Showing posts with label Dining Out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dining Out. Show all posts

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sarona Market: Struggling to Survive

Red Band, a rock puppet act, at Sarona Market Tuesday night show / © 2017 D-A Vider
It may seem a bit strange: a high end boutique shops and cafes, at the edge of Tel Aviv, with half a dozen hot chefs's promotion, struggling to survive? The newest dining and shopping center in Tel Aviv is not getting the foot traffic, it is situated at the edge of Tel Aviv's commercial center. It competes with and established shopping at Azrieli. The shops and restaurants are at the high end of the shopping scale. These are the challenges facing a new shopping center. The opportunity to build and establish an up market shopping center in a great open location in Tel Aviv is also interesting.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Truck De-Luxe - New Meat Bar-Rest - Lost in Translation

Truck De-Luxe, a new "mostly meat" joint opened just off Dizengoff circle (Ben Ami 11) recently. A review in the JPost last week got us interested. The location is a bit off-the-beaten-track. The menu resembles (or tries to imitate) 60s to 70s American greasy spoon truck stop, with a burger named "trailer trash".  But other than the American theme, the limited menu and overall result misses in a big way. This joint is getting a low rating with "lost in translation" label. For all three diners, the portions were small, service fair and overall cooking and presentation below the average for a central Tel Aviv bar-resto. #TelAviv #Burgers #DiningOut

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rest in the City - Lots of Good Coffee and Nice Cafes

Tel Aviv is 100 - so what is so good about being here? Some say it's the coffee. Actually cafes and the race to make the best cup of coffee in the world. Well, we have some competition from Paris and Rome, but when it comes to a good table to sit, a nice espresso or cappuccino and a friendly place to meet for a chat - Tel Aviv is ready for a coffee reality show contest any time.

It is not clear when Tel Aviv became a cafe city. This is a new trend which goes back no more than 20 years. Recently as the picture show, we have seen "the attack of the cafe chains": Aroma, Cafe-Cafe, Ilan's, Arcafe, Cafe Joe, Cafeneto... there are a few other ones, smaller or regional (Cafe Greg is mostly in Haifa with one branch in Dizengoff Center). International chain The Coffee Bean has a few cafe locations in Tel Aviv and surrounding towns. Still the local independent cafes of Tel Aviv are what makes the coffee here special. Independent cafes represent a tradition brought from Europe over the years. New French and British immigrants the last few years invigorated this trend. The Landware and Elite are coffee roasters with cafes bearing their names. In malls and public places you will also find kiosks bearing Elite and chain cafes names (branding is a big here now). If this was not enough, in most public buildings (government centers, hospitals, universities) and malls you can find coffee vending carts from all the large brewers and roasters. Cafe Elite is the oldest and most popular coffee brand. It's Turkish coffee, a dark roast ground to a fine powder is Israel's traditional coffee.

Cafes in Israel would be considered medium size by European standards. They seat 20 to 50 people with the low end of 20 to 30 for most of the locations (10 to 25 tables). You will be hard pressed to find a 5 seat counter only cafe in your neighborhood in the tradition of Paris, Madrid or Rome. These Europeans come for a drink, pay and move on with their daily routine. In Miami and New Jersey Cubans even have tiny windows in cafes facing the street where you can simply buy an espresso, drink it in one gulp and disappear. Tel Avivian's prefer a takeout paper cup if the 'daily dose' does not allow for time to sit and chat (American style). Also, coffee drinking does not take the style of a pub in London. You do not drink coffee with the barista you drink it with a friend or a newspaper. With the popularity of laptop computer use in public, we see how some cafes turned into virtual offices. The Gan Ha'yir (city hall complex on Iben Gvirol) Coffee Bean location seem to be half populated by students, digital entrepreneurs and salesmen of one type or another (from architects to insurance) with computers, notebooks full of notes and headphones to drown out noise. Some take a spot for hours for a 14 shekel cup of coffee. Not a bad deal for free wireless and electricity, a leather upholstered chair and decent temperature controlled room (in the summer air conditioning is nice to have). In most locations this new behavior is perfectly acceptable. The staff seems to be perfectly willing to be the "office away from the home office hosts". Not so in other locations where the cafe is dependent on customer flow they tend to push you out or ask for an order every hour or so. This is true for the none digitally equipped book and newspaper readers as well. So the digirati are not a prosecuted minority in any way just a part of everyday life here.

