Tag Archives: late night

Taqueria- A Mexican Oasis in the Heart of the Desert

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With summer around the corner, beach days just beg for authentic tacos and margaritas. Tel Aviv is filled with bustling cafes, restaurants and falafel stands, but there seems to be a shortage of authentic Mexican and Asian foods. This is where Taqueria comes in; a Mexican restaurant in the heart of Tel Aviv.

You can choose to sit either outside or inside, which is an intimate space with colorful chairs that match the collage on the wall. Color is scattered artistically throughout the restaurant, highlighted with various pots of cacti and succulents. High wooden ceilings with paneling, ceiling fans and a combination of low hanging light bulbs and deck chairs (hanging over the first-floor balcony) all add to its sleek, modern-contemporary design. The specials of the day are written on a large chalkboard on the wall, take note and give them a try! The atmosphere buzzes in the evening, when it comes alive with its dimmed lighting and cool beats, a great place to sit, drink and eat with friends. We recommend giving yourself at least 20 minutes ahead of time as there is always a queue. They don’t provide the option of making reservations ahead of time, except on Fridays.

Nachos have been hard to find here in Tel Aviv. Usually, they just come as chips and salsa. Anyone from abroad will tell you that chips and salsa are surely no replacement for the wonder of real nachos; fresh melted cheese on hand-made corn tortilla chips, topped with an assortment of guacamole, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, salsa, cilantro, and green onions. Taqueria’s nachos (39 NIS) do not disappoint.

When it comes to ordering the main course, people first think about burritos and tacos, I recommend trying their quesadillas for a change.  Taqueria offers four different types of quesadillas: Classico (cheese, cilantro, spring onions and jalapenos -28 NIS), Pollo Plancha ( chipotle marinated chicken breasts, cheese, cilantro, spring onions and japenos-34 NIS), Camrones ( Adobo marinated shrimp, cheese, cilantro, spring onions and japenos-36 NIS) and the vegan quesadillas.

Despite mainly ordering burritos at Taqueria for years, after being recommended, I tried the less heavy and delicious fish or carne asada tacos. The Pescado Frito (fish) Tacos were the first to grab my attention; beer-battered cod served with fresh guacamole, salsa verde, tartare, cilantro and cabbage. Unlike other Mexican restaurants in Tel Aviv, when you order tacos at Taqueria, you can decide between either a corn or flour soft tortilla. These were perfected sprits of lime and a bit of Taqueria’s smoky salsa. The fish was delightfully moist and appetizing and the guacamole was dazzling and fresh, a creamy additional delight to the crispy fried fish.

Taqueria’s beloved burritos are served in a tightly wrapped foil and then cut in half. Prepare yourself to make a mess with the foil as there is no way to keep this neat presentation an art piece. Each burrito is generously packed with the choice of vegan option/ vegetarian option/marinated steak/ pulled roasted marinated chicken/slow cooked pork/marinated shrimp in lime and tequila, filled with rice, black beans, lettuce, Salsa Roja, cheese and sour cream. Each burrito is worth the price of 39 NIS.

Whatever dish you try, again, have it with a frozen margarita – they are strong and flavorful and incredibly refreshing. Besides the beers that they also offer, you’ll find a variety of Tequilas. Their desserts vary, but they always have the popular Churros, fried Oreos, chocolate mousse and Paleta hand-made ice-cream popsicles.

NOT KOSHER

Address: Levontin 28

Hours: Sunday-Tuesday 12PM-Midnights and Wednesday-Saturday 12PM-1AM

Mezcal- The Oldest and Best Mexican Food in the White City

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Mexican food is a relatively new phenomenon in Tel Aviv over the past 5 years, yet is a natural development generated by a rising Mexican and American ex-pat community. In this promising realm of cuisine, it is Mezcal, owned by of Ziv and Esther Erlich, which claims the culinary throne. Unlike the standard restaurant that caters clearly to the local restaurant crowd, Mezcal seeks to shed light onto the authentic flavors and manners of cooking that have differentiated the Mexican kitchen from its regional counterparts.

Mezcal is located in the Florentin neighborhood of Tel Aviv. For non locals, this is basically Tel Aviv’s hipster neighborhood. It’s full of art studios, tattoo parlors and some very cool restaurants and bars. The inside of Mezcal is awesome in its own right, featuring bright Mexican artwork, colorful high-top tables, a huge bar, and upbeat Latin music.

