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Golan reaches new heights

Golan, the staple Heights restaurant described previously by The Commentator as the “Mediterranean gem of Manhattan,” has taken major steps toward improving its public image and level of sanitation. Just last year, management remodeled the establishment’s interior, unveiling gleaming hardwood paneling, fine artwork, and a generally more pleasant ambience. And just this past summer, Golan shocked many a patron by affixing to its prominent storefront window a big, blue “A.”

The long-sought-after “A” came on August 1, after a re-inspection by the New York City Department of Health. Often characterized by informality of service and a classically-Israeli hands-on approach, Golan’s new image and status represent a significant accomplishment. The facility has retained its cultural casualness while maintaining broader society’s highest standards.

The Department of Health recently required all food establishments to post the letter grade that they receive, attracting more attention to each establishment’s sanitary score. In earlier inspections, Golan has received grades ranging from a “C” to just three points short of an “A.” According to the guidelines, the grade given to each restaurant is based on facility and equipment hygiene, methods in food handling, and vermin control. In order to get an “A,” a restaurant must have fewer than 13 points’ worth of violations.

According to one of the managers at Golan, since coming within three points of an “A” this past June, the management has emphasized cleanliness in order to receive the coveted mark. Throughout the summer, Golan pursued store cleanliness with new rigor and intensity. This included hiring an extra worker to assist with the cleaning process, as well as spending an extra two hours every morning cleaning to ensure that the store remained spotless. Golan is confident that, through maintaining strict organization and cleanliness standards, they will preserve their current sanitary grade. Golan employee and Yeshiva College physics and economics double-major Jack Voystock (’12) said, “An ‘A’ is a nice reward for the endless hours spent cleaning.”

The new grade has even helped Golan in what is usually a sluggish few months for the establishment. Over the summer, while students were nowhere to be found, business remained regular; this is generally not the case when most of YU is away from campus. A Golan representative who spoke to The Commentator believes this is largely due to their proudly posted “A.” With this new grade, students can confidently inhale not just their open-flame-roasted beef, but the surrounding air of its clean and comfortable environment.