May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

If tikkun olam is about perfecting the world, then we might be one step closer based on the following three words: gas station cholent. Let those seemingly unconnected terms—“gas station” and “cholent”—stew in your brain for a few minutes until they boil over with comprehension and exhilaration.

If the Garden of Eden had a gas station, one would imagine that such a heavenly pit-stop would offer cholent. That seems like a dream that could be realized only in the Garden of Eden but it now can be achieved in a far less utopian garden, the Garden State. Simply make your way to 475 Route 4 West and stop at the Delta gas station located approximately one mile from the George Washington Bridge. There you will find a heimishe oasis known as Snaxit, a kosher gas station convenience store that offers mouthwatering mini-mart meals. The fabulous fare has a variety of offerings which, as the shomer shabbos store cleverly advertises, are available “24/6.” On at least two of those six days, Thursday and Friday, the gas station store heroically features cholent.

For the record, some people do not aspire to eat cholent from a gas station just like they do not aspire to eat cholent from a state penitentiary, military installation or space shuttle mission. Whether justified or not, for some people there is a certain built-in stigma associated with gas station food including gas station cholent. If you are hosting shabbos company and you serve them gas station cholent, you probably will not openly advertise the source. If you do, your guests probably will not be impressed and, depending on their pedigree and snootiness, they might even be offended.

Of course, it would be silly and unfair for anyone to belittle gas station cholent. It is not as if the cholent is prepared by a greasy mechanic who just changed a carburetor and did not wash his hands. The Delta gas station operations on Route 4 are separate from the Snaxit food operations and, as it appears, never the twain shall meet. If the Snaxit store is fleishig, the gas station is milchig.

The Snaxit store on Route 4 is actually making tremendous strides in changing perceptions so that its products are viewed as favorably as other trusted kosher goods. Does this mean that folks will soon be hiring Snaxit to cater their weddings? Maybe not, but a gas station convenience store does not really aspire to cater weddings just like Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men do not really aspire to play Carnegie Hall.

Based on novelty alone, gas station cholent has a chance to endure and thrive. But if Snaxit wants to turn its gas station cholent up a few notches, here are a few potentially game-changing ideas.

First, gas station cholent, just like the gas, should be offered in different varieties. For example, “regular unleaded cholent” should be standard/plain cholent, “mid-grade cholent” should be cholent with potatoes, “premium cholent” should be cholent with kishke and “diesel cholent” should be cholent with hot dogs and beer.

Second, the prices for gas station cholent, just like those for gas, should be prominently displayed on a large electronic sign that can easily be seen by drivers. This will be particularly necessary when other gas stations, in order to compete, also start offering cholent and savvy drivers start scanning for the best deals. Of course, while oil prices will affect gas prices, cholent prices will be more dependent on the kidney/pinto bean supply.

Third, gas station cholent, just like the gas, should be served or dispensed at the pumps. Customers would bring their pots or other suitable containers and then would simply ask the attendant to “fill‘er up.” If and when this craze catches on, automobile manufacturers might begin designing cars with a separate cholent tank, which is less crazy than it sounds.

Finally, gas station cholent, just like the gas, should be priced by the gallon. If customers want to purchase less than a gallon of cholent, then they do not deserve to purchase it in the first place. Buying less than a gallon of cholent is almost as silly as buying a thimble of matzah ball soup.

Snaxit should be enormously proud of its gas station cholent and many other delicious items. The Jewish community should support such a beautifully heimishe establishment, one that undoubtedly brings a smile to the face of every Jew driving down Route 4.

Final thought: What do you get when you bring your car to a Lubavitch mechanic? You get a “Lub”-job.

Send comments or insults to [email protected]

By Jonathan Kranz

 

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