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Homemade Jewish Eats Right in Newton

By Kristen Bosse

The roots of Inna's Kitchen date back many, many years, when Owner Inna Khitrik was born in Belarus and first learned to cook from her father. Growing up she knew that Jewish food was different, and she loved creating dishes that kept her connected to her heritage and the past. Her first experience in the states started in 1990, when she took a job at a deli in Newton. Since then, she has worked managing the kitchen and food services at the JCHE in Newton for their Meals on Wheels Program, and as a personal chef for many families in Newton. In 2011, Inna and her son Alex opened up shop and business has slowly but continually evolved as they learn more about their customers' needs.

Since their immigration in 1990, Alex and his mother believed that Newton was an ideal spot for healthier and more multi-cultural deli than others in the area. Newton is known for its large Jewish population, but also a great mix of other Eastern European backgrounds. This made the town a good fit for continuing their traditional dishes Eastern European dishes as well as introducing a variety of interesting dishes from places like Hungary, Georgia, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Belarus, the Middl East and elsewhere.
"Many Newton residents also prioritize nutritious, healthy, and ethically produced food", Alex says. "This made it a great place to change the image of a deli as an unhealthy indulgence. We have a very healthy bend, using only quality ingredients and from-scratch cooking to make delicious food- without taking shortcuts like using any excess salt, sugar, fat or additives to make food taste good."

For this reason, the response from the town of Newton has been overwhelming. Although it may take a few visits for folks to figure out their attention to detail and quality ingredients, Alex finds that his customers tend to visit again and again. The fact that the café has prepared food for takeout is an added bonus- a nice homemade alternative to commercially processed food from your average grocery store. Some of their most popular selections include the Shakshuka for breakfast, falafel plate and Shawarma for lunch, and of course matzo ball soup is a hit all day long. All of these items are pictured below.

"From the beginning our vision was "Jewish cuisine from around the world" as we didn't want to be a NY style deli, something neither of us had much familiarity with, nor just a Falafel or Mediterranean shop. We came from Russia, we grew up here, and we have family in Israel, and this is a shared experience among many Jews. Fortunately most customers have embraced our model in stride."

Despite the shop's small size, it has become a social place where people meet and run into friends, or sit to work and study with free WiFi! Locals have fallen in love with their food, and the warm, friendly feeling that comes along with Inna's homemade cooking. It is nice for a weekday breakfast, a quick bite to eat on your lunch break, or even a place to stock up on your favorite Jewish eats you're missing from home.

Next time you're in the Newton area looking for Authentic Eastern European cuisine, look no further than the homemade, health-conscious food of Inna's Kitchen. Your taste buds sure won't be disappointed.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

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