I have been eating a bit healthier lately, and have noticed that there is an absolute dearth of healthy kosher restaurants in the city, what the Jews call healthy is a far cry from great tasting and actually healthy. Sure you can pay 10 bucks for a crappy romaine salad with mayo/sugar dressing but rarely does it satisfy and rarely can you go anywhere and really have a good choice. Then if you want to get something made into a wrap or get a salad it costs twice as much as anything else on the menu.
I understand the dearth of healthy restaurants is mostly because orthodox Jews lead mostly unhealthy lives. Well what can be said about people who think bike lanes are untznius? So imagine my shock when I stumbled in from the rain to Olgas on Smith the other day and was shocked by both the goodness, and the cheapness of their fine establishment.
For those of you who don’t know, I have been living mostly in Park Slope, and living in the Slope has its pluses, you have loads of cool people, good produce and the park as well as lots of cool hip coffee shops – what you don’t have are kosher restaurants, you can either drive to Flatbush or take a good walk to Crown Heights, that is until I discovered Olgas which is located on Smith and 4th streets in Carroll Gardens.
When I first looked at the menu and decided what I wanted I thought the price was a bit off. One piece of fish Talapia or Salmon, and two side dishes for 10 bucks. This wasn’t even one of those fake hashgachos, this was OK – Cholov Yisroel, so I asked if the price was correct, because I knew this would cost double that in a normal Flatbush kind of place. My friend Gary Levine told me about the place so I trusted his food knowledge – he wouldn’t steer me wrong, but the prices were too good.
Taking a look at the rest of the menu revealed that I had chosen the most expensive thing on the menu. I rarely do this, besides for the steak I got the only time I went to Prime Grill (I splurge when it comes to food) There were many salads, and sandwiches – I noticed that you had a choice of salad greens between arugala, spinach, lettuce and radicchio, not just romaine and that they had many vegan menu options.
Olgas is one of those places where you order and they come and bring it to you, everything besides for the breads is made from scratch and you can buy things by the pound. It is light and airy and a good place to work and do lunch. Parking on the side streets off of Smith is not too bad.
So my food shows up and I am kind of amazed at the taste and quality, seriously folks – my gingered broiled salmon, with homemade vegan dill sauce was rocking, for side dishes I chose creamy mashed red potatoes, and this sweet potato, butternut squash mix which was simply amazing. Then Olga brought me three slices of some amazing multi grain bread, with some great butter – oh and when I asked for a cup of water I got ice and a glass – good times.
The entire time I sat there, I pondered in my mind about the price, quality and taste – another plus is the lack of annoying frummies and generally pleasant eating experience. I wish I could go into a clean and friendly restaurant in one of the frum neighborhoods but this isn’t really possible – then again are there any frum people in Carol Gardens or neighboring Park Slope, Gowanus or Cobble Hill?
I should also note that unlike other kosher restaurants Olgas has a $7 salad that includes whichever toppings you want, choose from multiple cheeses, greens, fried onions and eggplant and things like fennel and swiss chard – which I doubt any real kosher restaurants have.
Update: I ordered from Olgas yesterday for my a friend and me during work. She was super busy, and I had a hard time deciding – my buddy – who has eaten at every restaurant in the city ordered the gingered salmon, wasabi mashed potatoes and garlic broccoli – he was mighty impressed with the food and the price. I got the pan fried talapia, with ginger snap peas and rice and beans with shallots – next time I think I am going to try a panini.
Olgas on Smith is open every day except for Saturday and is under OK – cholov yisroel supervision.During they are open until 9pm and on Sunday until 6pm.