Tag Archives: foodie

Is Bardak the best pizza in Jerusalem?

20150105_145902Pizza, simple, right? You take some dough, tomato sauce, cheese, some toppings and bake it in an oven, or grill until it turns brown on the bottom, right?
WRONG! Pizza today is a much more elaborate dish than just putting sauce, cheese and some canned toppings on the dough. The dough needs the right flour that has high gluten content and can stretch without tearing. The sauce can be a red sauce or a white sauce, the tomatoes used in the sauce and most importantly the sauce to dough ratio. This will tell if the pizza will get crisp and firm or become soggy and fall apart. The cheese, it needs to be mozzarella cheese in any type of form (fresh or grated) for the base of any good pizza. Why mozzarella? It is a very neutral cheese flavor wise; 20150105_145850it lets you taste the sauce without overpowering everything else. And last but not least, the toppings. The toppings combination is what separates a good pizza from a great pizza. Having the right combination, like the classic fresh tomatoes, basil and olives with parmesan cheese.
How is this related to Bardak Bar & Pizza? They are rated #1 on trip advisor as Jerusalem’s best restaurant. That is some feat beating 485 other restaurants in the process. But is that true? So I went to find out myself.
First walking in to the place, it has a good vibe to it. It’s a place where you can hang out with friends drink a beer and get a slice of pizza. The menu has many different options of pizza pies while the prices are very decent for a high-end 20150105_145855pizza pie. An occurrence that was on the menu was hard-boiled eggs? The waitress said that the clientele really like it. The variety of beers is amazing there (40 beers on tap). I don’t get it but if the customers keep on coming for it, keep it on the menu. So me and my friends ordered a pie (69-75 shekels) and went half and half with the toppings, half a Nachlaot pie(eggplant and fresh mozzarella) and half Cheese Bar pie (4 types of cheese). It took a bit long to get the pie and the results were mixed. The crust on the pie was not crunchy, it was chewy the sauce ratio was 20150105_151530excellent but there wasn’t much cheese to go on top. The eggplant topping was nice but the cheese topping was disappointing. I couldn’t taste any of the other cheeses, and to make it worse, I had to add more parmesan cheese to the cheese slice to get more flavor. The variety of pies though is very large and I can understand why people love the place. Me personally though, I don’t think this is the best pizza I have ever had or the best pizza in Jerusalem but I feel that I will go back and try it again and maybe they can change my mind!

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The Spot on Achuza St

EdisonSpot

 

As all of you know, I take my dining very seriously. So when me and the family decided to take a trip to Ra’anana, the first thing I did was try to  find out where’s a nice place to eat. I was there with my family and in-laws and they lived in Ra’anana for many years and never ate there so they said they will try out something different that was not a coffee shop. After asking other foodies where they would eat there, it was clear that the city is lacking a nice meat restaurant. Where quality and service meet. When going into Spot the decor is very modern looking, young and vibrant. The service was quick and efficient, and also had a nice selection of alcoholic drinks. But the quality of the food is where they are lacking.

 

20141221_132742My mother in law ordered a Cesar Salad, me and my father in law ordered medium done hamburger and my wife ordered the Chanukah special, lemon chicken. Sadly, what was lacking in all the dishes was creativity. The food tasted fine but it wasn’t anything different than any other “bistro” that sold american style cuisine. The burger was slightly overcooked but lacked some seasoning, with a side of processed fries.  The Cesar salad had a lot of dressing on it but also tasted ok. What disappointed us though was the lemon chicken. It didn’t taste like there was any lemon in it and for some reason a lot of sweet chili sauce. I don’t get that. If you are calling lemon chicken DON”T PUT IN SWEET CHILI20141221_132736SAUCE(unless you explain that to the guest before they order). Call it lemon and sweet chili chicken, that way we would have known not to order it. The dish was fine for a chicken coated in sweet chili sauce. But like I said the service was good and the food was average.

Being one of the only places like this in the area they should be capitalizing on the opportunity by being the best in the area, so people don’t have to tell me to travel to Hertzeliya to get some good food.

