Until last July, Downtown Brooklyn, the third largest business district in New York and home to five local universities with many Jewish students, did not have any local kosher eateries.
Rabbi Eliyahu and Shaindy Raskin began directing Chabad of Brooklyn Law School a little over a year ago and stepped up to fill this void.
Nine months later, JJ’s Holy Cow kosher food truck was born. Now, kosher-keeping Brooklynites in the area can sate their hunger in true New York style.
JJ’s Holy Cow serves a full menu of artisanal, scratch-made burgers, hot dogs, sides and salads, with vegan and vegetarian options available as well. All meat from JJ’s Holy Cow is made with natural, minimally processed beef, with a focus on organic and locally-sourced ingredients where possible. “We hope to shift consumer expectations of what a food cart can offer, as well as provide kosher consumers with great food,” the rabbi says.
Aside from keeping with the New York spirit, the food truck was also an economic choice—it allows Chabad to circumvent the high rental fees in Downtown Brooklyn. “Numerous restaurants have opened and subsequently closed over the past 27+ years,” Shaindy Raskin notes, pointing out that this is due to the steep overhead prices in downtown Brooklyn.
The food truck was originally opened so that Brooklyn Law School students would have kosher food available, but, as Shaindy Raskin notes, “the bonus is that we are providing kosher for the businessmen/women, locals, and any other Jews that have a reason to be in the area,” and with it, the opportunity to connect with new faces. “Every day we meet Jews and connect with them, invite them over for Shabbat meals, or direct them to the local minyan.”
Marcy Roth, a local resident and businesswoman, is thrilled. “The truck has been a ‘magnet,’ bringing old friends and colleagues together while they wait for their food. It has given people a sense of community,” and, of course, “the food is really delicious.”
The truck may look small, but it actually offers more than just a quick lunch burger: JJ’s Holy Cow also offers event catering, and is even available for order on UberEats.
The food truck is glatt kosher under the supervision of Rabbi Aaron Raskin of Brooklyn Heights.
For more information about the food truck, visit www.facebook.com/jjsholycow.