Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fleishmann's Deli

This is not the first time I mention Fleishmann's Deli although I did spell the name differently last time.
They've already opened a Foursquare account so I know how they want to be called, although I tweaked it a bit since it wasn't following some grammar basics (which is kinda arrogant of me).

Anyhow, let's keep it simple, this is a short one: Fresh Moroccan bread, chipotle sauce, BBQ sauce, yellow mustard, horseradish sauce, lettuce and lots of corned beef.
I was pleasantry surprised to discover chips and delightful pickled cabbage in my take-away bag [and a tiny chipotle sauce container].

corned beef deli sandwich

It was a superb sandwich, as good as I remembered.
The only bad thing I can think of is that they don't have enough opening hours so it's kinda hard to get my fix.
Otherwise - epic.
Note to self: on my next visit I should check out their pulled beef sandwich, it looked pretty good.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hardcore Foodie Materials

Food porn show and tell continues:
(each segment's end is marked by a bunch of asterisks) 


This was the day Sriracha returned to the stores. I was so happy - words cannot describe.
Little did I know that the current batch was spicier than the last one, and not as easy on the stomach.


Pizza USA, Petah Tikva

This is from a place in Petah Tikva called Pizza USA (or USA Pizza if you will). It's easily one of the best pizzas in town. Most of their local pizzas are crap, but some do have that 90's charm, when ingredients were simple and people didn't know any better.
The pizzerias in Petah Tikva have this weird fetish about their names, here's an example of several places' names - located on the same street: Pizza London, Pizza New York, Pizza Paris.
Get it?


Roast beef bagel sandwich

Poppy seed bagel, spicy mustard, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, grilled eggplant, pinkish roast beef that was over heated and became a tad grey.
A take-away from Tal Bagelsת Karlibach 41, Cinemateque Qtr-Tel aviv.


Whole wheat noodles, pork, chicken, bacon, broccoli, sprouts, bok choy, cashews and crushed peanuts -  stir fried with a secret sauce.

Whole wheat noodles, pork, chicken, bacon, broccoli, sprouts, bok choy, cashews and crushed peanuts -  stir fried with a secret sauce.
Eaten at: Giraffe officer's club, 21 Ha'arbaa street, Tel-Aviv


wafer no. 023

Bought a sleeve of ice cream wafers, discovered they were randomly numbered.


shimeji mushrooms, bleu cheese and walnuts salad

Shimeji mushrooms, bleu cheese, balsamic vinegar and chestnuts. 


fried avocado

Bought a hard-ish avocado, got impatient and fried it, hoping that would make it go soft.
Apparently it was a horrible idea, the end product was bitter and only semi-edible.


corned beef sandwich

Double-decker sandwich, a corned beef monstrosity.
Mustard and horseradish sauce, tomato and lettuce on wholewheat. Two gherkins and ten minutes of mouthgasms.
Eaten at: Ruben, Florentine 22, Tel-aviv (they have several venues).


wonka nerds

A local store started selling Wonka Nerds. Oh happy days!


lots of citrus fruits

Got bored, squeezed juice from a grapefruit, orange, lemon and a clementine, although it might have been a tangerine or a mandarin.


Bodean's chipotle BBQ sauce

My friends went for a vacation in the UK and all they got me was this amazing hot chipotle BBQ sauce from Bodean's BBQ.


pizza  sambusak

Sambousek (also sambusak) with pizza sauce, cheese and olives, covered with a zaatar & sesame decoration.
Delicious, lovely and all the melting stringy cheese is complimented by the crisp of the exterior.


Dulce de leche doughnut

Dulce de leche doughnut, say no more.
(I have no idea where they are from, someone brought a box to the office and people gathered around it like hungry vultures, all was gone after less than a minute)


Agvania pizza

Ultra thin pizza that goes by 1/4's of a pie. So thin that it's just a bit thicker than an average tortilla.
So freaking delicious. They're called Agvania pizza, there are branches all over Tel-Aviv.


