The Kosher Cactus was founded by Benjamin Khordipour and Shmuel Aber. The goal of the website is to provide a review of the kosher restaurants around the world, and to encourage Kosher Dining.
Unlike regular food reviewing websites that will belittle and pan the restaurants that they visit, Kosher Cactus is focused on finding the good within each location.
“If we can’t find enough good to speak of an establishment, we’d rather just hold our silence,” says Benjamin Khordipour. “Our blog is here to celebrate Kosher and to uplift it.”
In order to make this dream possible, they partnered with Frayda, a foodie from Brooklyn.
Editor in Chief – Frayda
My food journey started when I met my husbands’ siblings for the first time.
I said, ‘I’m actually a foodie.’
They were thrilled.
I was wrong. I was not the foodie, they were the foodies. And in the last 6 years, I have learned more about food and flavor, and about me, than I have ever known I could know.
The Kosher Cactus started in a New-York-style pizzeria in Arizona.
The restaurant had an unmistakable Arizona feel- there was more than enough space to park your car, and if you didn’t park in the shade, you were liable to die on re-entry. There were cacti growing in pot plants near the entrance, and a red terracotta tile awning.
Large fans blew away the humidity from the ovens inside. We went inside. The summer heat was only escaped by standing directly underneath the air conditioners. Thankfully, there was one directly over the service counter.
We ordered pizza and fries, and gratefully snagged ice cold water from the refrigerator. There were pictures of the Manhattan skyline decorating the walls. Perhaps a nod to the humble beginings of Kosher Pizza?
And then our food arrived. This was no high-end-dining, you should know. There was no dim lighting, we didn’t have a tuxedo-ed waiter, there was no gentle jazz. It was just an orange cafeteria tray, gently slid across the table to rest perfectly in front of us. There was no violin, no flash of lighting, no drama.
There was just… a paper plate. With a slice of pizza. And, obviously, a small carton of fries. And it was incredible.
This story, you see, has a preface. A delayed flight. A plane that just would not. take. off. A gate agent that was incompetent. A TSA agent that refused to make allowances. A spilled coffee. A screaming baby. A splitting headache. A re-route.
And a desperate, desperate need for food. Even pizza and fries. Anything, please.
So as I sat there, eating what may have been the best pizza of my life (actually, the sauce was fantastic), I realized something.
I am so grateful for food. I am so grateful for Kosher food.
Mostly, I am so so lucky to live in this era of convenience, and find pizza and fries in the middle of the Arizona desert. Where I can decide that I am a foodie, and comment on the pizza, the topping options- the options!- the french fries and the overall restaurant decor.
I can talk about the crispiness of the chips, the sweetness of the ketchup. Or describe the diner style seating, or wax lyrical about the crust and the dripping cheese.
I can, because the restaurant is there. It is just 12 minutes from Phoenix’s International Airport.
I am a human, and I eat food, but I am a foodie, because I have the ability to appreciate my food. To be grateful that it exists, and grateful for all the parts that come together to bring me to dining experience.
To be honest, most of my writing is less inspired and more review-y than this epiphany, but the trip to Manhattan Pizza and Subs in Phoenix was a life changer for me.
How Frayda’s Reviews Work
I write reviews mainly for the gratitude I have for Kosher restaurants everywhere, for the entrepreneurs that keep them running, and for the patrons that keep them in business.
If you love the reviews, or you want to support your neighbors, cousins, best friends brother (who just opened a fast food place) – feel free to share.
And if you have any questions – hey, drop a line.
Anyway, thanks for sticking around.