Tag Archives: tel aviv

Israel in 20 meals -part 7

In Israel, one should of course not only eat humus, but also: Falafel. Which, to my shame, I have to admit I’ve never done before. But on sunday the time was there! We did not have any specific plans where to go, we merely walked around and wanted to go to the beach, to sit and watch the sea and have a beer. But, before that, food. Of course one can find Falafel almost on every corner, but we didn’t want just any falafal, we wanted good falafel. It took some walking around, but then, we saw this here, completely crowded with a row. A good sign!

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And, as it turned out afterwards, even the Haaretz agrees is one of five best places to eat Falafel in Tel Aviv. Well done, and we found it all by ourselves (I am a little proud I have to say, we just walked around and went to the place that was most crowded and loud that we found, and it was Falafel Gabai.). Tasty Falafel, very loud, funny service (if you tip enough, they start singing for you!), a good place for lunch. Oh how I wish I had something like that just around the corner from my office. But alas.

To make our day completely vegan (well apart from the capucinno for breakfast), after our day at the beach we went out for dinner to Mezze, which was recommended to us by our local friends. And yet again, another good recommendation. Service is not too quick, but very friendly. It has a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. We had the three tahini variations with breath (with beet root, natural and with I think basil, something green in any case) very tasty, very yummy. As a main dish we shared a huge quinoa salad (not a good picture I know), with fresh herbs, pine nuts, again with tahini and I don’t remember anymore what else. It was fresh, it was for sure very healthy, and it was food that made me happy. Ever since we visited Israel we eat quinoa salad at home (for instance Yotam Ottolenghi’s with broad beans, avocado and radish). Delicious.  Too bad, that although it is vegan, healthy, and probably also ecologically ok, it is not food we should eat too often (see here).

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Israel in 20 meals -part 3

Wednesday was a long day of working at the university, and therefore we did not have lunch ‘downtown’ but at the university. This may sound like a terrible thing, but honestly? I wish I had a cafetaria like that at my university. They serve great coffee, several different kinds of fresh juices, made while you are waiting and according to your taste. Other than that, cakes, sandwiches, some warm dishes and they have a great salad bar. Everything is vegetarian, everything is fresh. I don’t understand why we can’t have that at our place. Sure there must be a market for something like that?

Anyway, in the morning I had great juice, for lunch I had a stuffed pepper on lentils and well, basically ‘other grains’. Of course this was no ‘haute cuisine’, that was not the purpose. It was however, well made, fresh, tasty, and one could really notice that the owners like their jobs. On top of that, service was very nice too. Funny, friendly, with a little chat for everyone. I want a place like that too, here, every day. Please.

At night after a long, intense and productive day of work, we decided to take a relatively early dinner (early for Israeli time) and we went to noah’s bistro, a restaurant that I visited once before, quite some time ago, and that is recommended by my good friends. Relatively early, cause the day after we planned to visit Jerusalem, and for this, we were gonna be picked up at 7 or so. Way to early in any case. So to Noah’s in Jaffa. I guess you kind of have to like this kind of restaurant. I do, but I can also see why people don’t. It’s decoration is very alternative. Some would say, the place looks run down. The restaurant is owned by someone who also owns Cordelia, which is just around the corner, and decorated more classically, so if you are not into funky decoration, go to Cordelia, where the food is great too.

This being said, we had a very nice dinner here. We were served by Amy Whinehouse, who was new to the place, which was no problem at all. She took her time, was friendly, and very helpful. We had a nice bottle of Israeli red wine, and again, I forgot where from and what name. Sorry. We started with sharing some small starters: burned eggplant with lebaneh. Good combination I have to say. But, I still like eggplant better unburned (difficult in Israel), I am not such a big fan of the burned taste.  Then, fried sweet potatoe with coarse sea salt. Very colourful, very tasty. My girl then made the excellent choice of the tortelini filled with tahini with hyssop (za’atar) and tahine sauce. Obviously absolutely not italian, but really an extremely good dish. And again, so beautiful! (see below) And again: a vegetarian’s heaven, really. I instead choose a non-vegetarian dish for once. Meatballs, filled with cheese. I was a little disappointed. Not that it didn’t taste well, it did. But, to my taste, it was a little too heavy, which was a pity after all the fresh and light food I ate here. The meatballs were very well done, the combination with cheese worked well, but what was this huge pile of mashed potatoes doing on my plate? (nice mashed potatoes, true, but hey, we’re not in Northern Germany here).