The coffees served in most cafes are dominated by the classic Italian espresso, capuchino and latte. Israeli old fashion Turkish coffee, essentially a dark brew ground to a fine powder mixed with steaming water than allowed to sit (the grounds settle to the bottom) - or the real classic finjan, a small copper pot used to brew strong coffee. Americano is a basic drip coffee but don't be alarmed if you actually get a french press coffee instead. French press coffee, the glass container with a plunger is also available but is less common in Tel Aviv. Most cafes also serve snacks, sandwiches and salads. This is a new trend specially in the smaller locations. The cafe chains offer uniform menu across locations, some are good enough to compete with fast food and restaurants. Independent cafes have snacks and light dishes and sometimes specialty baked goods, some are excellent specially croissants which are popular lately.

This story will not be complete without a few images. We will try to go out to a few cafes and photograph the places, people and coffee. If you have stories about Tel Aviv cafes and how they match up to their European cousins leave a comment. So come to Tel Aviv for the people and the fun and sit in a cafe - a local Tel Avivian way to relax -- From T"A //ami_v2//

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Life in the White City - White Night

In July 2008, UNESCO declared the White City (Tel Aviv) a world cultural heritage city. Tonight, July 3rd, 2008 - Tel Aviv will be celebrating the declaration with a city wide event that starts at 7:00PM and continues until dawn tomorrow. This is one night but over 100 separate events of all kinds and for every taste imaginable!
Tel Aviv knows how to throw a party, maybe better than any city out there. Not just for a few, not just for a special occasion, not just for the young! FOR EVERYONE! This is the forth year of the White Night festival in the city that never sleeps. Where bars and pubs close "when the last customer leaves".

Events taking place across the city include beach parties, dance parties in clubs and on open stages, theater, and music performances. Clubs, restaurants, and other sites also have specials for the day - all the way to the wee hours of the 4th of July. Some of the other treats are dance shows, Jazz and modern music, opera, and rock and roll shows.
Our city is going to party, like only Tel Avivians know how. Don't believe that crap on CNN, Israel is neither dangerous nor violent. Stop taking the word of ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, and CBC! You are not going to see any gun toting masked Palestinians or right wing extreamist "settlers" tonight here. Come to see our "White City" for the full night -- that's the W H I T E   N I G H T ! !
see yah' in Tel Aviv -- sam-D-man

Monday, June 30, 2008

Gillis on the water - premier eatery in the port

If you like nice places, lots of fresh air, a great menu, head for Gillies at the Old Port in Tel Aviv (Tel: 03-6057777, Hanger 26, Tel Aviv Old Port). On Fridays and Saturdays morning it's short on elbow room but fun to mingle, and great to eat. All popular eateries in Tel Aviv with a good reputation tend to be booked up on these mornings. Gillies is a big restaurant specially when you count the outside deck. On a busy day they serve 100 to 120 people at a time. The menu is a mix of modern Israeli and international dishes. Breakfast and lunch on weekends are about the same, with the added lunch special once in a while. There is a fixed price breakfast with eggs, omelets, sandwiches, and a smoked salmon dish. All three of us chose a version of the breakfast, one the eggs, one the Shakshooka, and one the cured salmon in Tequila.

Gillies at the Old Port on a Saturday morning, a fine place to sit by the water.

The meal comes with fresh warm bread that can easily fill you even before the main dish. Together with the Champagne drink, you may want to skip out on the main event. But wait, no such thing. The eggs here are wonderful, although I would rate the Shakshuka "Ashkenazi". That's my description of a Shakshuka with not enough spiciness to make you order your own water jug. But that's not a fault of the place, it's probably just a consequence of the style and the regular diners. If you like your sauce spicy, ask for extra 'hot'. The cured salmon in Tequila turned out to be a great choice. I never imagined doing this with Tequila, so extra point of creativity to the chef here. The Champagne drinks were all good, we has a sampling of all three and they were excellent flavors as together with the breakfast dishes (orange juice, grapefruit juice, and creme de Cassis).

