A Messianic Meal

In our never-ending search for the perfect shwarma, My Most Favorite Lunch Companion and I visited a restaurant called Kasbah on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. With a name like that we expected Middle Eastern food. We got it. What we didn’t expect was a side order of “the Rebbe is Moshiach.”

We knew this place was different when we saw the banner flying over the entrance. I don’t remember the exact wording – it was in French – but someone at the restaurant translated it as “get an advance taste of the meal of the redemption.” And on the awning was the verse from Psalms 51:21, “bulls will be offered.” Uh-huh… Inside, we were treated to pictures of the Rebbe, a video of a farbrengen, and Hasidic music (OK, some of that wasn’t too bad). As if that weren’t enough, inside the menu is a number to call for more information: 718-MOSHIACH. (The takeout menu has this number, but not the actual phone number of the restaurant – talk about priorities!) And when I got the bill, the cash register tape (!) declared WE WANT MOSHIACH NOW!

Oh yes, we did have food too. I don’t know if it was the meal of the redemption, but my Haifa mixed grill (chicken shish, thin-cut steak, and kufta) was excellent. (There are several different types of mixed grill here, so you have a wide variety of choices.) MMFLC was a bit disappointed with the shwarma, though – he said he has had better, and for the price ($12.95) the portion was rather small. So we’ll have to keep searching… We also ordered a vegetable knish – when we finally got one that wasn’t completely charred, it turned out to be quite tasty. The desserts looked good, but we had neither the time nor the appetite for them – another time, maybe.

Don’t try to order rice if you’re there for lunch – for some as-yet-unknown reason, they don’t serve rice before 5 pm.

Kasbah is located at 251 West 85th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue. The phone number is 212-496-1500. Supervision is by the OK. It’s worth a trip, if you don’t mind the propagandizing.

Posted on February 28, 2005 at 5:53 am by Rabbi Jeffrey Rappoport · Permalink
In: General Topics, Kosher Restaurants, Uncategorized

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