Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nana Bar and Restaurant in Neveh Tzedek - comfy style

If you walk around the streets of Tel Aviv and take the time to look, one place you may want to walk around is the hip and newly renovated Neveh Tzedek area. This is one of the oldest areas of Tel Aviv with beautiful architecture. The last few years, artists, gallery owners and small boutiques have been taking over and renovating. some say it is too late to move in. But is you want to shop or eat a nice meal, come down to 1 Echad Ha'am to the Nana Bar and Restaurant. This is a medium size restaurant with a full menu. In the front you will find a nice sitting area with a nice bar leading to the eating area. You can tell the age of the building by the inside courtyard which serves as an outside "room" especially on warm evenings.

Outside Nana is not impressive.

      The restaurant is decorated in antique large tables which makes for an old homey feel. I sat outside on a warm evening in the beginning of October. The atmosphere was nice and the service was good and not hurried. At about 9:30 PM the place was almost full. Most of the tables were occupied by groups of four or more. We ordered salmon, steak and a serving of lamb pieces for main course. For starters I have a squash-sweet potato soup with ginger. We also had traditional Yemenite lamb meat soup, salty and thick. We also shared a nice green salad. The meat dishes were outstanding both the cuts and the preparation and seasoning. For desert we shared a creme brule and an ice cream with fruit sauce (berries and liqueur). They also had a nice selection of cocktails and aperitifs which I would recommend above everything. Nice to have a good restaurant with a good bar. Overall, this is one nice place, take a look at their site (in Hebrew) and come for a visit. If anything, you can stroll around the streets and window shop, or order a drink at the bar and puff on a cigar!
Photo from the Nana Bar and Restaurant site

Ratings -- Ambiance: 8/10 -- Main Dishes: 7/10 -- Specialties: 8/10 -- Location 9/10 -- Service: 6/10 -- Cost: 80-120 Shekel -- Value: 8/10 Read More...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sex in the city - advice from a Tel Aviv perspective (skip if you are a little prudish)

Editor's note: sam-d goes out and sees foolish behaviour in the sex dance of Tel Aviv. Bars with pick-up attitude are plenty, but men to behave the right way are a few... happy reading... Escort service web site, in Hebrew

      You have met a girl and you feel a little heat between the two of you. You are hopping she feels the same heat. Hint number one, don't make some crude remark. This will for sure way to pour ice water on any possible connection. You must be a gentleman and still find out the lay of the land. Now that you have made the decision to take this budding relationship to step 2, what do you do? The next step is the touching and kissing stage. But what do I do? where do I touch? This is the first test on how the two of you will handle your fledgling way.

Seximo site from the popular circular you find on the steet

A quiet bar, few snacks and some straight talk. We all like to be touched but where is the question. Your girl has favorite places. Just ask her. How do you like your breasts touched? Do you want your vagina massages? Ask her where her favorite place to be touched. You may really be surprised. If she likes her breasts touched, ask her how soft - hard, etc. Don't be shy, she'll appreciate it.
Since kissing is part of step 2, it's best to find out how she likes to kiss. Hard - soft... it's best to know if a little biting is in order. Do you like it so far? try it. If not, end it now, it won't get any better. As for you girls if aren't satisfied with this talk, end it NOW ... more to come from sam-d-man


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Life in suburbia - Modiin and beyond...

Editor's note: We focused on Tel Aviv for the most part. We are starting to get requests to write about things outside the city limits. So here we go with Modiin and Ramat Gan. Two very different cities, both somewhat of suburbs of Tel Aviv.

My daughter, her husband and three children live in Modiin. Modiin is a growing suburban city about mid way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Today there is a good bus and train service between Tel Aviv and Modiin. Since the city is new and a little out of the way from the central region of Tel Aviv, housing is much more affordable than anywhere near Tel Aviv. My wife and I go to this fair city whenever we can, usually about once a week.