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The menu recommends ordering two or three dishes each and sharing. We went with 2 orders of enchiladas (verdes and rojas (32-34 NIS), supreme nachos (42 NIS), the chimichanga (32 NIS), the burrito (46 NIS), and the fish tacos (35 NIS). The food came out as it was prepared, so we had the nachos first and then after finishing up our delicious margaritas, the rest of our order came out.

Unlike most Mexican restaurants around Tel Aviv, Mezcal cooks their own toasted tortilla chips which provide an authentic taste. Despite the size of nachos which tend to be smaller than most nachos you find in Tel Aviv, they are much richer in flavor. The nachos supreme is made with homemade tortilla chips and black beans, melted cheddar cheese,’ pico-de-gallo, pickled jalapeno, guacamole and sour cream. This dish is a great starter with Mezcal’s famous margaritas.

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Speaking of margaritas, Mezcal features the most extensive selection of imported Mexican tequila anywhere in Tel Aviv, serving over thirty varieties. They also serve a number of imported Mexican beers including San Miguel, Modelo, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, and Corona. Between 5-8 pm Sunday through Thursday they offer a happy hour deal which includes 1+1 for draught beers and 50% for cocktails when sitting by the bar.

At night time the bar turns into one of the biggest party spots in Florentine; with young people packed onto the sidewalk enjoying delicious tequila with a unique Mexican experience. The average crowd at Mezcal tends to be people in their later twenties or early thirties. Now back to the food…

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The enchiladas rojas and verdes were covered in a creamy hot sauce, queso fresca, sour cream, and red onions, and stuffed full of shredded chicken, beef or mushrooms for those looking for a vegetarian option. Overall, as a self labeled enchilada enthusiasts, I’d say these were the best enchiladas in Tel Aviv – the sauce had the right amount of chipotle flavor, and the creaminess was super generous.

The first thing I noticed when the tacos came out was the guacamole. Most Mexican places in Tel Aviv use the prepackaged kind of guac, you know, the kind they have at fast-food places that tastes nothing like fresh avocado. The fish tacos came in pairs, perfect for two diners since you can have one of each. I am not going to beat around the bush here but the tacos are small, so I recommend ordering a few different tacos or order it as a starter. Mezcal offers 4 kinds of tacos: fish, shrimp, slow cooked beef stew and shredded chicken. I recommend ordering a few plates of tacos as they won’t last long on your table.

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For those like me who love burritos, Mezcal might be worth the trek just for their burritos. Unlike the majority of Tel Aviv’s Mexican establishments, they provide a filling burrito that is stuffed with rice, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, pickled jalapenos and your choice of barbecue (slow cooked beef), chicken tinga or sautéed mushrooms.  If you aren’t drooling yet, I saved the best for last. Mezecal’s chimichangas are stuffed tortillas filled with chicken/beef or peppers, mixed with beans, cheese and rice.  They are fried to a crispy golden brown which is topped with fresh sour cream, and mild salsa.

After years of hearing great things about Mezcal from my close friends, I wish I paid visit years ago. While new Mexican places will come and go, sometimes it’s best to return to the original Mexican restaurant in Tel Aviv. In summary, Mezcal offers Mexican food enthusiasts the most unique and authentic Mexican experience in Tel Aviv. Don’t forget to order the margaritas and the fish tacos – you won’t regret it.

NOT KOSHER

Address: 2 Vital Street

Hours:  Sunday-Saturday 12PM-1AM

Vito Romono- It’s All About the Grilled Cheese- CLOSED

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In the past year or so, the Dizengoff square area has become the center of fine dining in Tel Aviv. With the success of Truck Deluxe, a new grilled cheese sandwich restaurant offering a unique twist has blessed Ben Ami street with another fine option to dine.

Vito Romono opened their doors in April in the heart of town, right next to Dizengoff Square. After a year of planning and designing the perfect architecture and the exact recipe for each sandwich, they opened the first grilled cheese sandwich bar in Tel Aviv. While it’s a café during the day, at night it becomes a thriving bar with an option for some late night delectables.

