As a conservative Jew, I was raised kosher my entire life. When I began my journey to college, far away from the comfort of my home in Los Angeles, I feared that I wouldn't get enough protein or nutrients if I remained kosher.

However, Adamah Neighborhood Table, a cafe located inside Wisconsin Hillel, saved me. Adamah is a kosher restaurant that offers a variety of delicious and nutritious foods, ranging from deli sandwiches to shakshuka to matzo ball soup

What is Adamah?

Melissa Simon

In Hebrew, adamah means "land" or "ground" (yielding sustenance). Adamah Neighborhood Table serves to bring a tighter-knit community, as well as healthy kosher food options to campus and the general public. Adamah is the only kosher-certified food service in all of Madison.

What Does Kosher Even Mean?

Kosher comes from the Hebrew word כשר (pronounced ka-sher), which means “fit” and “proper.” Certain foods deemed kosher are prepared by following strict and complex Jewish dietary laws. Foods are considered kosher if the animal chews its cud and has split hooves, the animal is slaughtered and processed following a particular method, meat and dairy products are not mixed, all ingredients are derived from a kosher source, it's prepared with kosher utensils, and it's properly certified. 

Adamah Neighborhood Table: What's on the Menu?

Melissa Simon

From chicken salads to turkey and roast beef sandwiches, to sweet potato hash and bagel and lox, Adamah Neighborhood Table has it all. My personal favorite dish is the Smoked Turkey Club, which consists of smoked turkey (obviously), lettuce, tomato, onion and avocado aioli on sourdough bread. The Asian chicken lettuce wraps are a good alternative when you're in the mood for something light (and gluten-free, may I add). The Classic Shakshuka (poached eggs in tomato and bell pepper sauce) and the Ain't No Challah Back Girl (BBQ brisket sandwich on a challah roll) are also popular dishes. 

Of course, you can't forget the famous matzo ball soup, which is especially useful when you're not feeling well. As Mom always says, the soup contains healing remedies. You can add chicken too, if you're craving extra protein. 

My Personal Adamah Experience 

Melissa Simon

When I arrived on campus, I couldn't get myself to eat the non-kosher meat at Gordon. I had strictly kept kosher since the day I was born, and it just didn't feel right to break it in college. 

When I found out about Adamah, I became confident that I could still keep kosher while also getting the nutrients I needed. Adamah was the exact place I was looking for to allow myself to remain committed to my Judaism during my time at UW-Madison. I eat lunch or dinner at Adamah at least once a week. As a bonus, it's in a convenient location, and the food is nutritious, filling, and simply irresistible. 

Whether you're Jewish or not, kosher or not, anyone is welcome to eat at Adamah and become part of the Adamah community. Stop in today to try all the dishes and find your favorite!