Chicken tikka, plain grilled chicken, rice, fried, couscous and steamed green beans

Chicken tikka, plain grilled chicken, rice, fried, couscous and steamed green beans.
Quite eclectic but very good. And a small tahini bowl on the side!
Eaten at: Tajine, Hamasger no.45, Tel-Aviv.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Donkey: Tex-Mex Heaven in Tel-Aviv

At a rather young age I realized I'm missing several things that judging by my TV watching habits seemed common and reasonable. Taco Bell was one. It was hard to grasp how things some considered mundane were in fact a rare delicacy. Along with the now locally defunct KFC and Dunkin' Donuts - some brands just don't do well overseas.
But now, for this taco hungry writer the earth begins to shake.

pulled pork tacos with lots of cheese, black beans and cilantro saucepulled beef tacos with crispy lettuce, hot sauce, salsa ad cheese

Don't get me wrong, Israel has a handful of Mexican or rather Tex-Mex (i.e. Texas-Mexican) dining venues. In the last fifteen years there has been a notable change in how we perceive food. More cooking shows, finer materials and ingredients, fancier restaurants and a variety of new cuisines that are becoming more mainstream. The Israeli palate has evolved greatly.
If until now the "Mexican" options were places offering an American menu with a token tortilla wrap dish, or a specializing Mexican restaurant that serves only minced beef dishes along pizzas, now there's a new sheriff in town.

three pulled meat tacos with spicy sauces and a lemon arizona teabeef burrito with cilantro lime rice and lots of cheese

And now for the reason we have all gathered: Donkey.
91 Hahashmonaim St, Tel-Aviv, remember this address. That is where you'll need to go for a good burrito, taco, casadia and quesadilla, altough the latter is not officially on the menu.
Don't get me wrong, I know there are dishes that are missing from the list. This is by far not the whole dream menu I had in mind, but the fact the have pulled beef, pulled pork and even pulled chicken speaks highly i their praise; allow me to explain. mincing meat is easy, mostly machine work. Cooking minced meat is faster, thus you save both time, work (the chopping and mincing part) and one might even use cheaper cuts of meat since it can go unnoticeable.
On the other hand, slow-cooking large quality cuts and then breaking them down into individual pieces in the right size and proportion - that's an indication of effort put into food. Add great taste, interesting sauces (the cilantro is amazing even if you're not a fan), quality cheese, fresh ingredients and amazing black beans, you get the picture. 
There's even a vegetarian option in the form of sauteed peppers and onions as a meat substitute. Also to be found are salads and burrito bowls. The owners assure that crispy tacos will be added soon.

pulled meat tacos with a side of tortilla nacho crispsthe best tacos in israel

Please step towards the cash register. Right below it there's the beverage refrigerator, stacked with drinks that will make you feel as if you are really in the United States of America, there's the variety of Arizona iced teas, Dr Pepper, common sodas, exotic juices and several types of beer.
Three tacos and a can of Dr Pepper will set you back nis50 (approx. $12.5), not the cheapest of meals, but it will definitively satisfy your hunger along with thirst for innovation and Tex-Mex desires.

The only negative thing I can add to this review is that their menu lacks tortas, which is a shame since their delicious meats deserve to be placed in a heavenly sandwich.
Donkey is well worth a visit, even if you're not a fan of this sort of cuisine. It's a breath of fresh air and as for personal taste goes you might just discover they're your new favorite.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Search for Tel-Aviv's Perfect Sandwich: Fleishman's Deli

Me and a few people from work went out for lunch today - to a quiche place I adore.
Yeah, I know, quiche, right? But that place is amazing. Was amazing actually, we discovered that it moved.
Instead of the familiar venue I found Fleishman's Deli, same location, different dimension. 
They were wise enough to place fresh, gorgeous sandwiches in the window display, I fell right into that trap.

BBQ sauce, chipotle sauce, mustard, tomato, lettuce and sliced pickles
BBQ sauce, chipotle sauce, mustard, tomato, lettuce and sliced pickles

I ordered a corned beef sandwich. 
They use fresh frena bread; frena is a Moroccan style bread, named after the frena oven in which it was traditionally made. The traditional way also includes river stones (for thermal reasons).
When compiling the sandwich I asked for: BBQ sauce, chipotle sauce, mustard, tomato, lettuce and sliced pickles.
The sandwich is served with a side of potato chips and sweet pickled cabbage.
There were sauce bottles and various dipping sauces on and behind the counter, it was like a party in my mouth.

the best corned beef sandwich I had in quite a while
the best corned beef sandwich I had in quite a while

I'm gonna stop here cos I'm pretty tired of writing this post, wasn't going to post anything new today but the sandwich was so amazing I just had to share.
Just let me add that they have four special gimmicks that are worth mentioning:
  1. There are self serve taps with various types of soda (no brands but they were all good), you just pay for a cup and drink whatever you want. This concept is rarely used in our parts of the world due to both sides (i.e. business owners and customers) being assholes. People will drink your "free" soda all day and fill up bottle they brought from home - and on the flip-side, if you can charge for extra drinks it's considered a loss.
  2. There are vases with fresh green onions all over the place, just pick 'em and eat away.
  3. They use a machine that keeps the potato chips warm and fresh. The kind of machine you find in cinemas and nacho stands, but the fact that they bothered and that the chips were actually fresh is pretty new in our culinary scene. It's usually stale-ish servings or just factory sealed bags in our areas.
  4. They have really cheap booze! 9nis for a shot of Stoli or Jameson is pretty decent. 