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Vito Romano’s original grilled cheese sandwiches main ingredients are a mixture of melted cheese (mozzarella, gouda and cheddar) with a small amounts of tomato sauce and basil, and served on a sourdough bread (35 NIS) or focaccia bread (44 NIS), with the option of fries or salad. They offer 5 different grilled cheese sandwiches that are influenced from different cuisines from around the globe. The “French” is a grilled cheese sandwich with caramelized onions and different cheeses that will challenge your senses. The most eye-catching sandwich on their menu is the “American”, this grilled cheese sandwich is served with mac n’ cheese and bacon inside the sandwich itself. The “Italian” grilled cheese sandwich is served with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. The “Greek” sandwich is served with bitter but tasty feta cheese and fresh olives. Last but not least is the “Mexican “grilled cheese, which is served with chipotle and jalapeño which provide plenty of spicy flavors that you won’t find in the other sandwiches they offer. If that’s not enough for you, you can add asparagus, ham, a poached egg, a boiled egg, mushrooms and more. Each specialty grilled cheese sandwich costs 44 NIS( sourdough bread) or 53 NIS( focaccia bread)

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The most popular sandwich is the American which provides patriots a glimpse of what they have been missing back home. This sandwich is contains generous servings of cheese, a good amount of mac n cheese, and small pieces of bacon that provide a unique taste all in one sandwich. For those looking for a more healthy choice they provide your typical Tel Aviv café options; but I recommend you stick to the grilled cheese sandwiches.

SUPER NOT KOSHER

Address: 13 Ben Ami

Hours: Sunday- Saturday 10AM-2AM

Truck De Luxe- Not Your Average Food Truck

toppictureIn the exciting restaurant scene in Tel Aviv, people tend to get bored very easily. In previous posts we have offered the more common cafes and restaurants. However, we are always looking for new and exciting food venues that will get us foodies excited.

Close to a year ago, Truck De Luxe opened their doors (of their food truck) with many mouthwatering dishes we could only dream of. Located on Ben Ami street right next to Dizengoff square, this food truck is the more exciting smaller brother of Pundak Deluxe which is located in Jaffe. Unlike the Jaffe location, the prices are more affordable and present amazing food imagery for all you Instagram foodies. If you are a vegetarian, you might want to look elsewhere.

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This is not your typical food truck- despite the kitchen being in a truck this a very fun and exciting restaurant with tables and a great atmosphere in the heart of Tel Aviv. Here you will see mashups of foods you have only fantasized about. Similar to Pundak Deluxe, you order different meat dishes by weight, but unlike the Jaffa restaurant, they offer different combos and mixes of different food that you won’t find anywhere else in town. Now onto their delicious and eye watering dishes

Their menu consists of 15 main courses, five side dishes, five first courses, 12 cuts of meat and four different desserts. The menu consists of dishes that range from 10 NIS to 50 NIS. Each dish is served fresh daily and the staff will recommend different side dishes that perfectly complement each main course. If you are looking for a tasty and simple choice, we recommend you try the Trailer Trash Bacon Burger (47 NIS). This simple burger is cooked with cheddar cheese on top and brioche. The perfect side is the mac and cheese (12 NIS). Despite thinking that a mac and cheese with a burger was a weird choice, I was totally wrong. The dish is very gentle and fun, and the top has crunchy crumbs that add a special flavor the dish. For those looking to add French fries with their burger, this is an option as well.

3rdFor those wanting a chicken dish, we recommend you try the chicken breast sandwich (39 NIS). Similar to the burger, the staff recommends we order the French bean stew (14 NIS) with the chicken entrée. This meat stew consists of two different types of meats and beans. It’s less of a stew but more of a side of meat.

 

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The most extreme dish is their pancakes (44 NIS). These are not your typical pancakes; this dish is for extreme eaters. The pancakes are presented as a 3 layer tower with disassembled pork shoulder meat topped with sweet syrup. This dessert presents an unlikely but delicious mashup of food. For those who like to experiment with different types of foods, this is the dish you have been waiting for. For those who need a side dish with their pancakes, the staff recommends the mac and cheese with bacon sprinkles (16nis). A side dish I recommend ordering is their jack cheese fries (18 NIS).

