When the eatery opened in December 2014, there were few quality kosher food options in the southern U.S., Goldstein said, meaning food is prepared in a style that follows Jewish dietary law.
“Kosher restaurants existing in Houston, they’ve all been kind of around the same type of cuisine and feel,” said Tenorio, who manages the restaurant. “We wanted to do something a little bit more upscale.”
Having both grown up a part of the Houston Jewish community, Tenorio said he and Goldstein knew the area and its people well, and in turn have had their support, including through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have some really good community members that made sure that we stayed open,” Tenorio said.
Goldstein said the restaurant business is in his blood. His mom, Susan “Suzie” Goldstein, led the way, owning kosher catering and dining businesses in Houston. She opened Dessert Delights in 1985, followed by Suzie’s Mediterranean Grill in 2005.
As a certified kosher restaurant, Genesis has a supervisor on hand specifically to make sure everything is done correctly. Goldstein said their food is often able to cater to customers who eat halal as well.
“It’s an interesting dynamic,” he said. “When you’re in Genesis, it’s like the United Nations in here sometimes. We’ll have different cultures, different religions, all eating and enjoying themselves.”
Genesis also caters events at nearby hotels, airlines and Jewish private schools, Tenorio said. In addition, it is not uncommon for other steakhouses or even sushi or Mexican restaurants to reach out to Genesis with requests for food they can serve their kosher customers, he said.
The pair attributed their success to their teamwork and dynamic as both friends and coworkers.
“The real story of Genesis is a story of teamwork and brotherhood,” Goldstein said.
Genesis Steakhouse & Wine Bar
80 Braeswood Square, Houston
Hours: Mon.-Thu. noon-9:30 p.m., Fri. noon-2:30 p.m., Sun. 1-9 p.m., closed Sat.