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  • Writer's pictureMark Vogel

Holy Schnitzel: A Fast-Casual Kosher Dining Revolution in the New York City Area

Kosher Meat Restaurant Franchise in the New York City Area


Holy Schnitzel kosher restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City
Holy Schnitzel kosher restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City

In the busy streets of Manhattan's Upper West Side, a visit to Holy Schnitzel isn't just about grabbing a quick bite; it's an experience that merges fast-food convenience with the meticulous standards of kosher cuisine. Located at 654 Amsterdam Avenue at 92nd Street, this franchise, founded by siblings Sivan and Ofeer Benaltaba, aims to revolutionize the fast-food industry by providing kosher meals that are not only delicious but also adhere to the highest standards of Kashrut. Before Holy Schnitzel's inception, finding diverse and high-quality kosher fast food was a challenge. The Benaltabas sought to fill this void, and it's safe to say they've succeeded beyond their initial dreams.




“The founders of Holy Schnitzel advocate for kosher not just as a religious practice but as a standard of quality and cleanliness. Their argument is compelling: kosher meats are cleaner, and the vegetables undergo rigorous inspections.”

Holy Schnitzel's philosophy is simple yet profound: offer a welcoming environment, maintain rigorous kosher standards, and serve food that delights everyone, not just those who follow kosher dietary laws. Their menu is a testament to this approach, featuring a variety of items like schnitzels, burgers, popcorn chicken, falafel, and much more. Each dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and a clear focus on health and taste.


Holy Schnitzel kosher restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City
Holy Schnitzel kosher restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City

The name "Holy Schnitzel" is a playful and memorable branding choice that connects the concept of kosher food with a well-known dish. "Holy" is a nod to the kosher aspect of the food they serve, which aligns with Jewish dietary laws that are traditionally considered holy or sacred. Meanwhile, "schnitzel" is a popular breaded and fried meat cutlet, originating from Austria but quite common in Israeli cuisine as well. By combining the two, "Holy Schnitzel" cleverly suggests a place where diners can enjoy a beloved comfort food that also meets strict kosher standards. This catchy name encapsulates the restaurant's mission to provide fast food that's not only tasty and convenient but also sanctified by religious compliance.

 

Upon entering the Upper West Side location, the warm and inviting atmosphere immediately stands out. The menu consists of hearty salads and paninis to crowd-pleasers like popcorn chicken and falafel. Their cornflake chicken and kosher bacon are particularly notable, offering a unique twist on traditional fast food.

 

The customizable salads and vegetarian options ensure that there's something for the health-conscious and those with specific dietary needs. The attention to detail is evident in the food's preparation: meats are kosher, of course, but so are the vegetables, which are washed and inspected to ensure they meet the strictest standards.

 

Holy Schnitzel's menu is extensive, offering a vast array of kosher delights to cater to various tastes. Starting with burgers, they serve a traditional burger, Baby Burgers, and unique takes like the Pastrami Burger, Bacon Avocado Burger, and the Holy Guacamole Burger. Their Chicken Burger and BBQ Pulled Brisket Sandwich are also notable mentions. For an even heartier appetite, there’s the Holy Double burger with two beef patties.

 

The platter selection includes Fried Schnitzel, Shawarma, and Marinated Grilled Chicken or Steak Shoulder Strips, with a choice of sides such as French Fries, Cajun Fries, and Homemade Onion Rings. Patrons can customize their own rice bowls, selecting from a variety of meats, toppings, and a wide assortment of sauces.

 

For starters, options include Buffalo Chicken Fingers, Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers, and Crazy Crispy Beef, among others. They also offer a selection of salads, including the Avocado Salad, Spinach Salad, and the health-centric Quinoa Salad. Customers can create their own salads as well, choosing from a selection of fresh greens, toppings, and dressings.

 

The sandwiches range from Schnitzel & Chicken options like The Holy Schnitzel and The Buffalo Chicken, to veggie sandwiches such as the Veggie Panini. Wrap enthusiasts have choices like Grilled or Fried Chicken, BBQ Chicken, and Caesar Chicken Wraps, as well as a Falafel Wrap, among others.

 

The Holy Choice Toasty Sandwiches provide more variety, with offerings such as The Holy Toasty, The Marinated Chicken, and The Big Sis, to name a few. For those who prefer beef, there are Beef, Steak & Pastrami Sandwiches, including Pepper Steak, The Buffalo Steak, and The Holy Burger Baguette.

 

Sides are plentiful with classics and specialties alike, and the beverage menu keeps it simple with beer, canned drinks, and water. Catering options are available for special events, and there's even a Z'Cholent Thursdays special, offering a traditional stew. With a dedicated kids' meal, the younger crowd is not forgotten, making Holy Schnitzel a destination for the entire family.

 

Holy Schnitzel's dedication to quality doesn't stop at the food. The sauces—a collection of 25 different kinds—allow for endless flavor combinations. The Holy Sauce, Chimichurri Sauce, and Asian Sesame are just the beginning. The array of mayo sauces, including Spicy, Garlic, and Jalapeño mayo, adds another layer of flavor to their dishes.

 

The founders of Holy Schnitzel advocate for kosher not just as a religious practice but as a standard of quality and cleanliness. Their argument is compelling: kosher meats are cleaner, and the vegetables undergo rigorous inspections. The restaurant takes this seriously, employing special techniques to ensure no insects contaminate the food, a testament to their commitment to purity and quality.

 

Under strict supervision with daily inspections, Holy Schnitzel goes above and beyond to maintain the highest levels of Kashrut. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that every meal is not just delicious but also adheres to the strictest standards.

 

Other locations throughout the New York City Area include Borough Park, and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, as well as Queens, Staten Island, Cedarhurst on Long Island and in Roseland, New Jersey.

 

My visit to Holy Schnitzel on the Upper West Side was more than just a meal; it was a deep dive into the heart of kosher fast food, redefined. The Benaltabas' vision of a fast-food restaurant that serves high-quality, delicious, and kosher food is a reality that many New Yorkers and visitors alike have come to appreciate. Whether you're there for the food, the sauces, or the kosher experience, Holy Schnitzel delivers on all fronts.

 

In a city where fast food is ubiquitous, Holy Schnitzel stands out not just for its commitment to kosher standards but for its ability to bring people together, regardless of their dietary preferences. It's a testament to the founders' vision and a beacon for anyone looking for a quick, satisfying, and conscientious meal in New York City.


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