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The Courier News September 2002

Plaque with Courier News article

Adaptation helps diners enjoy Jewish holiday

Hillsborough Beacon, Thursday October 23, 2003. Pages 1A and 8A.


By Beth Kressel
Staff Writer

Being a good businessman means catering to customers' needs, said Chao Lin, owner of Lin's Kosher Chinese Kitchen on South Main Street in Manville.

That's why the native of China asked the Chabad House of Somerset County to park its mobile sukkah outside his restaurant for several evenings last week during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Customers were invited to eat their meal in the wooden sukkah, a walled hut with appropriate roof, or schach, made of naturally growing materials.

Diners could also eat in the plastic sukkah that Mr. Lin bought himself. It stood in a parking space just behind the Chabad hut outside his business.

"The first seven days of the holiday we remember the time that the Jews came out of Egypt and God sent clouds to protect them as they wandered through the desert," said Rabbi Shmaya Krinsky of the Hillsborough Chabad House, relating the biblical story of Exodus.

He stood outside the restaurant with Rabbi Yossi Lazarus of Basking Ridge who transports the Chabad sukkah, measuring about 10 feet long, 3 feet wide and 7 feet tall, behind his sports utility vehicle to locations throughout New Jersey during the holiday.

The two rabbis explained the significance of Sukkot, a nine-day festival that falls after Rosh Hashana, which is the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, which is a day of fasting and atonement.

Simchas Torah, the final two days of the holiday, is one of the most joyous celebrations when Jews around the world complete the reading of the torah for the year and start from the beginning again.

"We remember this time by building huts," said Rabbi Krinsky, referring to the modern sukkah. "We're not just sitting in it during the summertime when it's pleasant outside. In the fall when it gets chillier we do it because it's a commandment from God."

Mr. Lin walked between the restaurant kitchen, and his outdoor dining venue bringing steaming bowls of wonton soup to sukkah diners. He said that he knows Jewish customs because its part of his job -- he has worked in kosher Chinese restaurants throughout New Jersey since coming to the United Sites more than a decade ago.

Last year, he asked if the mobile Chabad sukkah would visit his restaurant and this year he bought one of his own so that he can cater to his afternoon clientele (Rabbi Lazarus only brings the Chabad sukkah to the restaurant in the evenings).

Rabbi Lazarus has a busy schedule during Sukkot -- which began Oct. 11 and ended on Saturday at sundown. He travels to several towns each day, he said, bringing the Chabad's sukkah to many kosher restaurants, to schools, and even to the occasional hotel.

Last year, he received a panicked call from a Best Western Hotel in New Providence. A family, was stuck there for the holiday and they didn't have a sukkah to eat their meals in. So the rabbi dropped off the Chabad hut and picked it up a few days later.

Lazer Herson, 12, and his brother Ari, 7, both of Basking Ridge, finished up the last of their french fries and General Tso's chicken in Mr. Lin's sukkah. Lazer couldn't wait for Simchas Torah to arrive on Saturday so that he could dance and celebrate.

"It's the one time I can be wild and out of control," he said as he glanced uneasily at his now empty dinner plate when asked to describe his meal -- would his mother say he'd consumed one too many french fries?

Just inside the restaurant, the Adlers, Chaim, 23 and Esther, 21, newlyweds who just graduated from Rutgers University, waited to be seated in the sukkah. They came for delicious kosher food, the couple from Highland Park said.

Mr. Adler grumbled a bit though -- he's on the Atkin's diet, a protein-based weight loss plan that forbids the eating of carbohydrates.

Since it's only a mitzvah, or good deed to eat grains in the sukkah, he said, dining in it was not a requirement for him.

Lin's Kosher Chinese Kitchen

244 South Main in Manville (Rt. 533), NJ 08835

908-722-8668 for reservations for menu, map and directions

The Courier News says Lin's offers "traditional Chinese" fare and "alternative." Either way, the secret's out: The freshest ingredients make for the most mouthwatering dishes, homemade from scratch each day.

Customers say, "I'd travel here from anywhere," "Unusually delicious, quick service," "Best Chinese of any kind nearby." Elegant for a date, with tablecloths and glasses; relaxed enough for families; accommodating special diets.

Oversized portions of chicken, beef, veal, roast duck, salmon are all succulent. Western menu delivers ribs bigger and tastier than you've ever had, steak, jumbo crunchy wings, nuggets, fries. Vegetarians feast on sauteÚd dumplings, crisp tofu, eggplant, fresh roasted cashews and almonds.  Dessert brings party sorbets, ice creamy confections, glazed banana clouds.

Monday and Thursday Buffets, All You Can Eat.

Wheelchair access. Complete catering. Glatt Kosher supervision by OK Labs.

Sun-Thu.11-9, Fri.-Sat. call for hours. Near Rt. 287, 22, 202 & 206.


Lin's Kosher Chinese Kitchen in the News. December 04, 2011.
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