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Welcome! !ברוכים הבאים Read Me First If You’re New Here!

Creative Commons License photo credit: disparkys

I wanted to take a minute and offer a hearty “Bruchim HaBa’im” – welcome – to any new readers who’ve wandered over here from the Cleveland Jewish News. An article that appeared in this week’s edition (“Connect with each other on CJN Connect“) listed a number of sites “by or of interest to members of the Cleveland Jewish community.” If you want to get the latest GoingKosher information there, click on over to CJNConnect, create an account and check out the “Chatter” section (about halfway down the page).

While I’m extremely excited to be included in the blogs listed, the others are, quite frankly, incredible and worth mention here as well:

That said, if you are new here, feel free to click around and get the lay of the land.

To get a quick overview of the site, check out the “About Us”  page. You might also find the posts on “What This is All About” – Part1, Part2 and Part3 – to be helpful.

If you like what you see, you can stay in touch via Twitter, Facebook, RSS Feed or good old email updates (use the box in the sidebar to sign up).

Most of all, thank you for stopping by, even if it’s just this once. But I hope you’ll come back for more.


UnKosher: Microsoft Uses Bacon to Poach Employees

Microsoft is trying to steal good programmers away from Amazon and Google.
No surprising news there.

By tempting them with bacon.
Whaaa fuuuh huhhh?!?!

I am not making this up. I couldn’t. I’m not that creative.

But according to this article on Gizmodo, that is exactly what is happening.

Microsoft wanted to double its Kinect for Windows team from 35 to 70. And with good engineers typically already working for other companies, the bacon cart is a great ploy for Microsoft to grab their attention and tell them to “Wake up and Smell the Future”. The food cart is serving free bacon today at Amazon headquarters in South Lake Union, Seattle and has plans to move over to Fremont on Tuesday to be near Adobe and Google.

I wonder if the ADL is going to get involved, because in my mind the implication is either that no observant Jewish programmer is any good; or they’re good, but Microsoft (like a certain cantina at the Mos Eisley Spaceport) doesn’t serve their kind.

[Edit] In my haste to get this posted, I overlooked a point my Rabbi just made: They are saying the same thing about traditional Muslims and Hindus. Not to mention the rock solid programmers who are vegetarian or vegan.

Pride and Shame

As I’ve mentioned before (“Here There Be Dragons“), I’ve started traveling about once a month for my job. This means I’ve become a bit more sensitive to the availability (or lack thereof) of kosher eateries when I’m out and about.

Which is why a recent post  from Yeah, That’s Kosher (“The Remaining Kosher Subway Restaurants in the US“) caught my eye. As he reports, there used to be 12 (with 5 in NYC alone). Now there are 5 left.

This makes me feel sad, frustrated, and a little ashamed. It’s not like Subway is going out of business, just the kosher versions. What is it about kashrut that makes sub sandwiches such a losing proposition? Why does “kosher” seem to be such a barrier to success in a way that “Thai” or “Gluten Free” or “Vegan” is not?

It also makes me feel a little bit proud though. Because of the 5 cities listed, my town is on the list.

CROSSPOST: “Keeping It Kosher”

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This article was originally printed in the NYT magazine and passed to me by a great friend. It focuses on Basil Pizza and Wine Bar in the becoming-trendier-by-the-minute neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This excerpt gives a good idea of what Basil is:

“[Basil] isn’t just a restaurant. It’s also a cross-cultural experiment, trying to promote better integration of, and communication between, groups in Crown Heights that haven’t always mingled much or seen eye to eye. Although its food and wine are strictly kosher, Basil isn’t located on what is known as the Jewish side of Eastern Parkway, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare and dividing line. It’s on the West Indian side and, with its deliberately diverse staff, courts the black residents there. The trendy menu of individual-size pizzas, raw-fish compositions and dishes is also meant to appeal to them — and to the young, liberal-minded professionals who, in slowly growing numbers, are choosing Crown Heights as a cheaper alternative to the Williamsburg or Prospect Heights sections of Brooklyn. Basil wants everyone under one roof.

What I really like is the underlying mission of the restaurant – one which I think all kosher establishments should aspire to: To create place which is NOT “a kosher restaurant, but one which serves really good food that just so happens to be kosher.

We need more of those, especially around where I live.

Click here to read the full article.

Kosher Goodness Keeps On Truckin’

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I’m excited by the news that former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn is planning to open a kosher food truck in Washington, DC. Click here to read the full story on The Feast.

I like the article for a few reasons – of course there’s the kosher angle. But I also like that a chef who doesn’t normally prepare kosher food sees that it’s just another culinary style and doesn’t treat it like some forbidding fortress of food-based frustration. In that same vein, I’m also happy that he’s looking at another delivery vehicle (hah!) for kosher food. I’m sure it’s been a while (if ever, with the exception of Israel) where a food truck is delivering good kosher eats.

However, I’m unsure about a couple of points in the article:

  1. Is the food really Kosher-kosher, or just kosher deli-ish?
  2. Only on Fridays? So I guess the rest of the week it’s a packed lunch from home.

Of course, Spike could just be testing the waters and if it’s a hit, it will take off.

Here’s hoping that it does.