Breakfast half done, take a break and enjoy the sea view. Read More...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yakety Yack - the buzz around T"A

  1)   The International Herald Tribune last Friday (June 20, '08) ran a story by Michel Johnson that started with the intro: "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse". We've all said it but now it's a reality. Johnson reports that horse meat is gaining popularity as the meat of choice in France, China, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. The yack-yack in Tel Aviv is horse meat. We don't eat horse in Tel Aviv. Beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, and some pork - but NO horse meat - I say let's keep it that way, build race tracks and enjoy watching these beautiful animals run - like the wind...

Life's a beach! End of June in T"A beach, if your hot - get in the water

  2)   Hot Rock Hits Tel Aviv: The veteran rock band, Blondie is set to make its first visit to Tel Aviv. They are set to play their hit album "parallel lines" from start to finish. Blondie has been very hot in the US and Israel and the show should be a bit hit here. Check with your local ticket agent for dates, venues, and tickets. The music world comes to Tel Aviv -- enjoy retro rock.

  3)   Friday morning is "go out to breakfast day". You found the place, came early, and now the decision is where to sit. Some tables are round, some are square. Some chairs are big and comfy, some are normal. Better make a choice quick. The place is filling up fast. OK - square table, soft chairs, great view... BRING ON THE FOOD - Yakety yak!!

  4)   Sugar or NOT - Yakety yak! Ever notice the sugar choices offered at a restaurant? Several packets are real sugar. Some appear in long sticks. Some are white, some are brown, some a bit of a surprise. The substitutes are even more fun. Some taste just like sugar, some are bitter, some are... what is this??? Good luck, yakety yak ;8-)'
sam-D-man and Frakie too - from T"A

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Magic Burger on Iben Gvirol - not battling burgers

There is an old clipping from five years ago on the wall of Magic Burger (64 Iben Gvirol, T"A 03-6956782, 11:00AM to 5:00AM) about the battle of the burgers. This was all the talk of the town a few years ago, when "real burgers" came to town. I am not sure what makes a real burger, or really "un-real burger". I guess the McDonald's and Burger Ranch are not "real burgers". The Magic Burger is definitely considered "REAL". It is made from freshly ground beef or lamb. You get it made your way with a choice of toppings. There are about 10 sources to choose from... and, it is made right in front of you while you sit at the bar and chat with the guy next to you. Well, for most of us 'Anglos' this seems like the standard burger joint anywhere off the beaten track US of A. But for Tel Aviv this is a very special place. The burgers are really great! No question about it, quality of ingredients and attention to customers really counts. Specially in something as simple as a burger. Magic Burger is basically a bar with a few tables outside. When the weather is nice, you are in luck. But on a hot day, as we are getting into July and August, this is not the place to eat a burger comfortably.

Soldiers and students lunching on Magic Burgers
The burgers themselves come in 200, 300, and 400 gram sizes. Most people seem to order the 200 gram "meal" - which includes fries (deep fried and hot flat round REAL potato kind) with a soft drink. There are also a few beers to choose from. There are other things on the menu like salads, but I have never seen anyone eat them (they do send them out at night for takeout). Toppings are excellent but basic, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickle, fried onion, and hot peppers. Sauces are a nice touch here from spicy chili to mayonnaise, 10,000 island, to ketchup and BBQ. Takeout business is mostly in the evening when people stop by to take dinner home. But you do see the occasional secretary ordering 5 burgers for 'the boys'.
All eys on the fries - and the BURGER MAKER
The most interesting aspect of Magic Burger is the clientele. You will find the from delivery jockeys just off their Tus-Tus, to army officers, to slicked out corporate managers, to moms with strollers... you get the point. If you are used just to fast food crowed don't be surprised to find a few executives in the crowd. If you are in the Gan Ha'Ir / City Hall area, stop by a burger at the "magic" Read More...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dizengoff Food Fair - Just like mama use to cook

... well, not EXACTLY! but maybe? well YES! Tel Aviv culinary world has one of the most diverse cultural backgrounds you can find. The only problem is that you have to travel all over town to sample from African to American, Asian to European... except on Thursdays and Fridays when the food fair at Dizengoff center goes into action. Some 40 to 50 vendors sell from Moroccan and Libyan traditional dishes to Argentinian Chorisso and Empanadas, Chinese Dim-Sum to traditional eastern European Jewish delicacies. Add Sushi, fresh baked Druze pittas, American style baked potatoes, and various sweets like mini-pancakes and old fashion middle-eastern baklava in Iraqi style. Well, you get the point of the title, no matter where your 'mama' came from, you would probably find something traditional and familiar.

