Teaneck is no stranger to the pages of the New York Times. The venerable paper once referred to the township as “the Jerusalem of the West” because of its high number of synagogues and kosher restaurants and its large mosque.
Teaneck appeared again in Friday’s edition in an article called “Where Glatt Kosher Restaurants Come in Many Flavors.” The article focuses on three, Smokey Joe’s, Shalom Bombay, and Etc. Steakhouse. Etc and Shalom Bombay received glowing reviews while Smokey Joe’s’ was more tempered.
According to the Jewish Standard Guide to Jewish Life, there are 25 kosher restaurants in Teaneck and that does not include the recently opened Mocha Bleu or the soon-to-open (we hope, they’ve been saying that since March) Burgers Bar.
When the Big Lipowsky first moved to the area four years ago, the first thing I said was, “I wish there was a kosher Mexican place and a kosher Indian place.” Well, we now have both (sort of). If only we could get a kosher dairy Indian restaurant since so many Indian dishes are dairy based and vegetarian and the fake dairy just doesn’t cut it. Maybe that’ll be next.
As the story goes, the floodgates for competition opened in the late 1980s when Noah’s Ark opened its sister restaurant Shelly’s across the street. There had been arguments that a new dairy restaurant would hurt the livelihood of the other dairy restaurant down the block, Jerusalem Pizza. In the end, the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County gave its blessing and now we have three and a half Chinese restaurants and four pizza places. At one point, Teaneck was home to a kosher Korean barbecue restaurant, which reportedly dropped its certification after poor sales and then closed down altogether. It had been built on the remains of Jerusalem Pizza and today it’s Smokey Joe’s.
Now if only there was a place to get a good kosher lobster bisque….