If I Can't Eat It, I'll Talk About It
I am shamelessley stealing this idea from tafka PP at Slightly Mad .
I'm on a diet. I've been relatively successful at shedding the creeping poundage of the last 7 years. Like most Moms, the last person you ever take care of is yourself, so when our house started running in crisis mode a number of years ago, both of us working 60 hour weeks, splitting shifts in Kid-watching, running errands and doing laundry at midnight, I stopped going to the gym. Big Mistake. Pun intended. Dress size numbers kept creeping up. Now, they're creeping down. The shirts I bought last summer are now tents; the skirts are so loose that some have been retired.
What magic is this? Diet and exercise. Same ol' formula. But, as the Poet said, I still have "miles to go before I sleep" and if I want to be my old svelte self, I think I need to do this diet thing for the next year (it's okay--I'm now used to it and I like the results) and the exercise thing forever. That's okay, too -- I love to swim. Twenty to twenty-five laps a day is all I can do right now, but I'm working my way towards 40, which was my personal best after work for many years.
But food! Slightly Mad has a food meme going that is actually a great idea--veteran olim and newcomers can all chip in and share favorite spots.
So, here's my list of my 5 favorites:
(1) Steak Bibi in Talpiot: it's a grill place, with chicken, liver, beef, steak and kabob with starters that in Spain would be called tapas but here are just called salads. Good food, good price, nice people, and excellent parking if you drive. Beer and soft drinks also.
(2) Kalo Cafe on Bet Lechem: don't believe the panning that the Jerusalem Post's oh-so-Tel-Avivian reviewer gave it (the same reviewer who didn't know the difference between flan and creme caramel in her review of a Mexican restaurant). It was panned for being too junky-looking, too crowded, too Anglo with small portions. NOT!! Portions are big enough that I usually have to draft the Boy or the Husband to finish mine; its crowded because its really good; if its junky looking, it's because the furniture is all mismatched and funky and we like it that way, thank-you -- keep the modern minimalist chrome stuff in Tel Aviv, okay? Yeah, it's Anglo. It's also Israeli. The owners are Moroccan. Get a life and get over people speaking English, all right? We're also here to stay.
(3) Joy on Emek Refaim: okay, I know it's a tourist hot-spot, very Anglo crowd, American prices (but NOT 1868!) but the food is fabulous every time we go there. I usually get the steak salad if its on the menu, and its huge, its delicious and the Guys finish what I can't.
(4) Pasha on Pierre Koenig in Talpiot: maybe we were unusually fortunate, but we wandered into this Persian restaurant one night, not knowing much about Persian food, and daringly ordered stuff off the menu without really knowing what we were getting. It was all great! The waitress talked me out of ordering schwarma, pointing out that later in the day the schwarma won't be as tender as earlier, and I'm glad I followed her advice.
(5) Ragu on Bet Lechem: a meat Italian restaurant that provides excellent foccacia, excellent wine and wonderful ragu sauce. In the winters, I always order their soups, which are fabulous and a meal of soup and focaccia is plenty for me. The Husband inevitably orders the Spaghetti with ragu sauce--thick, meaty red sauce with lots of meat and a pureed root vegetable base. Yummmm. They're also open Erev Shabbat for Shabbat take-out, but come early. It goes fast.
You'll no doubt notice that everything is in the Talpiot/Baka/German Colony area....it's not that I don't love the downtown. I do. It's just that when we go out to eat, it's generally evening, and since we were car-less our first seven months in Israel, we got into the habit of walking to neighborhood eateries.
Personally, I'm in search of a genuine Chinese restaurant. Have car, will travel for Chinese food. Desperate ex-San Franciscan who really only misses two things -- fog and REAL Chinese food. I DON'T mean the bland, watered down, chopped meats and vegetables wholly missing traditional Chinese spices, oils and vinegars that is passed off to East Coasty Anglos as "real" -- I mean Hunan and Shechuan pepper pots with real peppers and onions cooked the traditional way. Can anyone out there help? Eilat is not too far to go for the Real Thing!
And while I'm on Asian food, does anyone know of a kosher sushi bar that serves oshinko-maki (the rolled rice with a pickled radish in it)?