Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Grilled Cheese Sandwich @ QuickCafé Tel-Aviv

While going out for a much needed work brunch yesterday, a friend suggested we try the food at a nearby QuickCafé branch.
Surprised by the fact they offer actual food (a variety of noodles, rice based dishes, poultry, pasta and fish) and not just the sandwiches and pastry displayed on the counter, I decided a grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes would suffice, especially since there was an additional salad.

Grilled cheese sandwich, and a freshly chopped cucumber, tomato, cabbage and carrot salad
Grilled cheese sandwich, and a freshly chopped cucumber, tomato, cabbage and carrot salad

The food was delicious, and there was an additional mini-dipping-bowl of mustard based vinaigrette that suited both the salad and the sandwich. I also asked for some tahini and they brought it in a shot glass which I found kinda funny.

The priced seemed a bit high at first, but when I got the plate I realized that it wasn't your ordinary panini.
All and all - a positive experience.

Bottom line:
Location: clean, well lit, nicely designed, but quite loud - being on a main road intersection.
Staff: courteous and helpful.
Verdict: will gladly return.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Falafel Baribua | Yad Harutzim 15, Tel-Aviv

Although named Falafel Baribua (which means square falafel), the venue (part of a chain) also offers quite the mean hummus - and a vegan take on shawarma (doner).

On this occasion I had a wonderful plate of hummus, with fava beans, chickpeas, tahini, parsley, olive oil and a garnish of paprika.
Complementary falafel and pickles were also provided.

hummus, broad beans, chickpeas, and tahini, with a side of falafel

While the price was rather costly for a plate of hummus - there were the added side dishes (albeit some places add them for free).
The service is great - but it tends to get confused if you choose to sit at the outside tables.

The place is clean and well designed, with a good lighting which really ads to the mood.
The service is really friendly, and the place itself is also vegan friendly which makes the experience even more positive.
Overall - the food is delicious and there's a vast menu considering this is a falafel based location.

Hummus Bahadunas | Yad Harutzim 11, Tel-Aviv

Bahadunas is a well known and rather popular hummus franchise, with most branches operating around the times people go to lunch and located near office populated areas.

They specialize in hummus and ful (fava \ broad beans), and are known for adding unorthodox toppings onto your hummus plate - they almost insist adding chopped onions (which horrify me) and propose salads and pickles as well. The pickles are actually a good option.

hummus, tahini, broad beans

In the image above is a plate of hummus, with ful, chickpeas, tahini, chopped parsley, olive oil, spicy coriander (cilantro) paste and obviously pickled cucumbers.
It was rather great, although it took more than a while to get my plate due to poor service skills.

The place is clean, well designed, not too costly and the slow service comes with a friendly smile.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ruben | The power of corned beef

I won't go on and on about Ruben, not since they don't deserve - because they really do; except I wrote about them before, so I'll just paste links to previous posts.

The picture below is from last week; I was drinking out with friends and when we got the munchies we realized Ruben was around the corner.

corned beef on white bread, with mustard, herb aioli, horseradish sauce, lettuce and tomato

The sandwich was amazing as always, so was the service.
Look at that pinkish, juicy meat.

Read more:

Meat Lover's Pizza @ Fresco, Haifa

Last Thursday I visited the city of Haifa, to attend a show by local band Ke$$ef, opening for the Italian trio Psychofagist.
After the sound-check we got quite hungry so we went about town, searching for a place to dine.
Since time was scarce, we stopped at the first open venue - a pizzeria called Fresco. 

Meat Lover's Pizza @ Fresco, Haifa : pepperoni. ham, bacon
Meat Lover's Pizza @ Fresco, Haifa : pepperoni. ham, bacon

Most of the other diners were vegetarian, however I really wanted the taste of death on my tongue so I ordered a pizza all for myself.
A pizza named "sausage pizza" caught my eye, bacon, ham and pepperoni seemed like a great idea for toppings so the choice wasn't difficult for me.

The pizza was quite greasy - but in an amazing pork-fat and bacon-juice way. This actually made up for the lacking tomato \ pizza sauce which I like so much, but as I said, it was juicy and delicious enough for me to not care.

The pizza itself was quite basic, simplistic even, by far not the most impressive I've had but still, somehow it was pretty good - must have been the hunger.

Bottom line:
Price: 38nis
Location: clean, well lit, nicely designed
Staff: courteous
Improvement points: not enough beverage options
Verdict: will gladly return

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Visit to Hummus Abu Adham

Abu Adam is probably at the top of my all time favorite hummus list.
The amazing hummus, hearty service, low reasonable pricing and infinite refills are a what hummus enthusiasts' dreams are made of.

This is just one in a series of frequent visits - hopefully I'll soon gather a post reviewing all of them combined. 

hummus, fave beans, tahini, egg, parsley, cumin, paprika
hummus, fave beans, tahini, egg, parsley, cumin, paprika

There's no way do textually describe just how good this hummus is, so all you can really do is stare at this picture and envy me.
Seriously, it's really good.

If you happen to be in the area - don't miss it!

Another BLT from Dixie Grill Bar, Tel-Aviv

Quick update:
Since the previous BLT from Dixie was so good -  I ordered another one, it turned out to be even better!
That is all.

Another BLT from Dixie Grill Bar, Tel-Aviv

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich w. Bacon @ Moses TLV

2am sandwich at Moses, Tel-Aviv: slightly roasted bun, arugula mayo, lettuce, tomato, grilled portobello mushrooms and a side of bacon. Also at hand - a plate of fries with BBQ and chili sauce.

