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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | TIDBITS

It's a Bagel Bonanza With Opening of Third Noah's in County

The latest site is set to debut Wednesday in Camarillo. The outlets are striving to put down roots in their communities.

May 23, 1996|LEO SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A veritable flood of bagels has hit the county and Noah is arriving--again. The third Noah's Bagels is set to open Wednesday at 608 Las Posas Road in Camarillo.

This comes on the heels of the opening of a Ventura outlet, at 1413 S. Victoria Ave., the 50th store in the Bay Area-based bagel chain. The first Noah's in the county opened in Thousand Oaks, at 300 Moorpark Road, in April.

As with all new stores in the Noah's chain, the three local outlets are trying to establish their community presence through charitable work and financial contributions.

Employees of the Thousand Oaks store helped tidy up the spring and summer campgrounds of the neighborhood YMCA, clearing trails, pulling weeds and the like. They also collected donations for the Hospice of the Conejo, which supports terminally ill patients and their families, and donated a portion of proceeds from their open house weekend to the Dean Triggs Education Center.

In Ventura, employees spent a day picking about 2,000 pounds of oranges from a local orchard that went to the Food Share Inc. program to be distributed to those in need. The store also collected money for Project Understanding, a Ventura organization that serves the homeless and low-income residents.

And in Camarillo, employees spent Sunday weeding, planting and trimming bushes on the grounds of Valle Lindo School. On Tuesday, donations collected during a private opening of the store will go to Casa Pacifica, which provides services to abused, abandoned and neglected children.

"Noah's has always been driven to make an impact and to be an active participant wherever they go," said Scott Levin, manager of the Ventura store. "We are developing a very strong relationship with Food Share."

In addition to the initial orchard collection, Noah's in Ventura donates day-old products to the organization.

Not only are the Noah's stores bringing bagels and community presence to Ventura County, they are bringing a taste of Jewish culture. The stores are kosher and serve such traditional Jewish items as babkas, challah, Hamentaschen, knishes, mandelbrot and rugelach.

"People normally would not be exposed to a kosher establishment. They see our Yiddish glossary, and they are curious," said Levin. "People ask, 'What is a knish?' They are selling like hot cakes. We sell a lot of white fish, herring, a lot of traditionally Jewish foods."

A Noah's knish, by the way, is baked dough with fillings such as potatoes; vegetables; spinach and mushroom; broccoli and cheese; blueberry; or cherry.

*

At the risk of creating excitement prematurely, here's a little note for Ventura County diners: There may be ostrich schnitzel on your dinner plate before long.

Don Leupold, owner of the Gaslight Restaurant, located along Highway 33 just outside Ojai, has begun serving ostrich meat for dinner, and he's just beginning to experiment with it.

For now, guests can choose from a charbroiled ostrich sampler (ostrich served on garlic bread for $3.95) or an ostrich kabob (served with mushrooms, pineapple and bell peppers on a bed of rice for $14.95). But in the near future, Leupold said, he plans to cook up some international ostrich cuisine.

"I'm still in the infancy stage--I don't know exactly what to do with it," Leupold said. "I'm thinking of trying to do a German version [the schnitzel] and an Italian version. I'm just going to have fun with it."

Italian-style ostrich, he said, would be something on the order of ostrich in a red sauce, served over pasta.

The Gaslight has been serving the ostrich for about a month and the response has been pretty good, Leupold said. "People have been receiving it really well," he said. "It tastes like beef, but it's very healthy."

As for Leupold himself, it is taking a little extra effort to chow down on the ostrich. "I love to eat," he said. "I'm not as enthusiastic to eat it all night as I am with other food."

* The Gaslight is at 11423 N. Ventura Ave. (Highway 33). It is open for dinner 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.

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