May 19, 2024
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May 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Elizabeth’s Jerusalem Stretches Past the Pizza Dough

The Jerusalem Restaurant in Elizabeth is an institution in the community. Over the decades it has seen a few different owners and some changes in the basic fare, but has been mostly focused on the pizza business. However, the recent changes in menu, expanded catering options and in-house offerings have really gotten the attention of the community, in a good way.

Current owner and proprietor Elliot Rosenfeld discussed the changes over the years, and especially in the past several months. Rosenfeld, who is an accountant by profession, lives with his family outside the Elizabeth community in Teaneck, and his son Gabe is now the manager of the restaurant. Throughout high school and college Rosenfeld worked in the catering business. As his life progressed, he realized that there would not be much time for family life in the food business. He gave it up until “that itch came around in 1999, and I purchased the current location in 2000.”

Rosenfeld said, “Being that the restaurant tends to cater to the local community and many of my customers are repeat customers, I felt that we needed to change things around.” And change they did. The flagship pizza remains unchanged; but the steam table, grill and prepared fare have undergone a metamorphosis, due in part to the addition of some new blood in the food creation and recipe department. Fran Bijou has joined the team, and her spirit and creativity permeate the menu and atmosphere. Fran loves to interact with the customers. Rosenfeld appreciates the strong customer connection and states, “My entire business and my career have been built on relationships.” He respects the importance of fostering good relationships in order to grow his business and maintain customer satisfaction.

During the recent local investigation of the suspected NYC and Elizabeth bomb terrorist, the JLNJ heard that Rosenfeld provided free meals to the FBI, local and county police and others working the case on the next block. He stated, “The police and the FBI put their lives on the line each and every day to protect us. This was a small way of being able to give back to them, to show my appreciation. During one of the wars in Israel, when we werebeing bombarded with rockets, I had a campaign in the store to keep local pizza stores in the south [of Israel] in business when their customers were constantly running to bomb shelters to remain safe.”

Rosenfeld is also sensitive to the larger regional communal needs. Jerusalem Restaurant is part of the “adopt a camper” program with HASC. “HASC holds a very special place in my heart. It was not until family visiting day that I realized how much HASC does for the children of HASC as well as for the parents of these HASC campers.”

There are numerous notable new items on the menu, and the steam table has unique and varied main and side dishes on a daily basis. Tuesday features an all-you-can-eat lunch. The pizza varieties have expanded, while preserving the time-honored basics of their pizza. You can get an eggplant parmesan pizza, and whole wheat varieties. Also on the menu are grilled and baked fish and one of the new favorites: the amazing and decadent breaded macaroni and cheese balls, sure to be a favorite of kids- and adults kids- of all ages.

Jerusalem Restaurant of Elizabeth really has something — or several things — for everyone. Combine a team of friendly and receptive staff with management who care about the community, and you have an establishment that has risen to the occasion of bringing some fresh ideas to the dairy plate in town. Enjoy!

By Ellie Wolf

 

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