Café Emunah. 3558 N. Ocean Boulevard| Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308 954.561.6411| Kosher Dairy Restaurant under ORB Supervision |Wi-Fi available. Web: http://myemunah.com | Open Sunday-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Open Saturday, 1 hour after sunset until midnight
I wanted to eat something healthy, and the name Café Emunah came up.
As I drove down the pre-rush hour traffic down Oakland Park Boulevard, I didn’t try to picture what the interiors of the place would be like or nothing. I was too busy looking at the street numbers, and making sure I didn’t miss 3558 N. Ocean Boulevard.
Now, if you drive down A1A a great deal, and you’re a law-abiding citizen like I am, you know U-turns are mostly forbidden—all the more reasons to take heed of building numbers.
So, if you’re heading from I95 North, and get off Oakland Park, know that Café Emunah is just a few blocks away, after you’ve made that left turn on N. Ocean Boulevard.
I found a parking space right away—a rare thing for walk-to-the-beach types of establishments, like Café Emunah, so of course I was really grateful. The minute I walked in the door, I was met with Chris, one of the employees, who flashed me a nice smile, and made me feel like he was expecting me, when he hadn’t really.
Looking at their menu, I couldn’t decide what to order. Everything sounded so yummy and so healthy…whether it was their Emunah Salad, which comes with walnuts, candied ginger, red pepper, radish, cucumber and mango—or their wahoo tataki which comes with jalapeno, red onions, along with sesame seeds with a little bit of ponzu sauce thrown in. They serve shrimp, but it’s imitation shrimp…otherwise it wouldn’t be kosher, would it?
That’s Chris (left), who served me what Chef Greg (not pictured) had prepared for me. And that’s Annette Lipszyc, the manager to his right. Aren’t their smiles cute?
My Restaurant Adventure…
Well, this is what I decided on…the Café Emunah Moses Roll, which I highly, highly recommend. It’s basically a tempura-styled roll with salmon, with some spicy mayo thrown in, and a bit of avocado, scallions and mango dots. My meal came with pickled ginger. It was my first time having pickled ginger, and it was a pleasant experience. When pickled, the ginger gets as pink as a healthy tongue.
Oh, in case you’re wondering…that green stuff that you see, is something called wasabi…I was warned about it, and decided to try it regardless. Boy, is it strong! Annette quickly handed me my tea so that I could take a sip. Let me tell you readers, eating wasabi felt like chewing on something and having a bell pepper sprayed into your nose. Only for the pungent taste-loving folks.
My meal was utterly delicious.
And that tea I mentioned…was something else…it was the day’s special…Organic Jamaica Red Bush. It’s full of antioxidants, which I more than welcomed. And it also contains rooibos, honeybush, hibiscus, which up to this point, I had thought was just a decorative flower. The tea is good for the skin (so I look forward to having an extra facial glow tomorrow morning).
Café Emunah felt so homey, and it
wasn’t just the soft-blanket atmosphere inside either. It was the genuine smile of the staff, manager Annette Lipszyc’s attention to detail (from the counter, she spied a regular customer couple coming in with a toddler, and promptly asked one of the staff members to bring a high chair). Such personalized service is probably one of the reasons why Café Emunah has won so many awards, including back-to-back Zagat awards that hang on the walls.
A Sample of the Decor
Ah, see the walls! You can choose an intimate table or you can get on one of those stylish wall multi-seaters.
The Story Behind the Café
Annette took over the management of the restaurant, some years ago for her son Rabbi Moishe M. Lipszyc. Coming from the healthcare industry, she says that “management is not a problem”, but admits there were some challenges at first. “When I started,” she remembers, “I didn’t know anything about the food business, but with my people here—with the staff—I learned quickly.” Annette is absorbed in the financials of the company, and oversees 6 employees.
“We get deliveries almost every day,” she says, pointing out that everything on the menu is made on the premises, and from scratch.
Café Emunah has been in business since 2007 (Annette took over two years later, and her son the Rabbi Moishe remains the owner), and says that the secret to managing a restaurant of this caliber comes down to one thing: “I love people,” she says. “I love to help out. Everybody comes in, and they feel relaxed.”
The Run Down
I did too. I loved the wall decor, and all the little touches—like these little canoes that the sushi is served on. Café Emunah’s success is due to service and just plain good food. Café Emunah has soups, pizza, pasta, fish, coffee, tea, sushi, and lots of dessert choices. You can view their menu by CLICKING HERE. When is the next time you’re heading there? We just might be parked next to one another. I might try their Beach Roll…the next time around.
Café Emunah. 3558 N. Ocean Boulevard | Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308 954.561.6411| Kosher Dairy Restaurant under ORB Supervision |Wi-Fi available. | Web: http://myemunah.com | Open Sunday-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m | Open Saturday, 1 hour after sunset until midnight
All photos by me…