CSU welcomes Northern Colorado’s first kosher-certified eatery

The only kosher-certified eatery in Larimer County — inside CSU’s Parmelee dining hall — held a grand opening on Oct. 10.

CSU President Tony Frank, Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell and other city and university officials were on hand to cut the ribbon.

The new Kosher Bistro, which follows strict dietary laws, is open to students, staff and faculty, regardless of faith.

CSU Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik is the certifying rabbi for the bistro.

“Fifty percent of the kosher consumers are not Jewish,” Gorelik said. “They are people who simply just appreciate the high standards that we follow.” unnamed-10

People of Jewish faith believe that what you put into your body affects you as a person spiritually. The Torah mandates diet that is sensitive to the soul. As an example, kosher dietary laws forbid eating animals that have predatory instincts.

The bistro, which opened at the beginning of the semester, employs a mashgiach, who is the chef and supervisor of a kosher establishment. He makes sure that all food brought into the bistro is kosher and that the food is prepared under the dietary law.

Kosher food also must maintain a high level of cleanliness. Because the foods tend to be fresher and more authentic than others, the kosher lifestyle attracts many non-Jewish people. Some say a kosher diet is healthier than a normal diet and that the animals used are treated humanely.

unnamed-8CSU Police Chief Scott Harris enjoys the new bistro and has visited it quite frequently.

“I am not of the Jewish faith,” Harris said. “But I believe in supporting all diversity programs on campus. The Bistro was created to offer students, staff and faculty, regardless of religious affiliation, a kosher option. The food is great, and the staff is friendly.”

The deli offers homemade hamburgers, hot dogs, stews and salmon, along with a variety of other meat dishes and sides, but is evolving to offer additional signature kosher foods such as matzah ball soup, challah and falafel. The deli wanted to have the foods that most kosher consumers would be looking for.

The new bistro has been in the works for a long time. A former president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University who was Jewish had the idea to open a kosher restaurant and discussed it with Gorelik. The idea found its way to CSU President Tony Frank, who agreed that if students want to maintain a kosher diet, then that service should be provided.

There are only two such restaurants on college campuses in Colorado – here and in Boulder.

The Kosher Bistro is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 6:30 p.m. for dinner.