Tag Archives: food

An Update From The Israeli Foodie

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Hey everyone. I wanted to give you some updates about what has been going on with me.

  • I recently have been hired by the Joy of Kosher magazine to be their social media marketing manager. Basically to run strategies and all the content that runs over all the platforms of the social like facebook, youtube, twitter and more.  This has been consuming a lot of my time, hence why I haven’t really been focusing on my own blog, but I plan on keeping it going and even trying my hand in vlogging at the restaurants where I eat and posting my recipes. I’ll update you guys about that later.

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  • I have also been writing for a magazine called the luxury spot, all about Middle Eastern food and posting some cool recipes there as well.
  • I hope you all are enjoying the use of the group and all the stuff I post. My hope is to make the Israeli Foodies group one of the largest foodies group in Israel and to be the number one source about food in English in Israel.
  • I would also like to remind any restaurant owners, if you’d like your business to be featured on an international platform like the culture trip, you can either email me or PM me on facebook and be in touch.
  • I would also like to mention, if you guys could start following me on instagram and twitter, @theIsraelifoodie on instagram and @yudajacobs on twitter. that would be awesome!

Anyway, expect a lot of new articles from me, this upcoming summer and also don;t forget to have a great summer!

Yehudah

 

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A Hamburger that traveled down South

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In searching for the best kosher hamburger in the city I have stumbled on a surprise located on Hillel street. Zesty burger is a hamburger chain located mainly in the north of Israel, have opened up their first Jerusalem location a couple of months back. After seeing a groupon for the place knowing that it’s a new venue, I went to try the hamburger that has come down from the north.

The menu that is offered is pretty straight forward,.burgers wraps or sandwiches, that’s it.

What intrigued me was the variety of burgers they offer: Classic, short ribs, Mergez, Entricote, Goose(??) and many more. The burger toppings are also really cool like they offer: chorizo, goose breast, pineapple and more. They have 3 levels of burgers that define the type of meal you are looking for. They also offer a couples or triplet meals for those who don’t want to spend too much money on going out. While we were debating between each other about what to order, the guy behind the counter was really friendly and patient and we ended up chatting for a while before we even ordered.We took the triple meal (3 burgers, 2 sides, a large bottle of soft drink 109 shekel)and that’s when the dilemma started.

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The menu is packed with so many different burgers that all looked really good so I went on the one I figured would be full of surprises, so I picked the short ribs burger, to be done medium.

My friends took the same as well. Zesty cooks all their burgers on a flat-top which in my opinion is the only way to cook a  hamburger because you get that crust you want on a burger while the inside is cooked to your liking. We also ordered a side of fries and onion rings as well to go with the burger. So when they called us up to put toppings on our burgers, another thing that makes this place really cool are the sauces. The sauces are a bit different from what you would get and much tastier than any other burger chain. For example there is a sauce called Shipkah, which is a crossover of a pesto and chimichuri. Full of flavor and very different.

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So we get our burgers and sides and sit down, and the guy behind the counter gave us an extra side of fries(really cool) with all the sauces Zesty offers. the first thing I notices about the burger was how fresh everything was; the bun, the vegetables and especially the burger. The hamburger  was cooked to a perfect medium and was so tender and full of flavor. What also surprised me were the onion rings, They were full of flavor and really crunchy. The best part were the condiments, because dipping sauces were of the hook!

20150601_133511All in all, For a chain of hamburgers Zesty delivers on all cylinders and is a really, and I mean really good!

Zesty, Hillel 28, Kosher rabbanute yerushalayim.

 

Max Shwarma at the Police station

20150503_115828It’s been almost a month since my last blog post, and the reason for that is, that my life has been pretty hectic lately. Sadly my uncle passed away, and after the shiva I went off for two weeks to miluim(army reserves). I’m not going to tell you how bad the food was on the base, but I will tell you about a great shwarma place and a great story that goes with it.

On the way to the base, we picked up a friend at the train station in Beer Sheva. It was about 12 pm so of course we were hungry. So we asked around, where is the best shwarma in the city. I asked a foodie friend in Beer Sheva for help, but in the meanwhile my Israeli friends were busy asking people off the street. Everyone gave us the same answer, next to the police station. In the meantime my friend told me about this place called Max Shwarma. So I told my friends the name but they insisted on going by the police station and trying out the Shwarma there. I guess everyone we asked has either been to the police station or just really like the food there.

 

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We parked the car and started walking down what seemed a sort of street mall across the street from the station, and low and behold, the original location for Max Shwarma is located there! It has been located there for over 50 years and they are in the process of renovation to make the joint classier. I asked why would they do that, and the guy said it’s the times. People don’t want to eat in dirty run down places anymore, so they first renovated the kitchen, and now the back room for seating, as well as the bathrooms. Even the attitude of the guy behind the counter was great and polite to every customer, and that’s not something you find in every shwarma stand.

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Everything served at Max Shwarma is fresh and clean. The salads, the laffas, even the tahini sauce felt fresh. They serve you a generous portion there and let you take as much salad as you want in bowls as well. The shwarma itself was seasoned very well and very moist too. A great meal for a soldier who wasn’t going to eat for at least another week.  There are multiple locations around the city but my friend told me that they are all just as good.