That's all, enjoy the rest of the pictures.
Also, I gotta state again that the sandwich was EPIC.

a display of corned beef sandwich awesomeness
a display of steamed corned-beef sandwich awesomeness

a bowl of sweet pickled cabbage, a side of potato chips, lemon soda
a bowl of sweet pickled cabbage, a side of potato chips, lemon soda

corned beef pleasures
warm corned beef pleasures

a tap of goldstar beer, green onions, bread and a potato chip heater
a tap of goldstar beer, green onions, bread and a potato chip heater

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Roast Beef Bagel

Wasn't even my idea, it was the lady.
We were at a new delicatessen, it was crowded, claustrophobic even.
I went out for a breath of air, she hung in inside for a while, and later came out declaring she's craving for a roast beef sandwich. 
I'm not one to argue on such matters.

poppy seed bagel, mustard, roast beef, grilled eggplant, cucumber, tomato, lettuce
poppy seed bagel, mustard, roast beef, grilled eggplant, cucumber, tomato, lettuce

Tal Bagels, that was our destination of choice.
The place was kinda empty, but with enough people to not seem suspicious.
While our roast beef was sliced and heated and we chose our bagels. I picked poppy seed and she wanted a zaatar bagel, later switching to a light bagel.

My poppy seed bagel also featured: mustard, roast beef, grilled eggplant, fresh crunchy cucumber slices, tomato and lettuce. Heating the meat made it lose the pinkish hue, but the flavors and softness made up for that. All and all it was a sandwich justifying the fact we ran out of the hippest deli in town.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

HaCarmel Hummus

In the middle of Tel-Aviv's HaCarmel market, on the market's busiest steer, lies a hummus placed named after the street it's located on. Hummus HaCarmel is also named Hummus Magen David (star of David), a name that goes well with the interior design. Numerous Judaic artifacts, books and even some of the seats used to be synagogue benches.
But the main thing, their hummus, it's divine.

hummus, soft chickpeas, parsley, pickles, skhug
  hummus, soft chickpeas, parsley, pickles, skhug and a can of non-alcoholic malt beer

A few warnings:
  • Self service! Go to the counter, make your order, take your food and sit down in one of the two halls available.
  • Make sure you know what you want: Hummus HaCarmel offer a unique style of plating in which all of the stuff that's often served in several dishes is piled onto your plate so if you don't want a side of pickles, skhug or chopped onion you better pay attention.
  • The skhug is amazing. Their version of this popular hot sauce is closer to the traditional green Yemenite skhug but it's not all green chilli peppers; there's a touch of cilantro and chunks of red stuff that might be tomatoes but also could be red peppers. It's not the deadliest hot sauce, it's moist and not as oily as others in this genre, but it might physically hurt some of you.
  • The pricing is absurd. You won't get these prices anywhere. They charge roughly 50% less than anyone out there on both food and drinks. I'm guessing that the self service and the fact that they have lots of diners helps them to not lose money that way, or maybe they're just less greedy.

hummus, soft chickpeas, parsley, pickles, skhug
hummus, soft chickpeas, parsley, pickles, skhug, olive oil

This is my current favorite and I make an effort to visit every Friday.
It's hard to argue which hummus is the best since it's a matter of personal taste, but this is certainly not one of the bad ones.
The taste is rich, the paste is smooth and creamy, the toppings add a whole new dimension of textures that other hummus venues seldom explore.
I'd give Hummus HaCarmel five stars or a 10/10 rating, but I don't do that shit, it's not that kind of blog.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lunch, same as yesterday: Caponata Tortellone

Today's lunch was tortellone pasta with stuffed with  various cheeses and porcini mushrooms  with caponata sauce (containing tiny bits of eggplant),  along with basil and feta cheese chunks.
It was pretty much the same lunch as I had yesterday, (i.e. same dish, at the same location - Laboratorio Di Pasta) but I'm still gonna talk some more about that one, the previous, just below the following image.

#tortellone #pasta with #cheeses and #porcini filling, with #caponata #sauce, #basil and #feta #cheese chunks.

