Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Israel Restaurant Review #1

I've eaten at some amazing places: Trotter's, Carlos', King Louis 15th and Tru to name a few. And I love just as much to chow down on a hot dog and fries or a good pizza. All I ask is that the food be yummy and the service good.

In fact, I often find that the service makes the difference in how the food tastes. A bad server won't tell you if a dish is too salty, or won't bring the food on time, or make good recommendations. And when you're paying good money for food, if the service is bad your perception of the food is affected.

So now, after dozens of years of cooking non-professionally and professionally eating food from all over the world, it's time to start reviewing restaurants in my new locale: Israel.

A couple of my basic guidelines:

1) If you're an expensive restaurant than you better be great. If you're good or just ok than you're not worth that kind of money. There are too many top places to throw away the same cash on good.

2) have good service for your price range.

3)Don't Cheat! Don't you dare switch sauces in the bottles. If you're going to fill up a heinz ketchup bottle, for example, it better be with Heinz Ketchup. But if you put some knockoff in there to save a few pennies, how can I trust you on anything expensive? like the quality of your meat and produce, the time you spend on food safety & hygiene etc.

By and large I love Israeli food. Most of the places I've been have offered good value for their money, the food is fresh and the service friendly. There are loads of world class restaurants tucked away in little corners happily working their magic.

So I really expected that the first review would be of one of my favorite places. And just by chance I happened to take my kids to a fairly new local upscale hamburger place which was profoundly disappointing.

Kanibar Restaurant in Hod HaSharon. www. kanibar.co.il


The food was tasty. They cooked the meat in my hamburger properly.

My daughter's schnitzel was juicy and full of flavor with a great even and pretty crust topping.

Yummy Fries (aka Cheeps)

It was the middle of the day and they attract a young crowd and even some kids, so the service was reasonable for that time of day.


#1 they put the meat and the vegetables on the wrong sides of the bread. You want the meat to be on the bottom and everything else building on top. There are reasons for this: 1st, simple construction. You want all your loose materials sitting on a solide wide base. 2nd, lettuce and onions and cheese etc. contain a lot of moisture. With the heat of the hamburger and juice dripping down, the moisture from those toppings get released and your base becomes a gooey mess. The alternative is to eat the burger upside down, with the round side down and the flat side of the burger roll up, which creates a terribly unpleasant sensation in the mouth. So good tasting patty killed by execution.

#2- they were out of some of the toppings I ordered. Really? No hot peppers? Walk down the street to the vegetable stand... literally just down the road.

#3- There was some brown stoneground style mustard in the Heinz Yellow Mustard bottle.
I happen to prefer a nice brown to the fluorescent yellow on my hamburgers. But they cheated! or the mustard had gone way way bad and I will be puking later.

#4- chicken wings came out barely coated in sauce and cold under the sauce there was. Yuck, cold wings and warm sauce. The microwave rectified the problem :-(

#5 - The onion rings: Decent but could buy the same at the grocery store frozen aisle. If you don't have great onion rings than don't bother.

My Recommendation: Don't go. Loads of great places for the same money.

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