For those who somehow have room to eat at the end of their meal, you must try their American ice cream which is served with caramel (15 NIS). They offer the option of adding bacon chips to the ice cream for a small charge. In summary, Truck Deluxe offers some of the most non-kosher interesting dishes you will find in Tel Aviv. You will spend less than 100 NIS, but it will keep you full all day long.

SUPER NOT KOSHER

Address: Ben Ami 13

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 5:30PM-Midnight and Friday-Saturday 10AM-Midnight

 

 

 

America Burgers- American Diner Burger Experience in the Heart of Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv’s thriving culinary scene you tend to discover almost any kind of food that you are looking for, but the genre of American Diners is not something you are likely to see every day. Recently a group of Tel Aviv veteran culinary owners opened the new and exciting America Burgers in the heart of Tel Aviv.

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America Burgers is located on the exciting street of Allenby; this new American style burger restaurant was opened by a group of veteran culinary experts. Unlike the popular gourmet burger scene which took over Tel Aviv the past five years, they want to go back to basics and present simple delicious burgers, the type that we grew up on. They provide one of the best burger experiences in the white city. Unlike other hamburger restaurants  in Tel Aviv, they offer a unique and limited menu where customers can choose from 5 different types of burgers. Each burger on their menu is developed to pair with specific side dishes and vegetables which, together, present a perfect meal. They offer the usual side dishes we have became accustomed to such as fried onions, onion rings and fries.

Their best burgers include their classic beef burger and their American cheese burger. Their classic beef burger is presented on a fresh bun with American mayonnaise, ketchup, tomato, lettuce, pickles, caramelized onions and pickled red onions. While those looking for a less (not) kosher option, their American cheeseburger is served with mayonnaise, ketchup, tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions and fresh cheddar cheese. Of course, they offer a vegetarian burger  which is fried Portobello mushrooms served with garlic mayonnaise, ketchup, lettuce, tomato and chimichurri sauce.

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Unlike most quality Tel Aviv hamburger restaurants which charge close to 80 NIS for a hamburger meal, here you will spend 40-50NIS for a burger. For those not looking to chow down a burger, I recommended ordering the American classic bloomin onion. What is a bloomin onion you ask, it is a fried onion in the shape of a flower that is served with different sauces to indulge in.

NOT KOSHER

Address: Allenby 112

Hours: Saturday –Thursday 6PM-1AM

Ruben- one of best deli sandwiches you will find in the Middle East

Growing up in America, I had the picking of great deli sandwiches. In Tel Aviv there are so many sandwiches spots that don’t present the same experience. Almost after every sandwich restaurant that I try,  I have to ask myself “where’s the beef?”  In the case of Ruben it reminds me of the great deli sandwiches I experienced growing up.

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Ruben, located in the heart of Tel Aviv on the corner of Yehuda Halevi right off Ibn Gabirol Street, is decorated in a welcoming atmosphere with many wooden shelves and vintage accessories of an old deli in New York. For seating, you can either sit on the counter inside or choose to sit outside for those who like the summer heat of Tel Aviv. The amazing warm smell of smoking meat and the Tel Aviv atmosphere gives it a homey feel. The counter is managed with usually 2-3 workers each with a different role in the sandwich making.

When it’s time to order, you have the option of deciding between the corned beef ,hot pastrami and turkey, choosing 200-400 grams to be made into your perfect deli sandwich, served in either white or brown bread. In addition,, customers can choose to add lettuce, tomato and onion. Unlike most delis, they offer a tasty option of combining white horseradish mustard and sauerkraut. Once your masterpiece is ready to be eaten, a staff member wraps your dish in white paper and cuts it into 2 halves and adds a tasty homemade pickle.

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In addition, they also offer cold and refreshing Kaiser Beer on Tap. If you’re in the middle of your busy day or it’s the end of a long day, there is nothing better than a delicious mouth watering sandwich with a cold refreshing beer.

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Order: the 300 gram mixed meat sandwich. You will get a delicious sandwich packed with turkey and corn beef on an amazing fresh rye bread.

