Saturday, December 20, 2008
As every Israeli dinner, it always starts with the salads. This of course included hummus, pickled carrots, pickles, olives, a cabbage salad in a oil and vinegar dressing, eggplant with a tomato base, corn, and fresh pita bread. One of my favorite salads was the eggplant in a tomato base sauce. I hadn't seen this yet at any places and it was filled with flavor. Eggplant has a distinct flavor, and it was complimented with the sauce and spices.
For the main course, the restaurant sits adjacent to the lake, so what better dish to have is Tilapia caught that day. Several people didn't realize that it would be served whole, so they were taken back by the appearance. However, those of us who didn't mind seeing the whole fish, really enjoyed it. It is lightly pan fried and lightly spiced for additional flavor, but not too much to mask the flavor of the fish. It is served with chips, which were just standard fries, but when you dip it into some of the Israeli salads, the fries no longer taste like ordinary fries, I recommend doing this.
For desert, was fresh fruit. I'm not sure if they grow watermelon in Israel, so it might be imported, but I really don't know. It was nice to have watermelon given it was turning into winter at home and there was no chance to have it there. The highlight of the fruit desert was the dates. Usually, dates are dehydrated, when served, but these were not. These were served fresh and although they have the same flavor and texture as the dehydrated dates, they are much more juicy on the inside. It's not too much were it squirts out when biting into it, but it contains more moisture. Different and delicious.
After every Israeli meal, either tea or coffee is usually served. They offered us Turkish Coffee. Usually I don't drink coffee, but since I'm in Israel being served Turkish Coffee, I thought I would try it. I was pleasantly surprised! It was delicious. It was strong as Turkish Coffee should be, but they also sweetened it up. The coffee I've had in the past was bitter, so I'm not sure if it was prepared incorrectly the first time I had it or if this places prefers to prepare it differently, but I would rather choose this style any day. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Next we found a random place to eat as we were meandering through the streets of Tel Aviv. I wish I could remember the place of this restaurant because it is worth going back. I had a Feta and Eggplant Baguette. It came with a small salad with vinaigrette dressing. I love feta an the saltiness of the cheese compliments the eggplant beautifully. Excellent combination.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
However, the two things on the plate that I would fill up on is the sweet potatoes in a cheese sauce on the right-hand side of the picture. Wow. It was so good. I could get a whole plate of it and probably die of a heart attack, but the cheese sauce went so well with the sweet potatoes. It was a very nice dish. On the far left-hand side is chocolate Rugelach. Rugelach is a traditional Jewish pastry and this was particularly delicious. Traditionally it is a pastry that has various fillings such as cream cheese, different kinds of jellies, etc... This time, it's chocolate and it was worth every calorie. I could also get a whole plate of this Rugelah and probably die of obesity. Enjoy!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Just like every Israeli dinner, it always starts with small salads. It started with a delicious assortment of dishes that included a green salad, tomato salad, hummus, carrot and radish pickled salad, and marinated eggplant.
Next course was a delicious soup. It was an outstanding potato and lentil soup that had such an impactful flavor that you didn't want to stop eating it. However, you knew there was more food coming. Along with the soup came freshly made couscous. I don't remember having such amazing couscous. It was extremely fluffy and complimented the soup perfectly.
The entrees started coming out and the dish on the left is stuffed potatoes with meat inside. The meat and potato's was cooked very well and basically melted in your mouth. The sauce was the kicker. We almost wanted to lick the dish. The dish on the right is beef that was boiled and served in a curry bean sauce. It wasn't my favorite dish so I moved on to the ones below.
Now they brought out desert. I couldn't eat more, but I had to take a bit to try it. It was a nice sweet raisin cake. I thought it was good, but I wasn't sure if I didn't want to eat it because of being so full or didn't care for it much. I only had a few bites.
Lastly, they brought out tea, a unique tea. One that I've never had before. It is served with a single peanut inside it. You can briefly see it in the picture, floating on top. It gave the tea a touch of peanut flavor. Very interesting
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Just like any Israeli dinner, it always starts with small side dishes. We started with pickled carrots, an onion and tomato salad, ground lamb, liver pate, and sweet potato chips. I usually don't like liver pate, but I thought I would try it again to see if my pallet has changed. It hasn't. I enjoyed it as much as I remember. Having cooked liver, I can do, but liver pate, it's one I may have to stay away from. All the sides are absolutely delicious, one in particular that is not in the picture is their chicken wings. I rarely eat wings, but I could have had them for dinner her, it was so delicious. Therefore, when you're there, get a big plate of them. Lastly, the other side dish that was out of this world, was the sweet potato chips. The chips were very good, prepared very well, but what added extra flavor was maple syrup on top of it. It really helped to enhance the sweet potato flavor.
For my main entree, I had the lamb kabob. The meat was prepared well, however, I don't think they seasoned it enough. It was somewhat bland and the sauce on the plate was a very think strong peanut sauce. I ended up avoiding the sauce because I thought it was to over powering and actually masked the flavor of the meat completely. I would definitely try something else if I went back. I would just go for the chicken wings!