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich w. Bacon

Although this sandwich was supposed to be a vegetarian take on BLT (Moses call it PLT on their menu) I could not resist my urges - thus the bacon.
In light of my previous disappointments with this location and the chain in general (great dishes replaced with mediocre ones and prices being jacked) this sandwich was amazing, affordable and quite a nice companion to their late night discount on booze.

The service war horrible, but the food was great and the ambiance was generally pleasant.
The so called PLT is very much worth returning for.

Monday, August 5, 2013

BLT from Dixie Grill Bar, Tel-Aviv

Ordered this beauty over the phone and hoped for the best; luckily I got much more that I bargained for.
A fresh ciabatta bread, crunchy lettuce, a delicious tomato, mustard based mayo and a large amount of thickly cut bacon, both crisp and juicy.

That lovely sandwich and a side of fries, my lunch was pretty epic.

BLT: bacon, lettuce, tomato,mustard mayo, ciabatta
BLT from Dixie Grill Bar, Tel-Aviv: bacon, lettuce, tomato,mustard mayo, ciabatta

The order arrived in less than 30 minutes, it was wrapped neatly and contained everything we've payed for (don't you just hate it when items are missing or arrive with a topping you asked to remove?).
It was one of the most efficient deliveries I've seen in quite a while and the tip was high enough to show our appreciation. 

This was a total 10/10, with top notch food and service.
I will gladly order from Dixie again.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hummus Said | Another day, another chickpea.

Lunchin' with the missus and my work friends is fun.
The only downside is when you have a bunch of people trying to decide where to go for food.
On this occasion it was surprisingly easy; everyone wanted to eat at Said's Tel-Aviv branch.
Who am I to disagree? It's nearby, delicious and fairly priced.

hummus,tahini,chickpeas,olive oil,egg,paprika
msabbaha: a mix of hummus, tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice and hot sauce

The missus ordered a msabbaha and was very pleased with it.
The warm, spicy and savory dish is a great take on hummus, with the chickpeas mixed into the hummus-tahini mash-up, as well as added on top for texture and flavor.
Freshly chopped parsley is a colorful garnish but also adds lots of fresh flavor.

fava beans,hummus,chickpeas,olive oil, paprika,tahini
mahluta: hummus, ful (fava beans) chickpeas, tahini, spicy lemon sauce, olive oil and paprika 

The mahluta is my favorite spin on hummus in this fine location.
The hot fava bean stew is a great contrast with the room-temperature hummus and the cold tahini.
The warm chickpeas add a texture play to every bite, and the lemony-spicy sauce that is added makes you want to dip your pita again and again.

Bottom line: while the original Said (located in Acre, Israel - locally known as Akko) is well known for an amazing hummus - this branch has a hummus paste that is average by itself, and is usually upstaged by the supplements.
However, to get to Akko I'd have to take a train, so this is pretty good for a work lunch.
Also: if you're there - try the shawarma.   

Friday, April 12, 2013

Vitrina | Sausage (and Burger) Fest

Problematic eating habits a hard thing, especially for a foodie.
I have various issues, textures being just one of them. Never been a fan of ground or thinly minced meat; on top of that there's my growing dislike for meat in general.
It's not easy being me; it's also uncomfortable for my food companions.
Now, imagine what it's like when I'm invited to a place specializing in sausages.

pork and roquefort sausage in a soft bun, with fries, pickles and beet ketchup
pork and roquefort sausage in a soft bun, with fries, pickles, aioli and beet ketchup

I'm not a hater of charcuterie, but I do prefer my sausages dry, my hot dogs industrial, and I keep away from hamburgers due to the texture.
Vitrina offer over a dozen types of sausages and one sort of burger.
I ordered the pork and roquefort sausage, it was one of many interesting variations on the menu; with a side of 50/50 fries, an interesting take on your dull french fries in the form of potato and sweet potato fries, with parsley and lemon zest.
I ordered my sausage neat, it was my mortal fear of onions speaking - everyone around us were chewing tons of onions and that made me paranoid.
My order was accompanied by a ladle with an aioli of some sort and a delicious home-made beet based ketchup.
After exploring what others ate - I asked for their take on relish; just big slices of pickled cucumbers. They had the distinctive taste of a vinegar brine, and the yellowish shade suggested turmeric. They were divine.

yam and regular potato 50/50 french fries, with parsley and lemon zest
sweet and regular potato 50/50 fries, with parsley and lemon zest

The sausage was delicious, although it was a bit hard for me to enjoy it's grainy inner texture.
The fries and pickles helped me drown my sorrow, that and the fact that the friends and I were having a great Friday afternoon, laughs in the sun included.
The missus called to say that she just finished her shift and that she's on the way to join us.
I ordered a basket of fries in the meanwhile.
Seriously, their fries are amazing.

I've been told that this hamburger is amazing
I've been told that this hamburger is amazing

Several people at our table claimed this to be one of the best hamburgers they ever had.
I read that they use a smoked cut of beef neck as one of the ingredients; one blogger mentioned cheese being added to the mix (the hamburger in the photo above had some cheese under it).
My girlfriend didn't argue, in fact she wanted to go back for it several times since this visit, and she wasn't the only one.
Vitrina's unique and original twists on food and condiments are a winning ticket.
Another advantage was the background music - rock and metal; not everyone's cup of tea but we really enjoyed it.

Bottom line: great food, affordable pricing; even the fries, pickles and beet ketchup are well worth a visit on their own.

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