Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shops locally

Daniel Gilkarov, assistant manager at Pomegranate supermarket in Midwood, says the Prime Minister racked up an $1,800 bill while he was in town for the United Nations’ General Assembly.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Midwood’s Pomegranate super market hasn’t yet served a president, but it has catered to Israel’s prime minister.

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu rang up a sky-high $1,800 takeout bill from the Coney Island Avenue supermarket while in town for the United Nation’s General Assembly on Sept. 28 — an order sources from Pomegranate said came in just hours before the sabbath.

A day removed from his famed “red line” speech at the United Nations, Netanyahu ordered heaping plates of prime rib, cold cuts, deli salads, and dips, as well as more traditional sabbath fare like gefilte fish, noodle kugel, and chicken soup, workers said.

Still, the owners of the gourmet store — nicknamed the “kosher Whole Foods” — were unimpressed by the head of state’s patronage.

“I’m not shocked,” said Abraham Banda, the store’s owner and a member of the Satmar sect. “With the kind of product that we put out, it’s not something out of the ordinary. I would expect for anybody who wants the best kosher food, that this is the first stop.”

Snacking: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose Midwood’s own Pomegranate for a $1,800 feast while he was in town for United Nations-related activities.
AP / Menahem Kahana

Banda said the store’s chefs and deli crew hustled to process the oversized order, which a staffer had phoned in, and finished it within an hour before delivering it to the Regency Hotel on the Upper East Side, just as sabbath was falling.

The obdurate prime minister, who has angered many Americans for what they perceive to be attempts to meddle in American politics, was pleased with the food, though his trip to the U.S. was ultimately a failure — he didn’t get the U.S. to commit to his so-named “red line” But at least he had a good meal.

“The person who ordered the food said it was very good and that they were amazed that a kosher restaurant would provide the kind of quality and presentation that we did,” said Banda, an avowed Netanyahu fan who said he sent over pictures of the food to the group before they ordered anything.

The Israeli Embassy did not respond to calls for comment.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

Get your kugel!
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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