Holy cow! New Chinese takeout runs out of food

Photo by Hannah Monicken

They ran out of food this week at Holy Chow, a new kosher Chinese takeout in the Kemp Mill area of Silver Spring.


The eatery opened for business on Tuesday, but demand so far is outstripping supply.

Holy Chow ran out of food that day and was closed most of Wednesday to bring in more food and catch up on orders. It opened Wednesday at 5 p.m., but by Friday at 12:30 p.m., there only were appetizers available.


“What ended up happening [Tuesday] was crazy,” said owner Ami Schreiber. “In a little under eight hours, we plowed through two days of food. It’s been nonstop.”

With only two woks and four days of service under their belt, wait times for food are also on the long side. Schreiber said he and his staff are trying to work out the kinks in the system.

But at least one couple thought a long wait time was a small price to pay.

“We’ve only been waiting four years for this,” said Mel Price, who, with his wife Joan, had been waiting “a very Jewish 20 minutes” for their egg rolls. They moved to the area from New York four years ago and had missed kosher Chinese food.

Barry Riebman and his son Jeffrey had been at the Kemp Mill Shopping Center when they saw Holy Chow was open and decided to stop in and try it out. They had been waiting about 30 minutes for their eggrolls and dumplings.

Holy Chow occupies the space that was formerly Chin & Lee Chinese Carry Out, which Schrieber and his wife, Rivka, bought last fall. Since then, they’ve updated the restaurant. A cash register has given way to mounted iPads and the kitchen has been upgraded and certified kosher.

The last kosher Chinese restaurant in the Washington area, Royal Dragon, closed in 2016.

Despite the first-week hiccups, Schreiber sees the number of customers as a good sign.

“The response we’ve gotten on the food  has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said.

Schrieber is partial to the sweet and sour chicken. One of his partners in the venture, Gary Isen, has eaten at Holy Chow three times already — chicken chow mein, General Tso’s chicken and sesame chicken. He recommends them all.

“It’s not just a stereotype that the Jews love Chinese food,” Isen said.

Schreiber is now urging customers to place their orders ahead of time — preferably days ahead of time, especially if they want food for Shabbat. The business will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“The important thing is we’ve made it this far,” Schreiber said.

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  1. I tried to order a few times last week and got shut down each time. One of the times I was trying to order 24 hours in advance between Thursday and Friday, and the person on the phone told me they were “booked” but didn’t say anything about having appetizers still. I really hope these kinks are worked out soon, because as much as I love Chinese food, I won’t wait that long. Clearly, they underestimated how much food people want, and need to make adjustments quickly. That also applies to waiting a half hour for eggrolls. Not going to happen.


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