Average price:35-50NIS

Address: Yehuda Halevi 112

Hours: SundayWednesday 11:30AM-1AM, Thursday 11:30AM-2AM, Friday 11:30AM-6PM and Saturday 6PM-1AM

Los Burning Tacos – Bringing the Flavors of Mexico to Tel Aviv

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After the increasing popularity of Mexican restaurants worldwide in the past five years, it’s about time that we have Mexican food options in Tel Aviv. One of the more intriguing Mexican options is Los Burning Tacos. They offer a creative and fresh take on Mexican street food.

Los Burning Tacos, located on Allenby street right across the Carmel Shuk, is inspired by El Diabo in Brooklyn,  NY, which helped with the design of the Tel Aviv restaurant and also helped with two recipes that are served at Los Burning Tacos.  The restaurant is not that big, but the staff is very friendly and gives personal attention to each customer.
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After receiving my order, I talked with the owners, who explained they came up with the idea of opening their restaurant after successfully running the Teder “pop up” bar last summer. Their restaurant has been gaining popularity since they opened their doors..

Los Burning Tacos’ menu includes most of the normal Mexican options available in most Mexican restaurants – such as enchiladas and quesadilla. However, their tacos and burritos are much the rave. Mexican Ceviche (36 shekels), taco or burrito with chicken, fish, beef or shrimp (34-47 shekels) and more are among the many dishes and specials that they offer. If you are looking for starters, they offer nachos with salsa (17 shekels), Mexican corn (17 shekels) and other affordable options.

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Besides their delicious food, they also have a full bar which includes draft beer, Arak, whisky and other alcoholic beverages. I recommend ordering the Strong Bloody Mary or their tasty and authentic Burning Margarita, each priced at 31 NIS.

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Order: Chicken Taco, which is served with boiled chicken and lots of lime and cilantro. Another excellent dish that I highly recommend is the fish tacos which are induced with jalapeno and lime sauce. Either of these dishes cost you between 15-30 NIS.

Average price: 35-50 NIS

Address: Allenby 47

Hours: SundayFriday 12Pm-2AM, Saturday 7PM-Til the last customer

Not Kosher

WINGS- Israel’s Best Chicken Wings-CLOSED

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As an avid American football and Seattle Seahawks fan, Sunday night football with wings and beer is an integral part of the game watching experience. Before this season, me and my close friends would watch football and indulge ourselves in tasty home made wings and local beers in our friend’s apartment. Week after week we would tell our friend, who cooked the wings from scratch, that he needs to open a restaurant in Tel Aviv. The convincing finally worked, Wings opened their doors early September and haven’t looked back. Wings provide the American style of wings previously unavailable in Tel Aviv.

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Located on Herzl street right to Rothschild Street, Wings offers delicious kosher wings and bar food. Co-owner Eytan White, who made aliyah from New York, brought with him his love of American style wings which was lacking in Israel. Eytan was introduced to now co-owner Robert Ben Or through a mutual friend and the rest is history. White, with a kosher mind set and “wing man” expertise, along with Ben Or’s culinary experience, created the perfect match. Wings has become one of the more popular restaurants in Tel Aviv.

The menu highlights 13 tasty sauces for their fresh chicken wings. You choose how many pieces and how you want them cooked. For crispy wings (gluten free), they offer three options: 8 pieces for 26 NIS, 12 pieces for 36NIS and 18 pieces for 53 NIS. The other option is wings in beer batter and panko: 8 pieces for 34 NIS, 12 pieces for 44 NIS, and 18 pieces for 61 NIS. Wings offers different combinations of wings and assorted side dishes as well.

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Those who are looking for something else other than wings, they offer popcorn chicken which is very good as well. They offer different sides that go very well with wings, such as onion rings, sweet potato fries or regular fries. They also offer Caesar salad and coleslaw.

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For drinks, they offer different types of beers and soft drinks. I recommend the Stranger Beer. The Stranger is a local micro brew that is brewed by a fellow Oleh from America and it goes extremely well with wings.

Wings is hosting the biggest Super Bowl party in Israel this upcoming Sunday. They are offering a set price: all you can eat wings, fries and good deals on the beers. Check out their Facebook page for details.

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Order: 12 Crispy Wings with half of them having buffalo sauce and the other half Korean sauce. Order a Stanger beer as well.

Average price: 50 NIS

Address: Herzl 12

Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 12PM-2AM, Thursday 12PM-4AM and Saturday night 7PM-2AM