“A Taste of Crown Heights” brought foodies to the neighborhood for a ‘crawl’ through some 20 local eateries, in an event aimed at raising funds for NCFJE’s Toys for Hospitalized Children program and hosted together with JMenu.
Sunday, October 23rd, marked the first of its kind kosher food crawl — A Taste of Crown Heights — benefiting Toys for Hospitalized Children.
The event, organized by JMenu and co-sponsored by COLlive and Hal’s New York Seltzer, welcomed hundreds of kosher food enthusiasts, who navigated the network of kosher restaurants on Crown Heights’ main thoroughfare, Kingston Avenue. 100% of the proceeds went to benefit a local charity, Toys for Hospitalized Children, a division of the NCFJE.
Showcasing their foods and beverages were restaurants, bakeries, beverage shops & caterers, including: Albany Bakery, Baguette Express, Boeuf & Bun, Calabria, Chocolatte, Dean Street Café, Eber’s Liquor & Wine, Empire Grill, Ess & Bentch, Gombo’s Bakery, Hal’s New York Seltzer, House of Glatt, JJ’s Holy Cow, Koshertown, Mama Kitchen, Mendy’s @ the JCM, Mermelstein’s & Kohen Bros. Catering, Natural Treats Juice bar, Noribar Sushi Lounge, Prime Avenue, Raskins Fish, Sushi Spot, Sweet Expressions, Table One Catering, Turk Catering, and Wine By The Case.
Also in attendance, to enjoy the broad variety of kosher fare and to promote local businesses and institutions, were some of the neighborhood’s elected representatives: New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, and Matthew Pitt, Director of Constituent Affairs for Council Member Laurie Cumbo.
The greatest ‘taste’ of Crown Heights was determined through a vote by the participants, as well as by a panel of expert judges: Blogger Chanie Apfelbaum of Busy in Brooklyn; Dani Klein, Founder YeahThat’sKosher.com; Shlomo and Shifra Klein, Publishers of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine; Elan Kornblum, Publisher of Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine; Naomi Nachman of The Aussie Gourmet; and Miriam Pascal of Overtime Cook.
The judges chose restaurant Boeuf and Bun for the Judge’s Choice Award. The participants chose Mendy’s @ JCM in the restaurant category, and Koshertown Shabbos Takeout with Chef Shosh in the takeout category, for the People’s Choice Award.
Although they were not an official winner, attendees were especially enamored with the offerings of Crown Heights’ newest restaurant, Noribar Sushi Lounge, remarking on how delicious the meticulously crafted Japanese delicacies were.
Sushi Spot, another popular Kingston Avenue establishment, received similar praise. “The sushi was so delicious I struggled to save room for the rest of the crawl,” one attendee said.
JJ Hecht, Director of Toys for Hospitalized Children and co-organizer of the event, was thrilled with the response from participants. “The people were super excited, and everyone had a great time,” he said. “We are extremely thankful to JMenu for organizing and COLlive and Hal’s New York Seltzer for sponsoring the event.”
“We are so excited for next year,” said Shmuly Wolff, CEO of JMenu and co-organizer of the event. “Today was the beginning of something huge for years to come.”
Photos by Sholem Srugo