Tag Archives: salad

My wife’s 3 Bean Salad

I know that this recipe is a classic and many of you may think it’s outdated, but when you put it out at a barbecue, it’s a perfect salad that gets gobbled up in the end.

four-bean-salad_30_1-1-1207_326x580Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of cut green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of cut yellow beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved

For the vinaigrette:

  • 3\4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1\2 cup of sugar
  • 1\4 cup of oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Recipe

Mix and Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Breakfast in the Secret Garden of Beit Zayit: Derech Hagefen

logo_Derech_HagefenDerech Hagefen

20160803_100727The title of my blog post this week may sound a bit out there, but when my wife and I walked in to Derech Hagefen, we were in awe. For a moment, we felt like we were in the secret garden like right out of the movie. But lets/ take a step first and tell you where it is. Derech Hagefen (Kosher local Rabbanute) is one of two restaurants owned by the same owner and share the same concept: A combination of a green house and coffee shop\dairy restaurant. Derech Hagefen is located in Beit Zayit, a very quiet and green Moshav located at the footsteps of the Jerusalem 20160803_101055Mountains (right off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway). The other restaurant is called Cafe Itamar (review coming soon) located in Moshav Ora on the outskirts of Jerusalem. When I put the location into Waze, you really need to look for the coffee shop because most likely you will miss it like me the first time, but once you park in the parking lot and walk down the hill and get distracted by the dinosaur park you won’t miss it.

When you first walk into the restaurant, it doesn’t feel like a restaurant, 20160803_101828it feels like a nursery that you can purchase plans from. Once you are greeted by the hostess then you come back to realize, oh I’m in a restaurant. We sat down near the coy pond, and I have to mention that there is indoor and outdoor seating. On a hot summer day you can sit indoors with the A\C or sit outside where this beautiful stream of cool mist keeps you nice and cool (I can use one of those for my house!).

Now that we were comfortable and accommodated, we ordered breakfast (you can’t order off the regular menu until 12pm). My wife 20160803_101832ordered the Beit Zayit salad and I ordered the Beit Zayit breakfast which comes with a cold drink and a hot drink. While we were waiting, we noticed something funny, because the sound of the mist, you can’t hear anyone else conversation, but yours and that gave us an even more intimate experience even though we were outdoors with other diners.

Then the food comes, and let me tell you, it may be breakfast but it was impressive. The salad was huge, and came with lettuce, asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, Parmesan aioli, goat cheese and so much more. 20160803_110015Iv’e seen thousands of salads in dairy restaurants, but this one, is definitely in my top 3. The creativity and taste really elevated the experience and added another reason to return for another meal. Then comes my breakfast, and omelet with everything but the kitchen sink in it: cheese, onions, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, more cheese. It came with fresh-baked bread that they bake in-house and an Israeli salad that was seasoned to perfection. The other thing that I really like that they served was real butter. Yeah, real butter that is yellow and not a packet like you get in every generic coffee shop\dairy restaurant in Israel.

20160803_105955After almost filling up on the breakfast, I wanted to try one of their homemade desserts, so we tried a slice of cheesecake with a raspberry sauce. When the waiter brought it out sadly it had a hair right on top of it so I asked them to switch it. 5 minutes later they apologized and brought out an extra dessert on the house, for the inconvenience. They brought out a tiramisu and if you are a coffee lover, you will fall in love with this dessert. Then we dug into the cheesecake, which was divine. It really needed that sweet sauce to complement the sour taste of the cheese, it was the perfect balance.

From the service which was amazing, to the ambiance, to the food, the decor, the whole experience at Derech Hagefen was amazing. If you have never been or coming to Israel to visit, or looking for a unique place to go out to eat, you must try Derech Hagefen!

