Nestled away in the Upper West Side lies a kosher restaurant that is choc-full of great options. Besides their unique pineapple pizza and blueberry knishes, Café Roma also offers a variety of tasteful basics, such as pizza, calzones, bourekas, baked goods, ice cream, and more. A great feature is their open hot and cold salad bar, featuring many great dishes, such as baked ziti, eggplant parmigiana, and macaroni. The macaroni with sauce was very tasty. The array of salad that I tried was fresh. For dessert, I sampled a banana milk shake, which was a great way to top off dinner.
Café Roma, which opened in 1992, moved to its current location three years ago. Shlomo, one of the managers, runs the store along with his father, who started the pizzeria. He said that, even in today’s bad economy, thank G-d, they still have customers, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. They get a lot of students, some from Columbia University, which is local to the restaurant. They have some regulars from the neighborhood as well.
Besides the tasteful foods, the environment is pleasing as well. The restaurant, as well as the bathroom, is kept quite clean, which is almost a phenomenon in NYC restaurants. They do deliveries throughout Manhattan, as well as cater for all types of parties. They pride themselves on using only fresh ingredients and opt for low fat in many of their dishes. For those who cannot have cheese, they offer a nice array of pizza without cheese. The ingredients are all cholov and pas yisroel, as well as yoshon. The hashgacha is under Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein.
One of their more famous visitors was Madonna, whose picture can be seen at the cashier. So, besides going for the great food, you might run into someone famous too!
To visit: 854 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10025, 212-875-8972. Store hours – Sun.-Thurs: 11:00 a.m. till 10 p.m. Fri: 11 a.m. till 1 hour before sundown. Sat: 1 hour after sundown till 2 a.m.