Modiin from the air, courtesy Modiin city
On one sunny Friday morning we hopped the train in Tel Aviv and twenty five minutes later we were in Modiin. We were picked up by my daughter. Grandma, grandpa, mom, dad and three kids headed over for breakfast at Angelo's, one of the city's cafes. This is a pleasant cafe in a small mall. You have a choice of indoor and outdoor seating. The Italian style menu offers a variety of egg dishes and pasta. Friday mornings in Israel are much like Saturday's in the US, so breakfast could also mean lunch or brunch. There was appropriate child and baby seats which makes a big difference in this bedroom community of Modiin. The children had egg dishes and the adults pasta and Italian dishes.
Food is average for a neighborhood restaurant. This is not your fine Tel Aviv food but it is a good place for children and a simple meal. The small strip mall has Sushi, Ice Cream and Aroma Cafe. There is also Pizza delivery restaurant in Modiin. With all these choices, you should not go hungry when you don't want to cook.
We spent the rest of the day in Modiin and than caught the last train before Shabbat started.
            sam-d-man from Tel Aviv

Monday, November 5, 2007

Humus in the city - Ashkara & a great humus blog

Hummus is simple and complex. A dish that can be prepared with as little as 3 ingredients, made for as little as pennies (or agorot here in Tel Aviv) yet be as delicious as anything you can imagine. Traditionally it is mostly made of chickpeas and thina (sesame seed sauce). Usually the chickpeas are ground to a fine paste, sometimes with a few small chunks. Then blended with thina, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and parsley. The secret to a specific taste is the 'other' spices like cumin, peppers (white or black), salt and sometimes other middle eastern spices. Hummus is found in most of the Arab countries and some European countries (Turkey and Greece). The specific recipes from different countries was carried with the Jewish immigration to Israel. Today you will find hummus restaurants from the humble to the chic. There are lots of resources to find humus information on the web, but a local favorite in Tel Aviv is The Hummus Blog. Apparently, 'abbu shooki' the blog writer is somewhat of a hummus fanatic. Tales of his 20 thina comparison study have been told until the wee hours of the morning among hummus lovers and blogger alike. ENJOY!       Amiv

Hummus with all the trimmings, from article
      At number 45 Yermiyahu street in Tel Aviv you will find one of the best fast food 'in the city', Ashkara Hummus. Ruthie has run this hummus joint for over twenty years. This is a must place to sample according to sam-d-man. So this his tale is of the place, and here is how it goes.... :

        First you will find outside seating. Walk through to the exposed kitchen. All the food is homemade and first rate. The menu is very limited. It's hummus anyway you want it.
        The hummus will be prepared to your instructions. In a pita or in a bowl with onions, Israeli salad, chikpeas, spicy hot souce, thina sauce or a hard boiled egg. Bowl servings come with delicious soft pita on the side to scoop up the hummus. You can also ask for olives, pickles and pickled cabbage salad. The In the winter Ruthie serves soup de-jour. Ashkara is a clean and kosher restaurant and the servings are huge in comparison to any place in Tel Aviv. It is also open 24 hours a day 5 1/2 days a week (closed Friday afternoons and Satrudays until end of shabbat. It is also considered a 'nice' place to eat hummus, not that the other places are 'not 'nice' ~ but hey, this is the 'nice' part of town and hummus is the people's food after all.

        After you give the cook your order you may either enter the small dining room or find a seat outside. You will be served your food with a soft drink or a beer. They also offer all you can drink tea with na'ana, this is also a traditional drink which goes great with a hot plate of hummus in the winter. Cold tea with na'ana is also great on a hot summer day. It's usually drank with lots of sugar. This is a perfect place to come for a quick bite in the middle of the day. The location is also great on a fall day, sit and watch the parade of people floating by. Yermiyahu street has turned into one of the "must be seen" fashion spots. If you are a visitor, ask a local to take you and show you the fine art of scooping hummus, it's truly a middle-eastern tradition not to be missed. -- So, if you want to enjoy hummus at one of the best places in north Tel Aviv, got to Ruthie's on 45 Yermiyahu Street. You wont be disappointed.