Yesterday's pasta got to our table faster, and was hotter, burn your mouth kind of hot.
On the other hand one of the people I sat with got her pasta 10 minutes after us all, and it seemed to be a smaller amount than everyone else. She insisted that I point that out.

#tortellone #pasta with #cheeses and #porcini filling, with #caponata #sauce, #basil and #feta #cheese chunks.

Anyhow, today I was the one to get my food last.
It was just as delicious as yesterday, but I had to eat it real quick cos I had an appointment with a doctor who was about to tell me my tests showed I have a high sugar count in my blood and that it's time to visit a nutrition expert.
Also: low on vitamin D.
That would be all for now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jaffa : Shipudey Zika

The following post revolves around the last two visits I've made to Shipudey Zika (shipud = skewer), located  on Jaffa's Yefet street. A small place with a welcoming staff and really great food.
The first one happened on my birthday, the second one was on a holiday, with all the streets overwhelmed with local and foreign tourists, mixed in with the occasional foodies and locals.
We were heading to some other place, but on the way we decided to change our route, Zoe said she was craving and all the everyone else were easily convinced.

one is lamb and two are beef
Guess which is lamb and which are beef

On my birthday we arrived at 3am. There was only one last group of diners and they were just finishing up. Our order was taken quickly, and we were served just as fast, with the speed reserved for people closing up and dying to get home.
Nevertheless, the service was gracious, kind and very professional. At 3am that's quite an achievement. 

opening a feast with freebies
A great opener

Zika offer great VFM (value for money) ratio. As soon as you sit down your table is loaded with freebies. Wonderful hummus, hand sliced fries, a variety of salads, fresh soft pitas, falafel and deep-fried cauliflower if it's in the season.
The deal goes like this: all of the above is free, as long as you order something from the meat menu. One-three people usually get one round for free. If you're four you'll get two plates of fries and two bowls of hummus, and so on and so forth. Refills are pretty cheap.
If you're not planning to buy a main course - fear not, the prices are still pretty low. Wait, that's not all! The meat is not that expensive either! We usually go for beef, lamb and chicken skewers, but if you wanna go mad there are also internal organs: hearts, kidneys, tonsils and there's even udder.

hummus, pitas, salad, salasa, food porn galore
Hummus, pitas, salads, salsa, the good life

Thinking of Zika makes me hungry, so does looking at all these pics.
And it's not like I haven't eaten in a while, there's a half eaten burrito near my laptop, I'm not gonna finish it anytime soon, I'm not really hungry, but thinking back of Zika makes me drool.

salad awesomeness
The only thing better than great food is great food you don't have to pay for

Anyhow, that visit after my birthday ended real quick. We ate fast and took two cabs home. I was drunk after heavily celebrating and for a moment I woke myself up snoring.
The food just drop-kicked me, well, the food and all the booze, I mixed all sorts of crazy; arak, Feigling (fig vodka), lots of hard cider, beers and a few glasses of Baileys. 
That was sure a fun night out.

fries, but we call them chips
Golden fries


The other visit was something else altogether.
I wanted a Zilber roast beef sandwich so we were heading to the Jaffa Port market.
On the way we ran in to obstacles in the form of aforementioned tourists, slow-walking families, people taking bike rides on the sidewalk, all over the pavement and the boardwalk. 
There was also an international photography festival going on, so lots of hipsters with pro \ vintage cams, fashionable folks, pseudo artists with modern haircuts and just your average curious crowds, sitting all over the place, making it impossible to get around.

it looks great but it tastes even better
A taste of the good life

We swiftly changed course, Shipudey Zika wasn't far away; we were sure that Zika Hamdan's place will have a table just for us. That wasn't the case, but we got a table after about four minutes, which was pretty good for such a packed day.
The party started.

fries, pitas, salas, salt shaker
Om nom nom

The friends we came told us that it was quite a while since they last visited a place of this sort.
Perhaps it was the fact they aren't much fun and they treat food as something functional, just an action you do and then go on with your day. They said they rather save up or spend their money on trees instead of what they called "wasting".
We on the other hand tried to explain how pampering yourself with new tastes improves your mood, how the way is just as important and  filled with experiences as the eating, and that memories of fun times are surely more important than bong hits.

skewerd beef and lovely chunks of lamb
Beef on the skewer and lamb on the plate

At that point we got our food, so the conversation died and the eating began.
I recall mocking my friends in my thoughts while chewing,  and later losing my train of thought when the grilled eggplant arrived to the table.
It was amazing, look at it, it's here, below. Served with tahini, soft chickpeas, paprika, olive oil and fresh parsley.