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Quinoa and Beet salad with a Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette

20160714_141628Everyone is into quinoa these days, so here is my special quinoa recipe I learnt at chef school

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 3 cooked beets
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbls of balsamic vinegar
  • Fillet of 1 orange and the juice squeezed out of it
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Saute the red onion until browned.
  3. Once everything is cooked, mix the rest of the ingredients together and serve cold.

 

A Dinner for two at Tommy’s

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Tommy’s is a small and cool venue located on Keren Kayemet st in the heart of Jerusalem. The reason I found this little joint is because I happened to have stumbled upon a Facebook contest that they where holding. And I won a dinner for two at the restaurant, So the one night me and my wife had free, (literally) and went to check it out.

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Tommy’s is a small hole in the wall type of joint that make most of the food in house, like the salads and sides. The seating area is located outdoors but there is still an element of privacy because there are no seats on the street, mainly on the patio.

So we looked at the menu, and it really emphasized the name of the place” sophisticated street food”. Everything they serve has a little twist and isn’t your run of the mill fast food joint. The menu is composed mainly of grilled meats, but also have different types of dishes on their specials menu. The chef also made it clear that they cook their hamburgers on the flattop, and that got me excited!

After browsing the menu and talking to the chef about what to order, we ordered a hot pullet salad(pargiyot) salad, an entricote hamburger,  for the sides we ordered a blooming onion that’s made in-house, and sweet potato fries with pink lemonade.

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Because i’m a gentelmen I’ll start with what my wife ordered. The pargiyot saladwas really good. It wasn’t your run of the mill salad with just chicken and vegetable, it came with bulgar, arugula, sweet potato,  and the chicken itself stood out by being packed with flavor. One of the better salads I’ve had at a fast food restaurant. The entricote burger was done like I asked, medium. It was very juicy and full of meaty goodness. I asked for some coleslaw on the  side and it made the burger taste even better. The sides were a bit dissapionting though. The blooming onion was a mess and very hard to eat and lacked seasoning. The sweet potato fries weren’t crispy, it needed to be fried twice like a pomme fritte otherwise it just gets soggy, like in our case. what really rounded out the meal was the pink lemonade that was perfectly mixed and had a great balance between sweet and sour like a good lemonade should have.

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All in all it was a very good experience and you will find me returning there to enjoy another meal. but trying  different things too!

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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.

 

One of Israel’s Best Kosher Restaurants

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The Ranch House(www.ranchhouse.co.il/)

The reason I give the Ranch House such high praise is because:

  1. The chef takes Kosher ingredients and able to use the to max.
  2. The service is outstanding! All the waiters wear uniforms,look professional, smiling and very tolerant.
  3. It is styled for comfort and the decor may be a little outdated but it doesn’t take away from the ambiance.

Now lets get to the food! We went as a family with my three year old daughter to this 5 star restaurant thinking this would be a problem. The thing was, my daughter behaved better than half of the patrons at the restaurant! The waitress that came to take our order was super nice and kind. Even when we had to switch out my daughters order because she wanted a burger and then changed her mind to a hot dog, they said it wasn’t an issue, and it was taken care with a smile. I feel that that’s the most important part of going out, when a patron gets great service, 9 out of 10 times the patron will recommend the place and also return again in the future.

20141022_19232820141022_192322So, now that our daughter was happy, my wife ordered the Chicken salad and I ordered to 400g steak on the bone with onion rings for a side. The food came very fast, and the portions were enormous! They gave my wife this salad tossed with the house vinaigrette that was mayonnaise based and it was just great. the chicken was tender, the vegetables weren’t to soggy and all in all a great salad.

Now let me share with you the steak. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, served with a sweet potato and three sauces: honey mustard, au-jus, and a red wine reduction. All three were full of flavor and really complimented the steak. But the steak itself was so good! Melted in my mouth in every bite. The onion rings are made in-house and were crunchy and full of flavor.

For dessert we shared my daughters chocolate chip ice cream that tasted a bit parve bit was still good.

SO next time you visit the southern city of Eilat, you must try out  this restaurant.