Tabooleh Salad

tabooleh salad

A great refreshing lebanese salad, good for any meal. You can add pomegranates, feta cheese or whatever you want to this salad and it will still taste great. (if you’re in a hurry, you can swap out the bulgar for couscous)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of bulgar
  • 2 tomatoes finely diced
  • 1 cucmber finely diced
  • 1 red onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbls mint finely chopped
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups water

Recipe

  1. Boil the bulgar in the 2 cups of water. Cooked until soft.
  2. Place the bulgar in a mixing bowl and let cool down for 10 minutes.
  3. Add to the bowl all the vegetables, herbs , lemon juice, olive oil and spices, and mix well until the flavors blend.
  4. Add what else you want to the salad and serve cold.

Enjoy!

A trip to Shipuday Chen in the heart of Ramat Gan

A while back, me and my business partner found ourselves hungry in the gush dan area. I asked him if he’s hungry, and he said yes, but we aren’t from the area so we had no clue where to eat, and if it was even good. So, I looked on line for a place people like to eat and this is what we found.  In the heart of Ramat Gan, not far off the Ayalon Highway, there is a local steak house called Shipuday Chen(http://on.fb.me/1uyUyTu).

20130827_181750 Shipudey Chen

This place is unreal. It’s been around since 1973 (30 Years!!) and go through over 450 kilos of meat per day! That’s over 1 ton of meat! Crazy, right?! It is also nice and clean.

20130827_181613 Shwarma Shipudey Chen

What makes this place really great I feel is that it’s a real neighborhood joint. It’s not an easy place to find because it’s surrounded by buildings and not in an industrial area or mall. It’s a peoples place for locals to grab some great food. In my opinion they have one of the best shwarmas in the country. Now I’ve eaten a lot of shwarmas from eilat to metula, and honestly it was unreal. They also do shipudim, which are skewers of just meat and also unreal. Everything there is made fresh every day: the salads, hand cut French fries, the meat is butchered in house (except the shwarma). I mean they go through 220 kilos of shwarma a day which is those massive spits of heaven that slowly cook for hours to reach perfection in a lafa.

Shwarma

The prices there are very reasonable for a great shwarma (34 shekels) the skewers go from between 26 shekels in a pita to 85 shekels for a boneless rib eye steak on a plate. The staff there is very nice, they sort of speak english. The tables are clean, it doesn’t smell, and the bathrooms are OK. Also if you feel that you’ve eaten too much behind the place there is a shady cosmetics place that for a price will help you out.

So, if you are in Ramat Gan, go out of your way, look them up and enjoy a great meal that you won’t forget. I won’t.

My Surprising Lunch at Chooka

mychookaYesterday I had the pleasure to go out and have lunch with my wife. For a long time now I had been wanting and craving Asian style fast food. As we all know, sadly in Israel, they never understood the concept of Asian fast food. The Israeli weren’t able to differentiate between: Chinese, Thai, Japanese and so forth. So after living here for almost 20 years, I have come to peace with it, and  tried to enjoy it as much as I can.

Lately, for the past couple of years, the flavors in these fast food places have been amped up by so much MSG, that the taste of the food is purely based on soy and MSG. But, I have found a place that actually uses spices in their food, and not just MSG. The take out place is called Chooka (mychooka.co.il).  It is located  in the Hadar mall in Jerusalem. Their menu is split up into 3 categories: Stir fries, Sushi and beef or chicken dishes with a side of noodles or rice.

mychookaWhat is great about this specific take out is a couple of things: They call themselves an Asian Kitchen, so you know what to expect and not get disappointed They have an online takeout menu that you can order from! No more phone ordering!; They use fresh ingredients! They have an open kitchen so you can actually see what goes in your food.; The portions are HUGE! I needed to share a main course with my wife the portion was so big; The have a 10 shekel menu appetizer menu if you order a main course.

So what did we order? The business lunch for 50 shekels, plus an appetizer for another 10. We ordered Lemon Chicken strips that were battered and glazed beautifully, wit a side of Pad Kavu stir fried noodles that were just excellent. For a starter I asked for wings because I love deep fried anything. They also threw in for us a eggplant pancake that was just delicious. I know it’s just take out fast food but they really hit the nail on the head with their Asian flavor profile.

We didn’t order sushi but the menu looked really good and so did the sushi that they rolled out for other customers.mychooka

All in all, if you are looking for a decent priced Asian style take out, this is a great choice.

And remember, ” eat well, so you don’t get food poisoning”.