August 23, 2022

Washington DC Inches Forward with Kosher Food Options

Washington DC…Benny travels frequently to the nation’s capital, something he has been doing since the late ‘80’s, but despite several kosher food options he still finds the pickings very slim. “I sometimes wonder why there aren’t more options for the lobbyists, contractors and tourists who eat kosher,” says Benny. Recently there was word that an Israeli-style falafel eatery was coming to the District. Oh Mama Grill, which offers falafel, shawarma, schnitzel, sabich, homemade hummus and more, is set to open its second location in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. The restaurant’s first location in Rockville, Md., opened five years ago. “My husband’s dream was to open in D.C. When we started, we couldn’t afford D.C.,” owner Riki Alkoby told Jewish Insider. “People keep calling us like, ‘When will you open another location?’ We decided that it’s about time to fulfill his dream.”

The only other kosher meat restaurant in Washington is Char Bar, which is more upscale, while Oh Mama Grill will offer common street food. A kosher meat restaurant called HaMakom was slated to open at The George Washington University Hillel last year, but its plans have been delayed. The HaMakom team previously operated the Schmaltz Bros. kosher food truck, which shuttered earlier this year. Alkoby said Oh Mama Grill should be open for business soon, pending approval of the local rabbinic council who must find a mashgiach, who are very much in short supply even in major Jewish concentration centers. “I think that we will be ready to go in about two weeks, but we’re waiting for the [Greater Washington] Vaad to find a mashgiach,”