After this my girl made sure we also got some desert, a creamy chocolate thingy, sweet, nice, but too much for me unfortunately.

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All in all, a nice place to go for dinner, but I would stick to the fish and/or the vegetarian dishes here. Or simply order meat(balls) with vegetables only, I am sure they will not be offended. Not necessarily on the absolute top of my list for Tel Aviv, but I sure wouldn’t complain if someone invites me to go there again.

Israel in 20 meals – part 2

Tuesday, second day in Israel, sunny and warm (over 30 degrees). After a very interesting and moving visit in the hospital (I joined my colleague who tested a patient on her language and memory after a brain operation on a tumor, and although it was in Hebrew, I understood quite a bit of what was going on -i knew the test materials- and that was  very interesting! Extremely sad story for the young lady though, I sure hope she will get better), we went out in the sun to Miznon. A small chaotic, loud and crowded place, opened by a former chef. It is actually a pita place. Almost everything is served in a pita, which sounds as just another fast food restaurant. But: it’s not. The food is delicious. We had some starters, including a whole cauliflower which came from a wood oven, as well as a sweet potatoe (probably from the same oven). Simple dishes, but great products and treated well, hence very very tasty! I thought I didn’t like cauliflower all that much. Well, I was wrong. The way they make it, it is light, crunchy, slightly nutty, and not the heavy overcooked version I knew.

Apart from that, we each had a different pita. Funny, on tripadvisor Miznon is recommended for its meat pita’s. I can’t comment on that. We all had a vegetarian version, and they were all great. One was with cauliflower, one with bread beans (I thought I didn’t like those either. Again, I was wrong), one with ratatouille kind of filling and one with vegetables that had been grilled before. So Miznon, recommended for vegetarians as well! These people really know what they are doing with their products. I will most certainly go there again.

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Our fourth Israeli meal was in Joz ve Loz, one of the restaurants that I visit on each Tel Aviv visits, which says enough. It is not cheap, but -to my western european standards- also not overpriced. The restaurant itself is decorated more or less as a normal living/dining room, with a mixture of old furniture. The same holds for the terrace, a funky mixture of old chairs and tables which creates an intimate atmosphere. It is always crowded, if you really want to eat there, make a reservation so that you won’t get disappointed. Service is nice, and very informal. O, and yes, the menu is in Hebrew only, we were there with Hebrew speaking friends, so no problem, and I read on tripadvisor that waiters are happy to explain what’s there. Also be prepared to make more than one choice, since some of the dishes are out when you’re a bit late. I actually like that, cause it means that everything is bought fresh, and not too much is bought and then later thrown away.

Anyway, another very very nice meal. Here too: fresh ingredients, combined in unusual, but extremely tasty ways. I had fried artichokes with capern as a starter (i have to eat more artichokes honestly) , and then actually another starter, chevice (don’t remember what fish, a white one :-)) with olive oil, lemon and fresh green almonds. I had choosen it because of the raw fish (hmmmm so fresh, really great) and the green almonds.  These were interesting, a little bitter, but, I didn’t think they had much taste. Nevertheless, interesting combination. Of course, I tried other meals on the table as well, including a huge green salad (good), a pasta (spicy), filled squid (very nice, I would eat those next time if they have them) and for desert malabi with rose water and pistache nuts, sweet but not too sweet, one of my favourites. If you are in Tel Aviv, and have time for more than one meal, go here as well.

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