June 13, 2017

Loud Rebuff of Critic of “Terrible Food” in Kosher Restaurants

New York- Although it has been nearly a month since The Forward chose to publish a scathing criticism of kosher restaurants by Jacob Frommer, both the writer and the newspaper continue to be scolded by kosher and non-kosher consumers worldwide. Many of the popular upscale restaurants reached by Kosher Today for this article said that they could produce many letters and e-mails giving them high marks, including non-kosher consumers who praised the food and the restaurants in comparison with non-kosher restaurants. Mr. Frommer chose to eviscerate every aspect of a kosher restaurant and essentially gave the entire industry a bad grade because of his personal bad experience.

Elan Kornblum, "The Restaurant Guy" and President of the Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine, said that the article was a “gross generalization that brushed the kosher industry in one stroke.” Mr. Kornblum adds: “Places mess up here and there but when you put all the bad things together it's a misrepresentation. No one talks about the thousands of customers that have a nice time, enjoy themselves and leave happy. To say all restaurants are horrible is a slap in the face to all the hard working men and women who spend 18 hour days, serving people.”  While Mr. Frommer was supposedly doing a piece on kosher restaurants, his article questions Talmudic logic, disparages kosher diners, and even takes a stab at kosher certifiers. He reserved his most damming criticism for the food: “The food arrives and it is generic, bland, coaxed to a quiet life with too much oil or a cocktail of sugary sauces.” Although the Forward did publish a disclaimer that it does not necessarily represent their views, there was a great deal of criticism that it chose to publish an article that one rabbi said was “virulently anti-Semitic.” The weekly Jewish newspaper, while being secular, devotes a great deal of coverage to kosher, a reflection of the growing prominence of kosher in Jewish life.