Domain Gangs of New York: Kosher chicken capers

The day before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, New Yorker domainers Mike Bahlitzanakis and Tony Kanakaris had lunch at Mamma Maria’s, a Greek family-owned restaurant in Astoria, Queens.

Just like every other laid back Greek, catching up about domain names and Mike’s sale of Select.com took over two and a half hours. Tony bragged about his Social Domainers network, for another forty-five minutes.

Despite recommendations, the Greek chicken and lemon potatoes was mediocre, at best.

“You know what, Mike, this chicken had no garlic or green peppers and it seems they’re using Italian oregano. I mean, who uses Italian oregano at a Greek restaurant!” exclaimed Tony.

Mike nodded his head.

“You’re right, Tony. Not to mention, that was definitely Italian olive oil in the salad. They call this virgin? Tasted more like well-used engine lubricant, gamoto!” said Mike.

Tony looked at his watch, it was getting close to five o’clock – already time for dinner.

“Mike, if there’s one thing my grandma always says, is to always use a kosher Jewish chicken to make great Greek chicken. I’ve heard of a place in Brooklyn that sells fresh chicken, we should go check it out.”

They got in the car, heading towards Crown Heights, in Brooklyn. Mike’s tummy was already grumbling.

“I’m getting hungry, Tony. I hope you know where we’re going, because all I see out here is a bunch of funny looking kids with long curly hair. And look at all the garbage and feathers on the street, what the heck is Bloomberg doing anyway!” said Mike, sounding rather grumpy.

Tony drove two streets further when his GPS stopped working.

“I don’t know where the f*ck we are, man! Listen, where is all that cackling coming from?” asked Tony, clearly anxious to locate the elusive chicken market.

They both noticed that the sidewalk was set up as a market place, an old man acting as the cashier while boxes full of chicken were stacked on the side of the road. The stench was unbelievable and feathers littered the street and sidewalk.

Crown Heights live chicken slaughterhouse.

Crown Heights live chicken slaughterhouse.

“Mike, this is the place. Oh my f*cking God, a live chicken slaughterhouse, is this even legal?” exclaimed Tony, as they both got out of the car.

They watched as a Hasidic Jewish guy paid the cashier. Two black dudes that handled the chicken then removed three cackling hens from the boxes and gave them to a man by a table. After raising each chicken above his head and circling it three times, he cut their throats with a knife.

“Tony, what the f*ck man is going on, are you sure you want to get a chicken from this place? They are killing the damn chicken on the spot!” said Mike.

By that time, their turn in line had come. Tony walked up to the cashier and asked what was the price.

“My good man, we want to buy one of your chickens, how much?”

The old man responded by showing Tony his open hand, in a gesture that indicated “five”. Tony took out five dollar bills from his stash of stripper cash and paid for the chicken.

"Can you hear me now? I'm picking up some chicks."

“Can you hear me now? I’m picking up some chicks.”

Again, a live chicken was pulled out of the box and was promptly decapitated with a sharp knife. Tony and Mike tried not to barf, then took the headless chicken in a double-tied plastic bag.

“Let’s go Mike, I have to give my grandma this damn chicken to cook for dinner. I can’t stay here a second longer!” exclaimed Tony.

They got into the car and drove off, leaving Crown Heights and its market of live slaughtered chicken behind.

“Just tell your grandma to add Greek virgin olive oil, garlic and oregano, ok?” said Mike. “For five bucks, I can live with the imagery of watching it squirm headless on the butcher’s table!” he added.

Tony laughed. Later that night, his grandma made the most amazing Greek chicken with lemon potatoes that they had tasted in their lives.

“See, I told you Tony, Jewish kosher chicken is the best in the world. Next time, listen to Grandma, little boy!” said Tony’s grandmother with a smile.

Happy Rosh Hashanah.

Tony's grandma made great Greek chicken with lemon potatoes.

Tony’s grandma made great Greek chicken with lemon potatoes, using kosher Jewish chicken.

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