grilled eggplant with tahini, parsley, paprika, soft chickpeas and olive oil
Grilled eggplant, tahini, soft chickpeas, parsley, paprika and olive oil

It was a good day in Jaffa. We passed by a church and the bells tolled, later we heard the muezzin singing form a nearby mosque and at some point we saw people dancing with torah books (it was the Simhat Torah holiday, when people take the holy scriptures out of the synagogues and walk around the building to celebrate the end of the torah and the beginning of reading it anew).  
The wind was chilly even though it was still mid-summer, there were happy dogs, cute kids, horses, and people seemed happy.
Too bad it was the last holiday for quite a long time.

hummus, fries, salads, pitas, foodgasm
All things that are good

Zika is a place  you can always go back to. The food is great, great and  affordable, the location is comfortable, there's parking and nearby bus stops, and it's a close walk from the port which is near the beach which is kinda near everything else. You don't even notice how you get back to Tel-Aviv by food.
People are nice there, in Jaffa in general and especially at Zika, going there you can easily start thinking of peace and coexistence, after all it's easier to like people when they make awesome food. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Food Porn: The Little Things

Can't quite recall why was it that I stopped doing compilation posts, but here's a comeback!
A digest of various meals, dishes and stories.
Descriptions below each image, just like I used to do.
Hope you like it, drop a line if you do, drop a line even if you don't, I've been getting mostly spam comments for several weeks now, it's quite disappointing to find bot generated nonsense each time I expect something real, don't people have opinions anymore?
Come on, ask me something, it's getting lonely here!
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green fava beans cooked in crushed tomatoes
people from Kurdistan and with Kurd genes can't eat green fava beans cos they lack the G6PD enzyme so they can die

Just some of my home cooking.
Fresh green fava beans, cooked in crushed tomatoes, with cumin, paprika, garlic, black pepper, date syrup and mustard seeds.
The rice has some garam masala in it, and sumac too. And also some mustard seeds, I was adding them to everything that evening. It was delicious.
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mushroom pizza with sriracha
mushroom pizza with sriracha

I had several horrible experiences with Pizza Seret and was glad to see they returned to their marvelous norm. All it took was a bite from this slice with mushrooms and a bit of sriracha, I was in pizza heaven again.
It's bad when good places turn wrong, but it's great when they relapse.
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pizza flavored bourekas with a hard-boiled egg, crushed tomatoes, pickles, tahini and a hot chilli pepper paste
pizza flavored bourekas with a hard-boiled egg, crushed tomatoes, pickles, tahini and a hot chilli pepper paste

Pizza bourekas with the works. I had the exact same post a while ago, but it wasn't the same bourekas.
This was after an early Halloween party this Friday, it was also a housewarming party for a couple of friends.
We walked the streets, slightly drunk, looking craving for a pizza. Mama's Bourekas was the only thing open in the immediate area. It was pretty good. 
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soft smelly cheese
soft smelly cheese

Lately I've started purchasing funky cheeses. I mean moldy, smelly, pungent, soft, covered in weird colors, the kinds that make your fridge and pee smell weird.
They're delicious.
Here's me enjoying them on a walnut rye. Good times.
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eggplant and tahini ciabatta
eggplant and tahini ciabatta

Ciabatta, with a big chunk of eggplant baked into its top, and lovely thick tahini hiding beneath the layer of eggplant. A touch of coriander was the garnish added to it by the baker, I added some coarse salt when I got home and ate it like a madman, not stopping for a second, completely disregarding my surroundings.
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pickled cabbage
pickled cabbage

Hummus Asaf which is my favorite hummus got their pickled cabbage recipe back. Their last few batches were unlike the amazing sweet and savory cabbage strings I used to devour, but like I said, they recreated the original recipe after a few mediocre months.
It's worth a visit even if you hate hummus, just order anything, you'll get the cabbage anyhow.
Forget that, just walk in and ask for a tiny bowl to go, they're good people.
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chicken selects, McDonalds
chicken selects, McDonalds

A two image feature.
Lunch at McDonald's, indeed one of the simple joys. I don't eat burgers, prefer to avoid ground meat and generally dislike what McDonald's represent and do, but every once in a long while I eat a chicken meal.
The ultimate junk food, but still, I'm lovin' it (and feeling guilty about it).

McDonalds: fries, ketchup, BBQ sauce, sweet n sour sauce
McDonalds: fries, ketchup, BBQ sauce, sweet n sour sauce

And that's it for now.
Don't forget to write!
Also, if and when you do, please add an animal that starts with a C, just for fun.

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