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):



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Nona Bakery & Pizzeria

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 Nona Bakery & Pizzeria is a new addition (as of March, 2019) to the Surfside / Bal Harbour Harding Avenue Kosher strip.  It compliments an existing line-up of great kosher restaurants with an Israeli-style bakery and pizza shop.  Note that upon opening, Nona was known as NOMA, but changed its name after two months.

The bakery items include both sweet and savory (cookies, pastries, cakes, breads, bagels, challahs, and burekas).  The Pizza come served on a thicker-than-usual crust, and is served by the slice or whole-pie.  The crust is doughy and crunchy - it is not typical NYC style, but instead is the type of pizza you'd eat on the streets of Tel Aviv.

The burekas come in a long list of varieties, including both cheesy and parve.  

There's not much seating in the store, but there are quite a few counter seats in addition to three small tables-for-two.


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Kosher Grill

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Kosher Grill is a great way to end a busy day in Orlando.  It is designed for the Orlando vacationer: great for kids, extensive menu, huge portions, and a convenient location.  The service and food quality is better than you'd expect for a restaurant that doesn't need to build a longstanding relationship with its customers (because they're rarely frequent repeaters).  The crowds can be difficult to navigate through during prime vacation weeks, but otherwise, it is easy to get a table and even easier to order food to go.

The Israeli dishes are the best bets on the menu.  The hummus was very fresh and smooth and the toppings were hot and flavorful.  The french fries were also a highlight: very crispy on the outside, but soft and hot on the inside. 

The location is within a strip mall right off of International Drive near the entrance to Universal Studios.  However, it is worth the fifteen or twenty minute drive from Disney too.


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Casablanca sounds like the name of a Moroccan restaurant.  While this place certainly serves its fair share of Moroccan dishes, its diverse menu makes it unique, as it actually serves some dishes that are not seen at other kosher restaurants.  The most interesting part of the menu: the Greek dishes, including Spinach Pie, Gyros, and Moussaka. 

This restaurant is located in a nondescript strip mall off of the main drag in Metarie, Louisisna, which is about twenty minutes by car from the French Quarter.  It doesn't sound or appear like it will be anything special, but it really is.  The food is good and tasty.  The restaurant has a fancy ambiance that is a pleasant surprise considering that New Orleans only has a few kosher outposts (most cities with such a limited number of kosher choices don't have something so fancy).  It is nice that the kosher-eating tourist in a city that is so well-known for its food gets on opportunity here at Casablanca to have a nice, elegant night out.

This place is a definite highlight of any time spent in New Orleans, and is worth the trek out to the suburbs.


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Aryeh's Kitchen

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Aryeh's Kitchen is a gem in the middle of Nashville.  As a trendy food truck that parks on the campus of Vanderbilt University and is run by the university Chabad-on-Campus, Aryeh's raises the bar for kosher food not just for students, but for all those in Nashville.  They started in 2016 and got off to a rocky start, but have come back with renewed energy through their integration with the Chabad team.

The menu is not large, but is fun, innovative, and tasty.  The portions are large and the prices are low - perfect for the student appetite and budget.  The line to order and pay typically extends all the way down the street, and its customers are not just Jewish students.  The experience is good enough to attract the masses.

One word of caution: when you type the name into the Uber app, it directs you to where the truck parks overnight.  Make sure you visit them on the Vanderbilt campus to catch them when they're open!  


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