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Walla! (Tenafly)


Jason Perlow
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I was recently made aware of a new Kosher restaurant in Tenafly, which opened about three months ago on Jay Street, in the short alley across from the Honda dealership on County Road.

Walla! Differs from most Kosher places in the area in that

A) It's in Tenafly and thus the standards are a bit higher and

B) The food is actually quite good.

In fact, I would say that their Middle Eastern offerings rival Bennie's in Englewood in terms of quality, which is saying a great deal. The restaurant is owned by a young Israeli couple and features Kosher Meat items. The restaurant is certified by the RCBC and there is a kosher supervisor there during all business hours (although he basically just sits there and reads the newspaper, apparently.) In any case, the quality of the meat here is excellent and they know how to cook it properly. They have some unusual items here that you wouldn't expect to find in a regular Falafel/Shwarma place, and everything here has a Yemenite spin on it, because one of the owners, Rosie, is a Yemeni Jew. She is incredibly passionate about food and is very much quality oriented. Plus, she's extremely cute.

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Walla Storefront on Jay Street in Tenafly

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Interior decorations

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Lunch Menu

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The Mise-En-Place area for the Sandwiches

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Sandwich bar, close up

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A creamy Israeli-style Babaghanoush.

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Zhoug, a spicy dip/condiment.

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Carrot Salad and roasted Pepper salad.

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Roasted Cauliflower Salad

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This is Malawach, a type of Yemenite griddle bread with scrambled eggs and tomato. Amazing, Rachel was talking about this for days.

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Falafel Sandwich

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Condiments -- Pickles for the Falafel, Tahina, and Amba, a very strongly flavored mango pickle paste, which originates from Iraq.

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The "Sabich" (Sah-Bikh) sandwich, which is a favorite of Iraqi Jews. It is composed of hummus, tahina, tomato cucumber salad, hardboiled eggs, onions and eggplant salad. Its meant to be eaten with the Amba pickle pictured above.

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Shwarma, served on Yemeni Laffa Bread. Laffa is similar to Pita, but flatter and more wrap-like.

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Shwarma, opened up. The sandwich is utterly huge and could feed two people if you ordered appetizers. Its made from turkey meat that has been heavily seasoned with Sabah Baharat, a middle eastern spice blend that includes cinnamon.

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Shwarma closeup.

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Baby Chicken with Couscous plate.

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Toasted Laffa Bread with Herbs and Olive Oil. Really good.

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French Fries, made of fresh cut potatoes

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Turkish Coffee

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Geez, man- that looks really good. And right up my alley, too. I can see myself going there today, actually (my normal Friday routine is to skip lunch and make it back over the GWB by 3pm or so. Usually it's a quick stop for some tacos in Bergenfield or dogs at Jolly Nick's on the way home.) Something tells me that if I get that schwarma I won't be having dinner tonight...

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Don't get there too late, I'm not sure when they close on Friday, but they are shomer shabbos, so they are not open for dinner on Fridays or open at all on Saturday.

That Malawach with Egg & Tomato sandwich was really amazing. I only didn't order it when we went back a second time because Jason wanted pictures of other food. The bread is very flaky. It reminds me of a Chinese scallion pancake, only without the scallions and Chinese flavor. I've been feeling a little food jaded lately, like I haven't had anything "new" in ages. But this was a totally new food (to me), I guess that's why I'm still talking about it.

The couscous was very simple, but delicious. The veg on top were boiled and a little bland, but somehow they "went" with it anyway. I think you can get any meat you want with the couscous, and I chose the baby chicken, which was perfectly cooked, flavorful and moist.

The french fries were obviously hand cut, but I don't think they were twice fried. Regardless, they were very nice, especially dipped in the creamy babaganous (almost like Belgian frites with mayonaise).

