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  Golden's Restaurant & Deli  
  A Unique Staten Island Experience!  
People have taken many things as mementos: towels, silverware, soil, flowers, pictures etc. But when Ray Pannone decided to move from Brooklyn to Staten Island, there was one thing he felt he couldn’t leave Brooklyn without: the subway! To hear him tell it, he bought the old subway car as a clubhouse for his children and intended to feature it in his backyard. His wife, however, had other ideas about this potential “folly.” Undaunted, Ray took his train and with it created the centerpiece of his then new restaurant, literally placing it smack dab in the middle of the floor; and for the past 19 years, there it has remained to the delight of all who have encountered it.  In retrospect, one could call it a stroke of genius. What better way to connect to the past and impart that traditional old New York flavor to an old fashioned kosher deli? Long before MacDonald’s even thought of the restaurant play center, diners have been enjoying the unique experience of sitting and eating in an actual relic of the past, a flashback through time!
The train also functions as a room divider, sectioning off the dining area, with its wood edged tables and chairs, and the take out area, with its long glass display counter. It is a clean and bright room with both traditional hanging salamis and more contemporary neon accents. The room is large enough not to be overwhelmed by the train, which seems right at home in its central location. In all, the setting is warm and congenial, perfect for casual dining. But, Ray has decided it is time for a change and is currently expanding his restaurant into two adjacent stores, which will effectively double the current 140 seating capacity. The new layout will integrate the added space with the existing and will also include a bar area. The new enlarged restaurant will allow the closing off of areas for parties of different sizes.
The biggest news for kosher diners, however, is the fact that for the first time in its history, Golden’s is under the supervision of a rabbi, Rabbi Avraham Fishelis. Using the principle of the Shtar Mechira, where the ownership of the restaurant is sold to a non-Jewish person every Friday before Shabbos and then reverts back to the Jewish owner after Shabbos (to prevent the Jewish owner from profiting from work performed on Shabbos), Rabbi Fishelis, as well as other Orthodox rabbis,  makes use of this form of sale to enable hitherto unsupervised kosher restaurants that remain open on Shabbos to be available to Jews who could not feel comfortable eating in an establishment that did not have any supervision. For his part, Ray maintains that he has always been vigilant about the kashrus in his store, but did not know how to reconcile that, with the fact that he had to keep his store open on Shabbos, since it is located in a commercial area (the Staten Island Mall) that sees most of its business on the weekends.
For those who eat only glatt kosher meat, the fact that the strictly kosher, but not glatt, Hebrew National meat is served at Golden’s is another issue for them to consider. However, Golden’s menu is extensive enough that there are plenty of other possibilities to order, e.g. the grilled chicken dishes (Empire chickens are used exclusively), salad platters, three egg omelettes, smoked fish, pancakes, blintzes and French toast.
The food served in Golden’s reflects generations of handed down recipes. The restaurant cures its own corned beef and smokes its pastrami in brick ovens. Only the freshest and best quality meat makes the grade at Golden’s. The sandwiches are stacked high with lean, thinly cut slices of meat, which are delicious, particularly the corned beef and pastrami. Family influences on traditional dishes such as the stuffed Cabbage with its raisins offer a glimpse into the family’s hiemishe past, and add a homelike touch. Their popular potato pancake is made with cooked potatoes and then fried to a golden and crispy brown (Passover style) and is served with applesauce.
All the baked goods come from Teena’s Cake fair in Brooklyn (located on Ralph Ave.). . The apple strudel, for example, is served in a humongous portion and comes packed with large chunks of apple. Jello, Fruit Salad and Baked Apple are other desserts. Dietetic selections are also offered.
Located in the Kmart Shopping Center of the Staten Island Mall, Golden’s is minutes away from the Outerbridge Crossing and an approx. 10 minute drive to the Goethals Bridge going into New Jersey. It is the only kosher meat restaurant in all of Staten Island and has successfully survived for the last nineteen years because of its professional service and delicious, high quality food. While other restaurants have come and gone,  Golden continues to enjoy  loyalty from its patrons and that fact speaks volumes.
 

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