July 17, 2024
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Come on Down! Kosher at the Jersey Shore

There is only one place on the Jersey Shore where you can vacation with a large variety of kosher restaurants, Orthodox shuls and plenty of things to keep you and the family busy and entertained. Did you guess Monmouth County and the great Deal community?

For starters, there are 18 restaurants, three butchers, two supermarkets with glatt kosher delis, five pizza places, Chinese food and more. Then there’s a huge swimming pool, known to many as the Atlantic Ocean. But that’s not all. Add in four public golf courses, an indoor amusement park, one of the oldest and best thoroughbred race tracks, a national park (Sandy Hook—part of the Gateway Recreation Area), two historic lighthouses and high-speed ferry service to the city that gets you to Wall Street in 35 minutes, and you are only a half hour away from Point Pleasant Beach with its many arcades, a large aquarium and a family-oriented boardwalk.

Do I have your interest? Good. Let’s take it a step further. Forty-five minutes away for a great day trip—Six Flags Great Adventure. They even have a kosher concession stand at the park. Just 15 minutes away you’ll find 120 stores at the Jersey Shore Premium Outlet Center on State Route 66. If you have a clear day, travel up to Mt. Mitchell and get a bird’s view of the New York City Skyline at the highest point between Florida and Maine overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

You’ve heard of the award-winning Pier Village in Long Branch—great place—lots of restaurants and shops. Only problem, none of the eateries are kosher. The kosher restaurants are found in Deal, Oakhurst, Long Branch and Allenhurst. They are all under the supervision of the Jersey Shore Orthodox Rabbinate, a highly regarded kashrut agency.

Now the details:

Long Branch: They have a brand new, beautiful, hurricane-proof boardwalk and the Ocean Place Resort Hotel has undergone a $25 million renovation. The boardwalk has three concession stands south of the promenade—most have kosher snacks. In the center of the West End Business District is the Lighthouse, a kosher ice cream stand on Brighton Avenue. (Note: The northern Lighthouse location is not kosher.) The restaurant 656 serves excellent steaks and more on Ocean Avenue and is highly recommended. Also in West End is the Glatt Kosher Deli in the Stop and Shop. They have a wide variety of Sephardic foods as well as the usual kosher products.

Deal: Its claim to fame—many food outlets and shuls. Most of the restaurants are located on Norwood Avenue. Three pizza outlets are on this street. If you’re into Sephardic foods, we highly recommend Sarah’s Tent. The area’s sole kosher bakery, Nahum’s, also resides on Norwood. Their challah is superb! Well-known Dougie’s BBQ has a facility right on the corner of Norwood and Roosevelt Avenues.

Oakhurst: If you’re looking for Italian food, look no further than Tutto Bene on Route 35 South. Many people have told us the food is as good as any kosher dairy restaurant in the Big Apple. On Roosevelt Avenue adjacent to Deal is Sheng Mao, with tasty Chinese and Japanese menus in a delightful setting. M&A Kosher Meats on Monmouth Road has an excellent variety of both Sephardic and Askenazi offerings. The Hot Bagel Bakery on Monmouth Road is the only place to go for that round popular breakfast staple. For falafel catch Jack’s Good to Go in the Middlebrook Shopping Center on Route 35. Best place under supervision for ice cream—The Igloo on West Park Avenue and Route 35.

Elsewhere: The little town of Allenhurst, just south of Deal, has several kosher restaurants on Main Street, including the popular Butcher’s Steak House. Kosher Experience in the Shoprite of Neptune on Route 66 across from the Seaview Shopping Center has the largest selection of Ashkenazi food in the area.

Popular local attractions:

Monmouth Race Track operates Friday through Sunday. The first week in August they feature the Haskell Handicap where triple crown winner American Pharoah continued his winning streak last year. Funtime America in Eatontown features bumper cars and laser tag, and includes a variety of activities for the younger crowd. Monster Mini-Golf on Hope Road, also in Eatontown, is also indoors and unique. Monmouth Mall is the shopping mecca for the area with big-name stores like Lord and Taylor, JC Penney and more.

Okay, there you have a synopsis of Deal and the surrounding Jersey Shore community. If you want more information from one single source, point your computer, tablet or smartphone to www.jsor.org. There are links there to hotels, attractions and all things kosher under the sun by the Atlantic. We hope to see you down here—soon!

By Jonathan Weber

Jonathan Weber lives in Long Branch and has been a photojournalist for a publication coincidently called “The Link” since 2003. The secular weekly newspaper services the greater Long Branch community and has a readership of about 10,000. He also maintains the JSOR website, the Kashrut agency for Monmouth County.

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