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So, if you find yourself at the police station in Beer Sheva, or just in Beer Sheva, I recommend you guys to stop there and check it out!

 

A Trip an Irish Pub in the Heart of Jerusalem

1483049_660846857310405_1822876640_nI usually spend every Sunday night in the center of town in Jerusalem, and finally tried out O’Connell. They serve over 40 types of Irish whisky there so it was pretty impressive when it came to the drink menu. But the reason I was there with friends was to try out the food. Everyone I had asked had told me that the food is legit, heck I even recommended about it in my post to theculturetrip.com. And well everyone the trip was worth it.

20150308_221113The food was legit. Pricey, but legit. We ordered a couple of different dishes to the table and they were all spot on. I personally ordered a hamburger medium, a fishn’chips, a chicken salad and a steak sandwich. The service took a while and a bit slow during the service itself but the food really made up for it.

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The hamburger was cooked to a perfect temp and full of flavor. the char was perfect and the bun was toasted as well. But i still hate that when I order a burger they give you the vegetables on the side and I need to compile my burger. That wasn’t the case here though. A solid burger full flavor and fries to go with it. The fishn’chips, the fish was flaky and the coating was crunchy just like it should be. A bit pricey but worth the investment. The chicken salad was seasoned right, and the salad had a nice vinnagrette to compliment the salad. The steak sandwich was a bit disappointing though.  It needed like a sauce to give it another element but it was lacking, otherwise it could be a great sandwich.

20150308_220919All in all, a great way to spend the night out with a group of friends with some great food, on a street that is overloaded with restaurants as well.

 

Ras-el-Hanut Phyllo Dough Meat Pockets

One of my favorite spice blends is definitely Ras-el-Hanut. A Moroccan spice blend composed from 30 different spices that are full of body and flavor that will give any protein you use a very cool and different flavor your palate is used to. You can pick it up at any fresh spices store or packaged in certain shops. So here is a recipe that I came up with, how to use this spice blend to the max, and keep it simple as well:

Ingredients

  • 1\2 Kilo ground beef or lamb or chicken
  • 1 Onion Diced small
  • 2 Cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbls minced corriander
  • 1-3 tsp of Ras-el-Hanut spice blend depends on how strong you like it
  • Salt&Pepper for flavor
  • 1 Package of Phyllo Dough
  • oil for frying
  • 1 egg for coating
  • topping of choice: Dried parsley, sesame seeds,

Recipe

  1. Place a frying pan on a high heat and saute the onions and garlic until translucent and add the ground meat and brown.
  2. Add the spices and herbs to the meat mixture and drain the excess liquid from the pan and fix the seasoning if necessary.
  3. While the meat mixture cools down, turn your oven on 175c.
  4. Take the phyllo out of the package and follow the instructions on the package on how to fold the dough into the shape you’d like your pastry.
  5. Brush and seal the dough with the egg wash, then coat the dough with the egg and add topping of choice.
  6. Bake until golden brown.

Serve hot with a tahini dipping sauce. Enjoy!

 

The Affects of a Culture on Local Cuisine

Recently I was reading a journalistic paper for an assignment at college, and stumbled upon how this works in Israel. The article was about how the effects of local culture on the local cuisine. So what is Israeli cuisine? How does the culture affect the food and wine in Israel?

So to answer these questions we need to take a look back at what has happened in this country before it became a state. The state has been around for 67 years, and it has been ruled by so many regimes before we won it back. That is when it all started for the Jewish nation in Israel. Thousands of immigrants came off the boats from countries like: Poland, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, France, Italy, Iraq, Iran, Germany and many more. This is when we started creating an identity for the new state. All at once everyone brought the tastes they love from their countries to here.

so 67 years later, has all this defined what Israeli cuisine is today? In my opinion, no. We are still a young state trying to find its identity so there is no real Israeli cuisine. But, there are all of those dishes that really represents what every immigrant that moved here has brought with them and basically has created a fusion of foods that everyone in the this country eats. Whether it’s Ashkenazi Jews eating Sfardic food and Sfardi Jews eating Italian cuisine. Things like Cholent or Chamin, same dish different interpretation. Same for a big doughy ball in your soup whether it’s Kibbeh or Kneidels. Different types of stuffed vegetables, is another great example. Sadly what is called Israeli Salad is really an Arab salad and Israeli couscous is really little balls of pasta.

So what are those dishes that I’m referring to?

  • Kibbeh, Matbucha, Felafel, Tehini- All over the Middle East
  • Shakshukah, Chraimeh-  Tunisia
  • Hummus, Tabooleh-  Lebanon
  • Shwarma, Bourekas- Turkey
  • Croissants- France
  • Couscous, Tajine- Morooco
  • Kneidelach, Kugel, Deli meat, Goulash-Eastern Europe
  • Schug, Jachnun- Yemen
  • Sabich, Sambusak, Kebab-Iraq
  • Pasta, Pizza, Bolognese, Meatballs- Italy
  • Feta- Greece
  • Yellow rice- Iran
  • Hamburgers- USA

All of these things have become part of the mainstream cuisine in Israel, and I feel that we can all agree that all of these dishes and food items is what affects the local cuisine in Israel. By mixing and combining and interpretation of all of these great foods is what really makes up a great foundation that will one day be defined as Israeli cuisine.

Enjoy!