Freshly steamed Chinese Dim_Sum, absolutely wonderful.
On a recent Friday afternoon I headed to Dizengoff center for a snack or two. There are so many things here and some have become a favorite, that I have to admit of not sampling many of the stands. On the first floor near entrance #6 you have a small clump of stands away from the main push and shove center (that's on the bottom floor next to Ace hardware). Here I found a Dim-Sum stand with freshly steaming bamboo trays teaming with a dozen different dumplings (both vegetarian and meat). Right next to it is the baked potato stand with a large iron oven and rows of toppings. A few steps away is a cookie stand with a selection of fat free and sugar free cookies besides the traditional ones. Finally you find a cheese stand where you can buy about a dozen specialty cheeses, mostly European.
Dishing out some traditional north African comfort food
But the real action is downstairs. Here in a little corner of this vast cavern of a space are about 20 stands who serve north African (4 stands), Asian (3 stands), south American, fruit salads and shakes, deserts (3 stands) and various other ethnic creations. Most of the dishes are warm and just been cooked in the morning. The sushi is rolled right in front of your eyes and you can even choose the ingredients yourself. Juices and shakes are mixed to your taste. Basically you are not going to leave hungry ;8~)'' ~~ and if you don't want to heat here, just ask the vendor to pack-it up "TO-GO" and you are free from the toil of cooking this evening. Well, that's all for today...
Next: sampling the big-HEAVY dishes, because there is nothing like mama's cookin'
Next-Next: and let the sweet tooth decide, in search for the perfect small sweet...
Next-Next-Next: walking around the mall, the food all over the walkways - little surprises behind every turn... or something else. Read More...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cafe Greg in Dizengoff Center, a breeze from the north

There is a new player in the Tel Aviv cafe race: Cafe Greg on the second floor of the Dizengoff Center (north building). It is an extension of a small chain based in Haifa. Since everybody is opening cafes in Tel Aviv, the race is on to win the hearts of the drinkers. Cafes in the malls have not been as much of a bid deal in Tel Aviv. Probably ever since Abraham passed through from Messopotania to Egypt people have been sitting around drinking coffee here. There are a few very old cafes which survived the changes in the city, but for the most part the new 'hot' spots are clean, fresh, and heavily packaged. Cafe Greg has a little bit less of the slick marketing of Aroma, Arcafe, Cafe Cafe, and Cafeneto. Maybe because they are a smaller chain or maybe because they just started competing in the Tel Aviv region. The nice thing about the Dizengoff location is the environment, its still a 'mall' in every sense of the word, but the corner they picked is a little quieter, next to a book store. The furnishing is comfortable with couches and padded chairs. They also give you a feeling of comfortable service without hovering and interrupting your conversation.

Greg in Dizengoff Center, comfortable couch for coffee
If you want to meet someone in Dizengoff center or even in the area, this is a good place to get a cup of coffee and to have a talk with a friend. On a regular day you will find half of the people working on their own or having business meetings. The city needs places like this, off the street and close to the commercial businesses. There are a few other cafes in the center, but they tend to be in busy locations and the furnishing is more utilitarian. Greg hit on a trend of shopping and working in the mall and having a comfortable place to rest for a while.
Cafe Greg also has a nice breakfast and lunch menu. Salads, sandwiches, hot lunch plates (schnitzel, chicken, etc.) and a few side dishes. Cafe Greg is a good place to catch a bite for lunch and get going quickly. So in Dizengoff Center, head to 'the Greg' and have a cup-'o-joe and a talk with a friend... Read More...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Life OUTSIDE the city - Modiin, hanging out

Looking for a place to get away from the family? Spend some time with your partner or friends? Grab a baby sitter, dress up, and hit the road. Modiin is not the center of action and entertainment, but you still have a few things to do without gassing up the old Peugeot and heading down 443. True, Modiin is a true to life bedroom community, in the style of any respectable American suburb. It is also very much a "planned" Israeli city, but with the social planning lagging a decade behind the roads and electric infrastructure. But slowly it is starting to take a life of it's own, which is what we like to see in any "good place to live". The Modiin town web site is a little bit of a disappointment in English. It is slightly better in Hebrew.

