The Big Felafel


A New Taste of the Jerusalem Food Scene

I tend to use this blog as place to rant and rage about the frustrations of daily life in Israel. Whether it’s dealing with the special customer service providers, crying about bureaucratic offices or sulking over lack of food choice in Jerusalem, it’s normally me and not my skinny friend and co-blogger Rebecca who uses this as a forum for complaint.

But today the only tears you will find are those of great joy. What could make me feel this way? Did I hear you say food? That’s right, I’m giving you two reasons to put the frustration aside and literally eat up the good news.

Reason #1: The Ye Old English Tea Room

Friends, the Ye Old English Tea Room is not only a super cute café, but more importantly they serve pancakes, French toast and real maple syrup. If you close your eyes you can actually imagine you are having brunch on a real Sunday, pancakeseven if they only serve breakfast on Friday. The rest of their menu has a more classical English style taste, but everything is very fresh and only cooked after you order it.

I have been there twice and walked away happy each time. The first time I ordered a sandwich sampler and then shared my plate with my friends who had ordered equally delicious items from cranberry breads and scones to traditional potato pies. They also have traditional teas and tomato juice (that they bring with Tabasco EngTea_iconsauce, Worchester sauce and salt and pepper- a meal in itself).

My second trip was a Friday so naturally I chose to have pancakes and skinny friend and co-blooger Rebecca had French toast. We both enjoyed the meal practically licking the plate (well maybe that was just me). The meals cost around NIS 45-55, so if you are two people you will spend around NIS 100- that’s not too bad! And of course I have added a link to an Eluna 10% discount coupon for all us shekel pinchers!

I said it earlier, but the café is beautifully designed, with lots of light, exquisite colors and decorative furniture, not to mention a little play house for the kids. And you’ll also find a guest book where you can add suggestions. What did I say: I asked that there be a bottomless pot of coffee that comes with a breakfast meal and that of course the breakfast meal should be served daily!

Click here to get your 10% coupon

Reason #2: Rumor has it Mexican food is coming our way!

If you recall, in an earlier post about the lack of Mexican food, I pooped my pants over the deficit of any real salsa to be found across Jerusalem. The post generated other angry citizens that too were frustrated with the burrito-less city — but break out the tamales because Mexican is making a comeback! According to a comment on the post, Benyamin burritoswrites: Good News! Long time Israel resident and Canadian guy ‘Mike’ (formerly of Mike’s Place – not the founder) has opened ‘Mike’s Kitchen’ in association with Yankee’s Bar near Zion Square. So why is this good news? Because he is developing a menu that includes some Mexican favorites and this former Angelino is assisting him. While the menu is a bit on the eclectic side, the Mexican dishes will be authentic Los Angeles taquiera style food. You know, Sonora with the L.A. touch!”

Don’t let the tears drip on the computer keys, but take it all in. The restaurant is set to open at the end of June, just in time for summer burritos every day of the week! Benyamin later wrote he hopes to add his own, “personal enchiladas, hand-made frijoles and tortilla chips with red and avocado salsas,” for the big opening day. Benyamin, tell us where and when and we will be there, drooling and ready!


Food Torture: Not Another Cafe!

Cafe Hillel, just another cafe

Cafe Hillel, just another cafe.

I’m angry. What a surprise. I’m in the daze of a food nightmare. Living near Emek Refaim Street, you would think a girl could have her way with restaurants: endless options, yummy in your tummy food, and the cultural basics. But apparently the Food Gods don’t like us Jerusalemites.And instead of lots of different restaurants, whipping up all kinds of food-we in Jerusalem must suffer with choice A: falafel or choice B: café food. Crap and crap.

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The sign reads: Coming soon Cafe Hillel. I wish the man in the picture would just keep walking. He even looks like he is stealing our taste buds! Shady!

 

In a previous anger post, I wrote about my desire for a Mexican restaurant in Jerusalem. Needless to say, my prayers and rants have gone unanswered. But friends, it just gets worse. Since my cries for Mexican food, two pizza places have opened in my neighborhood. And then…then this happened (focus your eyes on the picture). My cheap wrap place that almost felt like Mexican food if you closed your eyes tight enough and just held on to the wrap like it was a burrito, Tarantino’s, suddenly without warning closed down and a café Hillel is now opening in its place. Oh, the food inhumanity! Oh, the food torture! And obviously the worst part about it: THERE IS A CAFÉ HILLEL TWO BLOCKS DOWN!

Is this for real? Isn’t it bad enough that Emek Refaim is lined with cafes? It’s just the same menu, with different names for the salads, soups and sandwiches. Not to mention the difference in price from Café Aroma to Caffit for practically the same meal.

Now I know Nir Barkat just became mayor, but wasn’t he all about adding some culture to this city? I’m not saying that adding Mexican should be the first item on his agenda…no, I am. I think Mayor Barkat should shut down the building of this new café Hillel, which is clearly an abuse of our taste buds and a monotonous slap in the face. And instead, let us join together and build a burrito stand and unite for the sake of Jerusalem and her culture. Mexican food is just the beginning!

Stop the lame cafes from taking over our streets. They can have their menus but not our shekels!


Sushi take-over of Jerusalem

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Just a few weeks ago, it was very difficult to come across sushi in Jerusalem, especially kosher sushi. Apparently, not anymore. It’s as if someone heard me wanting sushi and I got my wish – but did they take it too far? These sushi restaurants are starting to pop up in every Jerusalem neighborhood, including taking over what used to be a cute little cafe called Faza in the Katamon/Palmach neighborhood. I loved Faza – with their TV entertainment system in the bathroom and wireless internet. 😦 But I also like sushi. What to do.

Here’s the list of kosher sushi restaurants in Jerusalem I’ve come across. You can find more details and coupons at Eluna and rest.co.il. In case you’re too cold to leave your house, I’ve included the phone numbers since most of them offer delivery. I put them in order of the ones I want to try out. Continue reading this entry »