              Enjoy, sam-d-man

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round ~ or do they?

The bus takes me to my job every morning as I engage in my nanny duties, with great pleasure and dedication. It is necessary for me to travel an hour or even longer each day (each way!) This makes for a very early rise and along and late ride home. There are no complaints here. I love being a nanny but the getting there and back is a story worth telling. I have prayed for Mary Poppins' Umbrella on more than one occasion!
A new company with brand new shiny vehicles have brought "better" service to the area of Givat Shmuel since August of 2007. The fairy tale ends the first day as the bus arrives at 7:00 AM and speeds down Jabotinsky as usual. The bus does not make its usual turn into B'nei B'rak (remember that story? and the first one?) but continues straight as 6 or 7 of us jump up and ask for an explanation. We get the story of a new bus route as of today and the 69 bus will no longer go through B'nai B'rak!! What about Givat Shmuel? "Its OK - Its OK, says the bus driver - everyone will be fine". It seems the Hebrew explanation is not good enough for Hebrew speakers and we all exit the but. The explanation was so simple, but the driver "from hell" just kept his secret. The bus uses the highway behind B'nai B'rak and exits off by Givat Shmuel and everything is OK. We poor uninformed passengers waited for another 69 bus which of course never showed up or would never show up again in B'nai B'rak. A small notice of the change would have been so nice. Hello new company!

New buses for Frankie
The wheels on the bus continue to go 'round and 'round and the next day we all found our way to our jobs on time. The secret was out. The company has a completely new route but the passengers find out by accident and stress! The wheels turn every 1/2 hour. This is acceptable but of course not dependable. The drivers "from hell" have a very difficult way of telling time and being late by 45 minutes is not unusual.
The driver I meet with every day suffers from road rage! How is that possible you ask? A bus driver is calm, patient, a trained excellent professional. WRONG!!
This man is on a mission of upside-down wheels. He cuts in and out of traffic, pays little attention to the comforts of his passengers and lays on the horn way too much. He resents having to stop to pick up people and many times just does not do that. No way you say!? I have been left waiting at a stop numerous times. I have seen people running to the bus and just ignored. YES WAY!
The "driver from hell" also enjoys a chat with a friendly passenger quite often. The manor women stand by his side as they solve "the world's problems" as the rest of us sit white knuckled waiting for the driver to peek at the road. I swear this is the case.
The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round in this manner any way, while all the complaints seem to change nothing!! This morning "the driver from hell" pulled his most amazing childish feat to date. One woman entered the bus and apparently had no money for payment. She was a young woman and was trying to explain a late payment but I was not certain. The next thing we know the driver and this woman were yelling at each other. The driver insisted she leave the bus and she would not! He stopped the bus and screamed at her to exit. She refused and the rest of us were in a state of shock. The woman screamed back and the wheels on the bus did NOT GO 'round and 'round! Was he going to leave this bus? Scary as another passenger gave the young woman her punch pass to use, but "the driver from hell" refused to allow her to use it. The screaming continued and the bus stayed by the curb for five minutes until he finally gave in and punched the hole in the pass. The young woman sat down, the driver turned the bus on, and away we went. This was just another ride to work for me. My main concern was the temper of "Mr. driver from hell" would he pick up anyone else? Would he actually stop at my stop? Was he wrong?!
Two stops later the pennyless woman came up to the punch card donor and GAVE HER money for the ride! WHAT WAS THAT?!?!
I have two more months to deal with "the driver from hell". My new job is much closer to my home and I have alternative bus routes to get me there. I hope we all live that long and the wheels keep on turning. Mary Poppins may I PLEASE borrow your umbrella for two months???
//from our roving reporter, once again -- thanks Frankie //the Editor Read More...