Chicken wings or desert, I could have continued eating those wings, but I had to save room for dessert. This is molten chocolate cake. Just from the looks of it, it looks good. It's as good as it looks. Of course, it's served warm and the middle just melts out when you cut it open. Definitely a keeper. Enjoy!
Monday, October 27, 2008
We started with our Bruschetta appetizer that came with these toppings (in the picture from left to right), chopped black olives, marinated eggplant and sprouts, and artichoke and tomato. They could have brought the olives and the artichoke all throughout the night, it was so delicious. We scrapped those two clean, but the eggplant, well, that wasn't our favorite. I think it was more texture than anything though. It was very mushy and really didn't hold enough flavor.
The Brushetta that we smothered those toppings on is the Garlic and Rosemary Bruschetta in the next picture. It was prepared very well and what I liked about it was that it had enough flavor to sustain itself without the toppings, if you wished. The toppings only enhanced the experience.
Lastly, I had the Pasta Arrabiatta (in Italian it means angry pasta). Just from the title, I knew I was in for a treat. I was very full after the meal, still had some pasta, and of course I forced myself to finish the plate. It was that good. My roommate actually came back the next night and got this dish. The pasta was prepared in a nicely spicy tomato sauce, which also contained pesto, onions, peppers, and olives. It had enough spiciness to compliment the saltiness of the olives and the creaminess of the tomatoes and the pesto. Enjoy!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
More importantly, the food to the right of the pepper is called the Jerusalem Mix. We started eating it, but no one told us what it was. It turned out to be chicken in a curry sauce, with some extra bonus. It had sauteed onions, chicken kidneys, and hearts. I was shocked, but it didn't keep me from eating it. Some people in the group couldn't eat it anymore, but I was happy to have more to myself. It was my first time eating kidneys and hearts. I thought it was very good. Much of the flavor was diluted by the curry sauce, but it still had a very good flavor , little grainy, and a small irony flavor. I would definitely get it again! Enjoy!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Jerusalem, Israel - Why not try some Italian in Israel. A small restaurant called Little Italy was not far from the hotel. It turned out to be a great place to eat and so, I went multiple times!
Some of the items on the menu have less than unique names and some are not exactly spelled correctly in Italian, however, the food makes up for it. The main dish is called Dave's Ravioli Mix. Little Italy makes their own pasta and you can taste the difference. It doesn't have the processed texture to it. The yellow'ish ravioli are filled with smoked goat cheese and the pink'ish ones have sweet potato. I wonder how long they played with the combination of fillings to find the right ones to compliment each other. I loved going from one flavor to the other and how well they matched each other. The ravioli is in an olive oil base with rosemary and topped with brown sugar. The caramelized sugar on top made me save the ones with the most for last, it was so delicious.
For desert, we thoroughly enjoyed molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. When we opened the cake, it was still steaming inside and the chocolate just poured out. Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Golan Heights, Israel - As we were driving through the Golan Heights, you begin to travel through a Druze town. These are people who were formally Syrian citizens, but after the war, are now in Israeli territory. This was my first time ever having drewish food and it was worth the drive and stop.
We start with pita chips. Pita wonderfully deep fried with a basil-like spice on top. I had to help myself to a few of these and probably would have eaten many many more if my sandwich wasn't ready. The sandwich is called a Labaen and is a very thin pita, more like a tortilla, that has goat cheese mixed with yogurt spread thinly on the inside. After the goat cheese is spread on, then they spread another layer of olive oil mixed with basil and garlic to give it an extra wonderful flavor. It is wrapped up and then grilled slightly, just to basically heat it up. Then there is a self-serve bar to add what ever toppings you wish. I added cabbage, cucumber, peppers, and a relish (marinated baby celery, nothing like the relish you put on hot dogs here). It is a little greasy and messy, but I devoured it. I really enjoyed the excitement of a new dish like this and how good it was. Enjoy!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Not shown in the picture is after dinner tea. The best part of it, the rosemary was picked while we were sitting there from the garden and placed into the hot water. Amazing!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Onto the main dish, Pancit. It is typically cooked with small thin noodles and sauteed in a soy sauce. I expected it to be saucy, but to my surprise, it was not. It was dryer than I expected. It is loaded with all kinds of vegetables and different meats. In this case, it came with beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp. However, I saw on the menu that you can get most of the dishes vegetarian style.
Now that I've tried these two, it has enticed my pallet and I would love to try more Filipino dishes. The one that I've heard about is Balut, but I haven't found a place that has it yet. Stay tuned for that one! Enjoy!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
The desert was a fruit plate, that to me, looked a lot like a little bird. Don't you think? Anyhow, it was very fresh and a nice little dollop of cream on top for some extra sweet flavoring. Enjoy!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Sunday, August 03, 2008
This is shrimp in a noodle wrap in soy sauce. This is probably one of my least favorite. I thought it was going to be very good, but the noodle part turned out to be disappointing. It overpowered the shrimp and soy sauce.