Being a glatt kosher meat restaurant, their prices are a little higher than you'd find at a non-kosher or kosher dairy restaurant, but I think it's worth it, and not just for the RCBC status. The respect for their food and customers are obvious. Right now it's a small place, but the storefront next door is currently vacant and they are trying to expand into it, I hope they get the support they need to do it and afford it.

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Right now it's a small place, but the storefront next door is currently vacant and they are trying to expand into it, I hope they get the support they need to do it and afford it.

Yes, she wants to do a fish place and also pre-prepared takeout foods. I hope Tenafly gives her the permits too.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Don't get there too late, I'm not sure when they close on Friday, but they are shomer shabbos, so they are not open for dinner on Fridays or open at all on Saturday.

Regular nights they close at 10PM, though. And they are open Sundays I beleive.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Geez, man- that looks really good. And right up my alley, too. I can see myself going there today, actually (my normal Friday routine is to skip lunch and make it back over the GWB by 3pm or so. Usually it's a quick stop for some tacos in Bergenfield or dogs at Jolly Nick's on the way home.) Something tells me that if I get that schwarma I won't be having dinner tonight...

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up.

Another heads up!

We stopped by to have lunch and they were closed. Israel, the cook, was locking up told us that they are normally open on Friday for lunch, but they had to do something and had to close early. Details were vague as he doesn't speak English very well.

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Thanks for posting back, Rachel. Too bad I can't get there today, but I will soon enough.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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It's in Tenafly and thus the standards are a bit higher

Could you please elaborate on this statement? I always thought that Teaneck had the best selection of this type of cuisine...

Teaneck certainly has a lot of Kosher restaurants. However, most of them wouldn't pass muster here on eG, from a foodie perspective. Tenafly (and Englewood) is home to a lot of Israelis, as several of the local shops now carry a great deal of Israeli goods (both Tenafly Gourmet Farm and the newstand on Railroad Ave are heavily stocked with Israeli foodstuffs). I think that Israelis (as opposed to just regular Orthodox Jews) tend to be a bit more selective where they eat, because they are looking for more authentic middle eastern than just "Kosher". This combined with the income level of most residents of the town and the higher rents leads to a higher expected level of food quality.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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My goodness. That's some good looking food. I'll put it on my request list next time I'm visiting the cousins in NJ.

That Malawach with Egg & Tomato sandwich was really amazing. I only didn't order it when we went back a second time because Jason wanted pictures of other food. The bread is very flaky. It reminds me of a Chinese scallion pancake, only without the scallions and Chinese flavor. I've been feeling a little food jaded lately, like I haven't had anything "new" in ages. But this was a totally new food (to me), I guess that's why I'm still talking about it.

Rachel - check with a kosher/Israeli store. You can buy frozen Malawach that you pan-fry at home. I don't know if it will be as good as the stuff in the restaurant, but it'll work if you're craving it over Shabbat!

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  • 1 month later...
...

That Malawach with Egg & Tomato sandwich was really amazing. I only didn't order it when we went back a second time because Jason wanted pictures of other food. The bread is very flaky. It reminds me of a Chinese scallion pancake, only without the scallions and Chinese flavor. I've been feeling a little food jaded lately, like I haven't had anything "new" in ages. But this was a totally new food (to me), I guess that's why I'm still talking about it.

...

I recently had one of these and it was just killer. Mine had a little more char than the one pictured, but to me that is a very good thing. I was reminded of the bread that the Trini places use for their 'doubles'- flaky/stretchy and sort of oily in a good way. I got some of the zhoug to go along with the tomato relish, and that really made it for me. If I were close by at lunchtime I'd get one of these a week and never tire of it.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Went last night. I like Bennie's in Englewood a lot, and this was definitely better.

Had the lamb kabob with rice and beans, and a cucumber tomato salad. The lamb was really tender and deliciously spiced. The bread was delicious. The baba ghanouj...YUM.

And the waitress (owner?) was a sweetheart.

I'll be going back soon and often.

Oh! She asked how I found the place and I told her about egullet. She had never heard of it and seemed quite pleased.

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