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Olgas on Smith: My favorite restaurant in Brooklyn

olgas on smithI 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 dont 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 dont 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 wasnt 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 wouldnt 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 isnt 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.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Daily Deist September 16, 2009, 12:57 PM

    Nice review- what type of people own this place? presumably not frummies. Anyone know of quaility kosher chinese food in flatbush. i’m assuming it doesnt exist but figured I’d ask. I order chinese from shangchai a couple of week sago. The portions were literally big enough for 3 people and of course they charged 3 times what the price should be. The food ranged from mediocre to terrible.

  • Heshy Fried September 16, 2009, 1:23 PM

    Its owned by a Russian woman – good restaurants are rarely owned by frummies.

    As for good kosher Chinese food – my foodie friends tell me there is no such thing anywhere and that what we know commonly as Chinese food is in fact complete and total BS.

  • daily deist September 16, 2009, 1:37 PM

    thanks hesh- but i bet there are at least a couple of good NK chinese places. And whether its authentic chinese or not- i could give a shit- just want some chicken fried rice, chicken lo mein, sesame chicken, that is not drenched in oil and that use normal fresh pieces of chicken. The chicken in kosher chinese look and taste like its been thr the washer and dryer a dozen times. what the hell do they do to it.

  • Mystery Woman September 16, 2009, 1:43 PM

    There’s an authentic Chinese restaurant in Chinatown (in the city). I don’t know the name. I don’t think it’s owned by Jews, but I’m not sure. But – and here’s the catch – it’s vegetarian.

  • Bsamim Smoker September 16, 2009, 1:45 PM

    So Hesh much did Olga pay you for that review?

  • Alley September 16, 2009, 2:04 PM

    There used to be Shalom Hunan on Ave. M & East 17th. Only good kosher chinese in the City.

    The veg place in Chinatown is under hashgacha. It’s called Buddha Bodai.

    • Heshy Fried September 16, 2009, 2:46 PM

      So Buddha Bodai is under the same guy that gives hashgacha to the 92y-tribecca which is owned by Jews and opened on shabbos and uses non-kosher cheese.

      I meant kosher, as in readily accepted, no one has a problem eating there.

  • Mystery Woman September 16, 2009, 2:25 PM

    Yes. That’s the place. Thank you, Alley.

  • Bsamim Smoker September 16, 2009, 3:07 PM

    If you got paid it’s a baised reveiw/advertisment.If you didn’t get paid well you should at least get a free dinner for givin them a free plug.

  • Heshy Fried September 16, 2009, 3:11 PM

    Bsamin I would tell you if I got paid – I wish they paid me – I asked but she said she’s broke. I felt bad asking for food as its so cheap anyway

  • curious September 16, 2009, 5:12 PM

    Are they doing well enough to stay open? Seems like an odd spot for a kosher restaurant.

    • Heshy Fried September 16, 2009, 7:09 PM

      The place is clearly geared towards non-Jews with the prices and food style – I mean since when would a frummie eat fennel salad?

  • J September 17, 2009, 12:50 PM

    Went there yesterday after reading your review. Had the salmon with two sides and a brownie pretty good. I was the only one there at the time. Hope they attract more people since I don’t see them getting many kosher eaters in that location.

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