Crown Heights Soon To Be Smokin’
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Crown Heights Soon To Be Smokin’

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

Sruly Eidelman, 27-year-old Jewish foodie from Brooklyn, is constantly smoking. Meat, that is.

“It’s a hard habit to break,” said Eidelman, 27, in a recent phone interview. “I smoke whatever I want, even cholent.”

Eidelman, who used to work in a cabinetry company, opened Izzy’s BBQ Addiction, a Texas-style kosher barbecue pop-up, as a part-time operation about one year ago. As he cooked, he would post the menu on his Facebook page and orders would come in online. When the meat was ready, about 16 hours later, Eidelman would make home deliveries.

Now, the wandering enterprise has finally found a home. Eidelman recently signed a lease for 397 Troy Ave. Though it doesn’t yet have a name, the restaurant’s grand opening is set for October. It will seat 25-30 people and offer barbecue completely untouched by gas.

“The authentic wood-smoked taste is what makes the difference,” said Eidelman, who mentioned brisket, ribs and chicken as his feature entrees.

Eidelman’s joint reflects a recent trend in kosher fine dining: The Brooklyn foodie scene is developing a kosher foodie sub-scene, including Mason & Mug and Kava Shteeble. The company kitchensurfing.com, which allows individuals to book personal chefs for special engagements, now has a kosher division that caters specifically to the New York Jewish community.

“The kosher world used to have two options: high end, or very low end — there was no intermediate,” said Eidelman. He hopes his new restaurant will offer a third option.

“I want to provide quality meat and taste that is also affordable,” he said.

Until recently, the New York City Fire Department had banned “authentic” smokers because they were fire hazards, said Eidelman. The recent removal of that ban made his dream possible.

Though he always had a passion for food, Eidelman might have stayed in cabinetry had he not stumbled upon Ari White, the El Paso, Texas-born chef who owns and operates the Wandering ’Que, a pop-up that travels around the city.

“Ari has been my barbecue guru,” said Eidelman. “If Ari likes my food, I know I’m doing something right,” he said.

While quality taste is his priority, Eidelman hopes his restaurant can provide more than just food — he’s looking to create a unique atmosphere.

“I want this to be a place where you can sit down, order a great craft beer, listen to some bluegrass music and talk with your friends,” Eidelman said. “And I think that more Jews need to try this kind of food.”

hannah@jewishweek.org

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