Kasbah BBQ & Grill

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Kasbah is an Upper West Side staple.  From its humble beginnings as Deli Kasbah, it has evolved into a high quality steakhouse and more - now known as Kasbah BBQ & Grill.  Its Lubavtich theme is unique in the restaurant world, and its signature - "give a vort, and get a free desert" promotion still inspires its diners to learn some torah.  The food is absolutely delicious, and the screens showing footage of the Rebbe's farbrengens and 1970s Lag B'Omer parades in Crown Heights top off the experience.

The meal at Kasbah begins with a descent a half a flight of stairs below street level off of Broadway on 85th.  The smell is the first thing that catches your attention, and then you can turn and feast your eyes on their dry aging lockers, where they do the in-house dry aging of their USDA Prime cuts of beef.  Once seated, they bring you a portion (on the house) of their cole slaw and pickles - deli style.  Then, you open the menu to find reams of great appetizers, sizzling meat dishes, including the dry aged steaks, sandwiches, burgers, and sushi.  The menu's highlight is the King Moshiach Rib Eye - a 30 once cut served on the bone.  Back in the early 2010s, this steak was the best deal in kosher restaurants - it was $48 including two side dishes.  However, the price has now been increased to the mid $80s, which is probably still a good deal, but not the steal it used to be.

The appetizers are not to be missed.  Buffalo wings are crispy and tossed in a true-flavor Buffalo sauce.  The Rumaki (Pastrami wrapped chicken doused in BBQ sauce) is another famous Kasbah treat.

The steaks are out of this world.  It is rare in the kosher world to see house dry aged USDA Prime meats on a menu, and at Kasbah, not only do they sell this meat, but they know how to sear in the flavor on the broiler.  While many of their side dishes are notable (including mashed potatoes topped with carmelized onions), you must go with the french fries just to be able to dip them in the garlic and basil mayo that they serve on each table.  It is divine.


Menu (as of March, 2019):



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Cole Slaw and Pickles (free on the table):


Salmon and Seaweed Poke Bowl:


Mixed Fish Poke Bowl:


Small Mediterranean Salad Plate:



Chicken Wings with Spicy Hot Sauce:




Classic Burger:


Pastrami on Rye:


Chicken Steak topped with Pastrami on a Garlic Club:


Smoked BBQ Spare Ribs:


Chimichurri Filet Steak:


Soft Grilled Chicken Tacos:


Mashed Potatoes:


French Fries:


Mocha Burger

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Mocha Burger is a New York City burger spot that has been able to stick around (and even expand) in a market that is somewhat over-saturated.  One contributing factor is that their burgers are very tasty - and consistent (the latter is sometimes very hard to find among its competitors).  They began as a rare kosher outpost in the NYU neighborhood, and then expanded to a second location in the Upper East Side.  Both are sit-down with waiter service, but they also do a massive take-out and delivery business.

The menu is fairly large for a burger joint, but don't get too distracted.  Stick to the basics: the grass-fed burger patties are juicy and flavorful.  They do the typical toppings for the most part; however, they stand-out in that they use Daiya dairy-free cheese to offer customers an authentic cheese burger - something that more kosher restaurants should add to menus.  The buns are always very fresh, and properly given a bit of steam before the burger is served.

The salads are a good option too - as long as you top them with a burger.  The appetizer selection is aligned with what you typically see at a burger place - they have wings, chili, and more.  The wings were crispy and not very greasy - both good traits.  However, their "MB Buffalo" sauce was not a classic Buffalo Sauce, and was more along the lines of a slightly spicy BBQ sauce (sweet and sticky).  While it was tasty, it was far from as good as the original.  The Poutine was topped with a similar sauce (not a gravy, as is standard in Poutine dishes), and was put under the broiler with Daiya dairy-free cheddar cheese shreds (which did not resemble at-all the cheese curds that appear in the standard Poutine dish).  The concoction was good (and their fries are just absolutely excellent), but really shouldn't be called Poutine (unless a really good explanation is provided in the menu).


Menu (as of March, 2019):



Restaurant Photos (UES Location):



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Mocha Burger Sauce Selection:


Poutine Disco Fries:


Buffalo Wings with MB Buffalo Sauce:


MB Classic with Pulled Beef and no Bun:


Mocha Burger Delivery Presentation:


Crunchy Onions:


MB Classic with Cheese for Delivery:

Le Marais

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Of all the kosher restaurants around the world, there is probably not one more consistently good than Le Marais in Midtown Manhattan.  Le Marais is a landmark in New York.  Located right in the middle of the midtown business district, it attracts business people every night of the week.  It also attracts the Times Square and Broadway Theater crowd.  The space is huge: two floors.  Every night, it is packed.  Certainly make reservations.

The service is excellent.  You will be waited on by a staff of knowledgeable, highly trained individuals who will make sure your experience is top-notch.  

Menu (as of October, 2018):



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Le Marais's Famous Baguettes:


Sliced Baguettes with Olive Oil:



Large Charcuterie Platter:


Pasta of the Day - Rigatoni Marinara:


Beef Medallions with Mustard Sauce:




Ribeye with French Fries:


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Talia's is a staple in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  It has been there forever, is dependable, is always packed, has live music, and is a great bet Motzei Shabbos.  The menu contains American, continental, and steakhouse favorites, with a few Israeli dishes mixed into the array.  The restaurant offers outdoor seating for most of the summer, and even has a large awning in case of rain.  Inside, there is a nice bar and a spot in the back for a musician to play live music.

Menu highlights include the Grilled Prime Rib for Two, which is a thick cut of prime meat, aged, and served on a sizzling platter.  Make sure you order it more rare than you would normally enjoy it as it does continue to cook once it is served.  Nevertheless, the fat and marbling is excellent to the extent that the continuation of the cooking does not dry out the meat.

The prices are somewhat reasonable given the huge portions and high quality dishes.  However, to really get a bang for your buck, seek out one of their online group-buying discounts (which are almost always available, and have been for years).

While many places in the Upper West Side come and go, you can expect Talia's to be around well into the future.   


Menu (as of September, 2018):



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Fresh Hot Pita Triangles with Basil Sauce and Garlic Margarine:


Combo Platter:


Buffalo Wings:


Middle Eastern Salad Platter:


French Fries:


Onion Rings:


BBQ Spare Ribs:


Grilled Rib Eye with Mashed Potatoes:


Cucumber Lime Martini:


Cadillac Margarita:


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