Much as I try, I am not able to keep track of all the culinary news around the country, so I apologize in advance to those who have complained that these roundups are too Jerusalem and Tel Aviv centric. I am happy to receive foodie updates for those who live in the north or south and, of course, due credit will be given.
The much anticipated Memphis Burger (Kosher) opened their Jerusalem branch on Agripas at the beginning of December. Their burgers are beautifully seared with a crust on the outside and juicy in the middle. At NIS 55 for 250g, they are more expensive than others in the area, but the quality of the meat definitely makes it worth it. I have not yet tried the sweet potato fries but the regular fries are nothing special at all – which seems to be an issue in many burger places.
In case you have missed all the rave reviews, Harvey’s Smokehouse (Kosher) has opened in the city center, in place of Gabriel, by the same owner, Harvey Sandler. The US style smokehouse serves various meat dishes including brisket, ribs and chicken. Signature dishes include popcorn chicken, Kansas style burnt ends and cherry wood smoked asado.
Azza 40 has reopened in the city center as R&R Diner (Not Kosher). The menu still has some of the same dishes, with some new additions. Traditional American diner dishes include Mac n Cheese, BLT, Reuben sandwich, burgers, home fries, pancakes and apple pie.
My American friend was impressed by the Reuben which was semi-authentic. The corn-beef was thinly sliced but it lacked sauerkraut and melted swiss cheese. If you plan to go at the weekend, make sure to call ahead to reserve, as they are already busy.
Smadar (Dairy-no teudah) in Smadar Cinema is under new ownership and has a new Italian menu. It is still open on Shabbat so is not kosher but the menu is dairy. I haven’t tried it myself but a reliable source reported that the food is authentic and well made.
TEL AVIV & MERKAZ
Although the opening of the Gindi Fashion Mall in Tel Aviv has been far from successful, it has added a number of new restaurants to the area, including famed burger bar Susu & Sons, Asian noodle bar Zozobra, ice-cream and waffle bar La Gofre, Biga (Mehadrin) and Cafeteria. Ilan’s Café and Tatti Café are due to open soon, more information on all the restaurant options in the fall can be found here. For now, they are offering three hours of free parking (no validation required).
Cafeteria. is a European style coffee shop that has been nicely decorated with teal and pink velvet seats and brass fixtures. The menu is very eclectic and in my opinion, is trying too hard to imitate an authentic European café.
My friends and I shared some very tasty Arancini (NIS 39) to start, and for the main course, I had Gnocchi with artichoke, asparagus, parmesan and sea bass (NIS 128) which was delicious. One friend had the gnocchi without the fish (NIS 68) and another enjoyed the mushroom risotto (NIS 65). We also shared a chocolate and salted caramel nemesis (NIS 38) for dessert, which was addictively good. We all agreed that the food was very nice but the portions were not very big, compared to the price. The service was temperamental but it seemed to be due to new and/or inexperienced staff. The full menu, including the business lunch option, can be found here (although it is not 100% accurate).
Al Hamayim, Herzliya Pituach – the popular fish and sushi restaurant on Sharon Beach has become kosher. The menu includes a variety of dairy and fish dishes, along with an extensive sushi selection, click here for the full menu.
Pasha Tel Aviv (Rehov HaArba’a) has closed down, which is a real shame as the food was always very reliable.
UPCOMING EVENTS & NEWS
Liliyot (Kosher) restaurant has closed for renovations and will return with a new concept sometime in January. I am not sure what it will be but I have been told it will be an exciting update.
Luis Angel, Leah and Yittie Stoffer plan to open a Mexican Taqueria called Tacos Luis (Kosher). Thanks to a Headstart campaign, they have raised over NIS 140, 000, so will soon be bringing authentic Wahacan street food to Jerusalem.
To read previous monthly roundups, click here.