Modiin mall is soon to be the center of shopping in the center of town

I'll give you three nice spots to spend some time and have a 'heart-to-heart' which is almost impossible with the children around. Parent time is important to a good relationship so why not start a the sushi bar. A good shot of sake and some good sushi is a good way to start an evening. If you like you can wash that sushi down with some good plum wine. The sushi restaurant is located at ....

After your appetizer at the sushi bar, head for Angelos for some real Italian pasta. Enjoy a casual main course, salad and wash it down with some Italian red wine. You can't go wrong with one of the recommended pasta dish. So ask for a recommendation of the day from your waitress.

Now that your belly is full and will not utter strange noises, you can relax a little and get a good cup of coffee. Head over to Aroma, here you can have coffee and a nosh and wind down. Remember, you don't have to leave Modiin to have a good night out with your partner. Cut out the long ride home from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, when you get home, you are still relaxed and refreshed from enjoying each other.

Have fun in Modiin, with out the travel to "the-city" //sam-d-man //in-the-city Read More...

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...

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

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Molly Blooms: Live Irish Music on Ha'Yarkon

Local musicians carry on Irish music

Last week I went out to see some live Irish music at Molly Blooms on Ha'Yarkon and Mendele Streets. The bar has a 'live music' room where Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the flat screen is turned off and a bunch of local musicians take on the role of local entertainers. This is a 'jam session' but I have to admit, its one of the most entertaining one I have been to in Tel Aviv. This past Wednesday one of the drinkers also took to the floor with Irish jigs that would warm an Irishman's heart. And we all clapped in tempo. The bar is what I would call a real Irish 'style' place. I liked the quiet demeanor of the clientele, there for a pint of beer and a serving of Fish and Chips. The menu is limited, but than again, there are plenty of good restaurants in this part of town. This is a place to hang-out with friends and down a beer or a shot of whisky with a chaser.
Milly is Molly Blooms' logo

The bar has two rooms off the main 'bar' room. One is the 'live music' room which you see in the pub photos, a round room sticking out from the building like a giant bay window. The second room in the back is more suited for diners. Set up like a small restaurant, you can have the warmth of an Irish bar with a nice table for a group dinner. Last Wednesday, the music started at about 9:30 PM but the bar was still mostly empty. By midnight the place was packed and the dinner room had a waiting list. By the looks of it, half of the people were tourists and business people. The location is in middle of the 'hotel row' of the beach front. The other half are local 20's and 30's crowd looking for a good place to enjoy a cold Irish beer or a good shot of whisky. Molley's serves a good selection of bottled Irish beers a great selection of single and double malt whiskies.
So if you are in a mood for some Irish drinking, music or just a cool place to land for a while. Give Molley's a go ~ drinking and jigging in the city, Tel Aviv that is, AmiV Read More...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Brasserie M&R on Iben Gvirol

Fine French Bread at the Brasserie M&R

Want to go to Paris for dinner tonight? (but stay in Tel Aviv?) You don't need to rush to the airport or even bother your travel agent. Pick up your phone and make a reservation at the Brasserie M&R at 03-69-67-111 (see virtual turist). The call will hook you up with one of the nicest French restaurant in central Tel Aviv. Its located across from Rabin square at 90 Iben Gvirol street.
This restaurant and bar is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The menu varies with the time of day. In the morning, Brasserie serves a traditional French breakfast menu with that wonderful large cafe au-lait in a large open mug. On Fridays and Saturdays a special breakfast with eggs Benedict and other more traditional French breakfast dishes is offered. Other times of the day lunch, dinner and late night menus offer traditional French dishes. Bread is baked on the premises as should be in a good French restaurant.
Brasserie M&R has indoor and outdoor seating. Outdoors you will find comfortable tables and chairs in a glass enclosed area. This section of Iben Gvirol has wide sidewalks and restaurants take advantage of the nice weather for outside seating. Inside there is a modern French brasserie atmosphere. The decor is modern and clean with black and white dominating the color scheme. Menus are in Hebrew and French, but the wait staff will easily help anyone with English and French orders.
Enjoy France in the city, Tel Aviv bistro at it's best... //sam-d-man


