Alright. So it’s 11 Av and the Three Weeks are FINALLY over in every way shape and form for every minhag on the face of the planet. That means it’s meat time.
And who wants meat? You want meat.
Even you, vegetarians. After all, you don’t see us meat-eaters trying to order a burger that tastes like carrots and soy, do you?
The only question which remains is WHERE should you eat all the meats?
“If MaNishtana is supposed to be the JOC spokesperson, how come he’s never come to eat in the only kosher JOC-owned restaurant in Brooklyn?”
For two years this went on, with Saul dutifully relaying said chef’s laments, and me vowing to eventually stop by. Then one night, my wife and I finally caved and had a double-date with the Sudins at Brooklyn’s indeed only kosher JOC-owned restaurant, Pardes.
It was an interesting experience I feel like I can sum up in just one word: salty.
No, not the food. After all, Chef Moses Wendel is of the rare variety of Ashkenazi cooks who knows what the meaning of “seasoning” is (honestly guys, how did you go through the Crusades and all you came out with was salt? Were you out sick they day they were giving out the coriander and thyme? Also, adding copious amounts of black pepper does NOT mean something is “spicy”. It means it tastes like suck).
On the contrary, by “salty”, I’m talking about Chef Moses himself.
Equal parts Popeye, Chef Ramsey, and a North American grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), Chef Moses is of the kind of tough-talking, two-fisted Philly-boy variety that, well, let’s just say Justin Bieber shouldn’t ever try peeing in his mop bucket. Or better yet, maybe he should.
As for Pardes’ JOC-ness, Chef Moses’ better half Shana is the restaurant’s co-owner and resident JOC who prefers to stay behind the scenes, in all likelihood making sure there’s discretionary funds to put toward unexpected bail money should a woman-man-boy decide to pee in a mop bucket.
Now, is Pardes pricey? Yes. But so is Entenmann’s, and I don’t particularly see you boycotting those rich frosted donuts, so tell your wallet to man up. But, no worries: you WILL get your money’s worth here, AND not starve.
Case in point, my first time there I ordered some Frenchy-French sounding thing (Chef Moses’ culinary background is very French-style), which according to the menu, was some kinda beef marrow. I ordered it, deciding not to get my hopes up too much. After all, if it was terrible, at the very least I could take solace in the fact that I’d represented, namean?
And then I got a plate with marrow which had not only been hollowed out of the bone, but arranged into a patty. And served with the bone. Which had been stuffed with a salad. That’s right. This place serves salads inside of the bones of animals.
If other restaurants ever caught wind of this, the number of salad-eating men would multiply exponentially.
I’m not too sure whether the dish I ordered is even still on the available, though. Chef Moses likes to keep things fresh and different. No two visits will ever have the same menu.
However, what pretty much DOES stay steadily consistent is an amazing selection of quality beers. Forget wine. Don’t come to Pardes to drink wine. You can drink wine at home. Because at Pardes? Even if you’re not a beer person, by the end of the night you will be a beer person. Hell, by the end of the night you might even be a BEER.
Also, speaking of beers, try not to say something like “Beer is for niggers” to Chef Moses. It will only make things very awkward later should you ever happen to meet his nigger family, you inelegantly racist f*ckhole. (Yes, that was a true thing that was said. That happened).
Vegetarians, fear not. You will not die here. I’ve eaten at Pardes with more than a few of your kind, and you all went home admirably sated.
In short: I loved this place.
Real people. Real food. Real good. Real salad inside the bone of an animal.
So go ahead and head on down to Pardes. Tell ’em MaNishtana sent you. Unless you’re going to be a douche.
In that case just go to Basil.