Woman-Owned Middle Eastern Restaurant Survives the Most Challenging Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nana Good Eats is a woman-owned kosher business in Whitestone, Queens that opened in November 2019, just months before the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Alanis Guinada.


Nana Good Eats is a woman-owned kosher business in Whitestone, Queens that has been going strong since its grand opening in November of 2019.

Nana Good Eats is a fast casual restaurant and offers  dine-in seats, if you’d like to sit and enjoy your food in the relaxed atmosphere that has been curated by the owner, Ginous Assil.

Since opening in November of 2019, and surviving the most difficult months of the pandemic, Nana Good Eats has remained one of the only kosher and Middle Eastern Restaurants in the area, bringing diversity to a community that customers have said was lacking in it.

“An overwhelming number of people have expressed their appreciation that we’ve brought something new and a variety of food to the neighborhood which everyone felt was missing,” said Assil.

Their falafel and chicken shawarma seems to be the most popular items on the menu, with customers phoning in orders for their sandwiches and platters, some even daily. Italian, Greek, and Chinese food restaurants have traditionally dominated the food culture in the neighborhood.

Many of the customers that come in are also Middle Eastern, and the restaurant brings a sense of home into the community that hadn’t been there before, according to a long-time worker Melissa Gonzalez.

“They get a taste of the food they love and miss from home as well as a feeling of connection to their roots in their new community,” Gonzalez said.

Located in the Whitestone Plaza, this restaurant has a mission of bringing a healthy lifestyle to the community. As stated on the website, and visible once stepping inside, the main goal is to bring a sense of family to the community through food.

One way that it gives back to the community is donating 10% of their earnings to local charities and also participating in local fundraisers and partnering with nearby schools for events.

Something that separates Nana Good Eats from other restaurants is that they make their food fresh and to order.

“I feel people should know that everything we make is made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Majority of our food is made in our open kitchen, in plain sight,” said Assil, pointing out the transparency about ingredients with their customers.

Nana Good Eats has become a local spot that is known for their incredible customer service and amazing food.

“This place is a 10/10 on all those parameters, they let you customize it and the price is totally worth it,” said customer Shreemangal Sethi about the falafel sandwich.