoods, Chinese funeral parlors, Latin produce stands and signs that say Halal certified Chinese food intrigue me.  Perfectly kept little gardens in front of red brick houses in Italian neighborhoods, give way to a black Bible belt area of Crown Heights and then on to religious Jewish women with wigs, strollers and six children in tow, all dressed the same.  You have to love it. 

Today after walking through the crowded streets of Boro Park (some spell it Borough), we drove over a few blocks to the Kings Highway neighborhood.  First stop, Brenda’s, a clothing store.  It is amazing how discount shopping sharpens one’s appetite.  We walked down a few blocks from Brenda’s to David’s Grill, an Israeli restaurant with Yemenite specialties.  

It was late in the afternoon, but there were still a few lunch stragglers like us eating.  As the kitchen staff was changing the display case and setting out fresh kabob for the evening’s menu, we ordered.  We started with mezze of hummus, eggplant salad, falafel, tabouleh, fried eggplant, and barzargan.  Next chicken kabob, one order with fasoulia (white rice and beans like Avicas) and one order with Israeli salad (cucumbers and tomatoes).  When the waitress brought the food, it was hot off the grill and accompanied with warm fluffy fresh pita bread.  Just fab. 

We devoured our lunch and proceeded next door to check out the Holon Kosher Market and buy sweet kaak (Syrian biscotios) and kosher cheese.  In Holon, people are fishing beans and nuts out of bins and buying pistachio lokum by the piece.  One more stop in this area, we went to the world famous Monsoura pastry shop.  The owner makes Syrian pastry like sambusac (Syrian Borekas), along with sweets like fancy baklava and chocolates.  If you need pareve chocolates or Marzipan for a simha, this is the place to order it.  Of course, they ship just about anywhere. 

After parking the block before Pomegranate Market, at a meter, we noticed a ready made Sukkah Kit store.  They had Sukkahs constructed for the weather on the East Coast.  These Sukkahs had hard walls with windows but I am assuming a correctly (by Jewish law) open roof.  There were even Sukkahs for apartment balconies.  They looked like tall tents with an open roof.  Just amazing. 

We entered the market with great anticipation.  Pomegranate is the be all and end all of kosher markets.  The size of a large supermarket, Pomegranate has an incredible bakery and take out department along with a prime meat counter and fresh fish. 

Are you looking for kosher Asiago cheese or Parmegano Reggiano?  Perhaps you need Kalamata olives or mixed French Nicoise olives, Pomegranate is the place.  If you need Kosher Panko Crumbs, fresh Sashimi grade Ahi Tuna or Sushi Nori (seaweed wrappers for sushi), Pomegranate is the place. 

By now, we were exhausted the heat and humidity had taken its toll despite the fact it had been drizzling a little.  We drove home and contentedly reviewed our purchases before bed.

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Greek Girl from Queens August 30, 2010 at 2:29 PM

What a wonderful trip down Memory Lane this post was for me, Linda. Although I’m from Queens, I had many friends when I was a teenager and early 20′s who either came from or lived in/moved to Boro Park. I remember a good friend’s wedding, and the mikvah ceremony we all were a part of, just before the beautiful day. I loved being in Boro Park, and Brooklyn in general – I loved the mixture of all the different cultures and languages, music, and of course food – everyone there was very proud of their own cultural and/or religious background/heritage, and when I was there at least, we all respected each other’s ethnic/religious/cultural differences.

After reading this great post of yours today, I wish I were back in New York right now – if only to take a subway ride (was it the R, or the D? I can’t remember now, as it’s been so long) down to Brooklyn, over to Boro Park, definitely to the amazing shop that is Pomegranate (in a word…WOW!), and then on to a place I also loved with a passion – Coney Island. Did you know that the original Coney Island is in Ireland – and not too far from where I live now – I smile whenever we drive past it, on the way to the beach in Strandhill.

But I digress. Thanks for a wonderful post, and beautiful photos to accompany your words

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