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

La Paneria: bakery between French and Italian

sampling of La Paneria fine bread selection

Frankie and I were walking down Dizengoff toward the 'center', when the delicious aroma of fresh baked break and cakes filled the street. The warm feeling and wonderful smells beckoned us inside, into La Paneria (81 Dizengoff - 03-620-2183).
Inside we were met by the manager Jonathan. He was our bakery tour guide. Jonathan described more than a dozen home baked breads. Each of them looked more delicious than the next one. Reyes, raisins, herb and various different types of flowers were available on the shelves.
The tour continued to the cakes and cookies. Apples, nuts, dates, chocolate and jellies filled cookies and cakes. They also have a good variety of sugar free cakes and cookies for diabetics or those simply wishing to cut down on sugar. Since Frankie and I are always on the lookout for good cakes and cookies without sugar we couldn't resist.

Cookies with and without sugar
Tonight we enjoyed a delicious apple and date cake, without sugar. Enjoy great cakes and cookies with or without sugar, at La Paneria, 'in the city' - /sam-d-man


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Maganda Restaurant, middle-eastern Yemenite Kitchen

Maganda in the Ha'carmel shook
At 26 Rabbi Meir street, one block from Shook Ha'carmel (open air market) you will find this elegant eatery, the Maganda Restaurant (HE website). The restaurant has a reputation of the best Yemenite food in this part of Tel Aviv. After all, this part is also called Kerem Ha'teymanim, the Yemenite Vineyard, where you can find an old community going back three generations. This is the oldest Yemenite neighborhood in Tel Aviv and one of the oldest area in Tel Aviv as a city. In addition, Maganda is known for its hospitality from three Habora brothers: Tsadok, Haim and Ami.
Maganda is the largest and most prominent restaurant in this part of the city. The area is sometime mistaken as jut the "shook" (open air market). So most people do not think of this area as a place to eat a great meal in a nice restaurant. After all, the shook closes at sundown and that's it, 'everybody just go home'. But Maganda is one example of how a neighborhood can be more than just one thing. The "shook" area is still active at night, and Magenda is a place to enjoy. The reputation of this place goes back years, ask anyone and they will tell you. So you are not alone in exploring this place.
Quiet afternoon meal at the Maganda

Maganda is a large restaurant that accommodates a couple of hundred patrons. The menu is in Hebrew and English features main courses between 35 and 72 shekels. You are offered a variety of lamb, beef, turkey and fish dishes. A choice of soups are offered for 18 shekels. There are also a variety of salads including eggplant, Turkish, Greek and green salads for about 20 shekels. Another choice is an assortment of stuffed veggies for 15 shekels. Soft drinks are 8 shekels, credit cards accepted. Magenda is a restaurant where you can have a real authentic Yemenite meal in a nice place. It is also a restaurant where you can feel the warmth and tradition of the Yemenite community in Tel Aviv, something most people miss on a short visit. The food is great and will let you sample this cuisine that was hidden from most westerners, unless of course you have a Yemenite family friend who will invite you to dinner at their home.
On busy evenings call ahead, Magenda will be full during the peak hours, +972-3-517-9990 or +972-3-510-8235. I am sure you will enjoy your Yemenite dining experience at the Maganda. //sam-d-man Read More...

Monday, September 10, 2007

French life in the city: Boutique Central on Dizengoff

French baked good, walla!

