When Ari White opened Hakadosh BBQ, his kosher pop-up barbecue restaurant, using a wood burning smokehouse trailer that produces Texas style brisket and smoked turkey legs, he thought it was a clever name.
It caught the fancy of his customers who delighted in the experience of eating high quality barbecue and smiling at the play on words.
But he didn't expect the name to catch the ire of some rabbis who didn't appreciate the humor.
As Dani Klein wrote in The Jewish Week,
By playing on Hakadosh Baruch Hu, “The Holy One, Blessed Be He,” White has invoked the wrath of some rabbis, who feel his barbecue equipment trivializes God’s name.
After a recent Philadelphia-area fundraiser for the Kohelet Yeshiva High School featured White’s barbecue, some rabbis in attendance complained to the kosher certifying agency of White’s businesses, the Baltimore-based Star K. The actual names of White’s concerns — Gemstone Catering, which does events, and Got Cholent, which provides catering on Shabbat — were not the problem.
Star K rabbis conferred and decided earlier this month that the smoker’s name should be changed, White said.This week White announced the new name of the venture, Wandering Que, another play on words combining Wandering (as in Wandering Jew) and Que (as in Barbeque). Maybe this time the rabbis will not feel offended, or maybe they just won't get it.
So be on the lookout for White's smoking contraption as it visits locations in the Catskills and on the streets of New York. You never know where it will pop up, so there's a web site and a Facebook page for BBQ lovers to keep track of this latest addition to the kosher food scene.
Aaron Herman of The Jewish Week got a taste of White's specialties and interviewed him at a New York street food fair. Here's the video.
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