Looking to go shopping for a taste of Paris in Tel Aviv? Try the boutique central on Dizengoff. Boutique Central also has locations in Ha'median Circle (120 Zabotinsky), Masrik Circle (90 Frishman) and in Ra'anana and Ramat Ha'sharon.
This shop is a patisserie. The products here look and smell exactly like a small patisserie you will find in Paris or a small French village. The nice part is this being in the middle of Tel Aviv. All the baked goods are fresh and the staff will help you if you have any questions. You may buy a beautiful croissant or a variety of baked goods and breads.
Counter display with elegant creations

Boutique Central is busy on mornings just as the working crowds wakes up. Watch out for the cream baked goods in the display case (at the counter) they will allure you, and most French food lovers will not walk away empty handed. Ask for help and just listen, this is a place to learn about the intricacies of fine French pastries - after all, isn't this was a 'patisserie' is all about?
Remember in Tel Aviv you may enjoy delicacies from around the world (Italian, Russian, China, Thailand, Hungary, Check, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey and the US). Come to Tel Aviv and enjoy a trip around the world. Don't forget to also taste Israel in Tel Aviv. Enjoy the city -- Tel Aviv //sam-d-man Read More...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Yeminite soup in the city: Ha Bayit at the Yemanite Vinyard

Ha Bayit's scruffy exterior
Editor's note: one of the first areas in Tel Aviv to be developed is the Yemenite Vineyard (Kerem Ha'Teymanim). This area is just north of Yaffo and is made up of narrow streets and small one and two story houses. Shook Ha-Carmel is here and so are many interesting locations. We are just starting to write about this part of Tel Aviv.
    AmiV and I were ready for lunch. We started walking toward what AmiV says is the best soup kitchen in Tel Aviv. After walking for a few blocks behind the shook Ha-Carmel we stumbled on Yihie Kapach street number 31. This eatery is known as the "House" (Ha-Bayit) by all the people in the neighborhood.
    I took one look at this place, that looks like it did during the time of the Second Temple and looked at AmiV. He assured me the food was good. We walked in and took seats at a table I wasn't sure would hold up. The menu was scribbled on a blackboard on the wall and contained a variety of Yemenite soups, pita and one salad.
    The soups offered by the "House" were: meat, oxtail, head, foot, lungs, bone, all for 27 shekels. Bean soup for 18 shekels and kabobs for 27 shekels. You may also order hummus and pita or a salad for 16 shekels. Drinks are available but not included in the a-la-cart menu.
    No credit cards or checks, cash only. You will not be provided with a written bill either, the server does the calculation in their head and tells you what you owe.

Delicious Meat Soup

    We each had the meat soup. I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food. The broth was very tasty and the meat was tender and luscious to the taste. The soup was served with pita and two sauces. Be careful, one is VERY "hot" (spicy).
    I have a very enjoyable lunch - too bad nobody at the "House" speaks English, so they could enjoy our review. //sam-d-man Read More...

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Benedict "update" - now for lunch too...

Spinach Eggs Benedict

Editor's note: This is an update on the Benedict story from July. As you might remember, Benedict is a breakfast bar-restaurant on Ben Yehuda and Jabotinsky. This is an update from sam-d-man.

I sat down with Roy last Thursday and he gave me a review of the new items added to the Benedict menu. There are five new additions, this gives customers an option for "lunch" items if they come a little later in the day. You can also have these for breakfast!

First: B.L.T. sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) with mayo on whole wheat. Served with salad and drink, 41 shekels (add cheese for 5 shekels)

Second: Tuna salad sandwich with hard boiled egg, mayo and tomato. Served with a salad and a drink, 39 shekels.

Third: Smoked salmon sandwich with capers, cream cheese and purple onion. Served with salad and a drink, 41 shekels.

Fourth: Two new dishes with brioche sunny side up eggs, with senkin and hard cheese, with Cesar sauce. Served with salad and drink, 43 shekels.

Fifth: Crock tomato with brioche tomato sauce, onions, garlic and topped with sunny side up eggs and hollandaise sauce. Served with salad and a drink, 43 shekels.

Enjoy the new delicious tastes at the Benedict. Your servers are waiting to serve you these treats. Enjoy the city - Tel Aviv, dine at the Benedict, 171 Ben Yehuda, Tel: 03-544-0345 // sam-d-man Read More...