Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shetz Food – Not Your Average Israeli Sandwich Place

The most original idea in quick eating restaurants to come along in Tzfat is located in Tzfat's "downtown".

I bet you haven't had really good, I mean fantastically good, melt-in-your-mouth roast beef since you started keeping kosher. If you've kept kosher all your life you probably don't know what roast beef can be. Well, it is to be had. It's closer than you think. It's right here in Tzfat, the Dubek shopping center in the south of Tzfat, above Supersol and next to the Sakal electric appliances store.

Our first experience with Shetz Food was not as an eatery per se.
My husband went there and asked if they sell take-away food for Shabbat. The owner, Yaniv Shetzki, said they most certainly do. His 'can do' attitude was most appreciated. My husband brought home the St. Peter's Fish that Yaniv prepares. It was outstanding - piquant without being too spicy hot. It was covered with perfectly cooked sweet peppers and tender.

Yaniv's many suuper-fresh and tempting salads are on sale by weight for those who wish to buy them and eat them at home.

The next week, my husband went back and asked about side dishes. Yaniv said that they prepare couscous every day, but if one wants food for Shabbat it's a good idea to call before 16:00 on the Thursday before.

I dropped by to thank Yaniv for the delicious fish and to assure him that we would most definitely like to try their couscous the following Shabbat (meaning this coming week, we're anticipating it).

My attention was attracted by two things immediately. First, although the Kashrut certificate is from the Rabbinut of Tzfat; there were a number of Charedi customers in the restaurant when I arrived. The young man at the front counter, in fact, is Charedi.

Second, the deli caught my eye. The meats and the salads all looked incredibly fresh and tempting. I asked about one of the cold cuts for a sandwich, but Yaniv suggested his roast beef. Frankly, I've been disappointed with Kosher roast beef in Israel before and didn't get too excited. Then he showed me the roast beef. It was rare, and obviously succulent. I "went for it". He asked me which kind of salads I wanted on the sandwich and suggested a marvelous dressing that is the house special. He told me that toasted the sandwich is something else. He was right. After a couple of minutes in the toaster I received a warm sandwich that was unlike any other I have ever tasted. I don't believe that I have ever enjoyed a sandwich in Israel that much. The sandwich was served with two salads on the side. One was a raw vegetable salad, the other was a cooked eggplant salad that I mentioned looked particularly good and a mixed cooked salad of red, yellow and green peppers.

Another client in the restaurant ordered French fries with his frankfurters. They were perfectly, but perfectly, prepared. I had to restrain myself not to order them.

Yaniv's advertisement in Hebrew says that he offers: a selection of cold cuts and meats, omelets, home-made humus, grilled breast of chicken (which can be had in a salad as well), schnitzel, hot dogs, sabiah and a wide selection of salads, which are enhanced by Yaniv's special dressings. Additionally, the ad promises a special of the day every day.

Shetz Food is the kind of place that one can become a regular in and never get bored. The selection of delicacies just goes on and on.

There is a parve coffee bar at Shetz food and a selection of cold drinks as well.

This restaurant is going to be a hit. There is plenty of room for them to expand into and for tables to be placed outside the restaurant. They're going to need that space as people discover Shetz Food. I believe they are going to make a major contribution to the business base of the southern part of Tzfat. The atmosphere is homey as Yaniv's slogan promises, and the food, while simple, is one-of-a-kind. As there is a great deal of parking in the area and the inside of the mall is decorated nicely, people will, no doubt, drive down to the "downtown" of Tzfat for a great sandwich or terrific take-away.

The catering that he provides is a real boon. I, for one, could not prepare a comparable meal without a good deal of work and not much less expense.

The prices are very reasonable at Shetz Food.

You can reach Yaniv at 077-9155570.

The exact address is: Weitzman Street #20, Dubek Shopping Center, Tzfat

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
Welcome to Menagerie

Oh, you're going to like this Menagerie. It's not a zoo at all and you don't have to worry about the animals eating you. You get to eat them! And delightfully sweet they are too. You see, Menagerie is a unique specialty bakery, confectionery and coffee shop.

You needn't read Hebrew to enjoy their site. Just wander from link to link and feast your eyes on the photos of the creations to be found at Menagerie. Imagine the aromas and flavors. The reality is far better than just imagining.

My son and I attended the opening evening of Menagerie in Rosh Pina (a town adjacent to and just 15 minutes traveling away from Tzfat [Safed]), which is on the old main road very close to Center HaGalil.

The tables were laden with cakes, cookies and pastries of every sort – one more delicious than the next. Wine was served too, as were samplings of their specialty soft drinks.

The atmosphere is sophisticated, yet relaxed. Erstwhile strangers initiated conversation with one another and a feeling of 'this is my kind of place' was had by all. Galit and her staff know how to make people feel comfortable and like valuable clientele.

Having tasted samples of Galit's creativity, I return to Menagerie regularly when in Rosh Pina.

The owner of Menagerie, Galit Cohen, is a sculptress as well as a master pastry chef and chocolatier. She's an artist. There is no other word to describe her talent. Each cake is a creation. Each novelty is inspired and executed with exquisite ability. And how sweet and delectable the media of her art are!

Marvelous candies are on sale at Menagerie too. Unlike the cakes, which are most reasonably priced, the candies are quite pricey.

Galit does not keep her secrets to herself. She conducts many bakery workshops and invites English-speakers to attend. Among the workshops offered at Menagerie are: drawing on sugar dough, basic sculpting with sugar dough, advanced sculpting with sugar dough, decorating cookies, pastry baking, the wonders of phyllo dough, making cream puffs and éclairs, chocolate and praline making. Come one, come all! Experience the pure, childlike joy of sculpting in sugar, chocolate and cream. It's a fantasy come true.

Menagerie is under Rabbinical Kashrut Supervision.

The phone number is (04) 693-5703.

I'm sure that you, like me, will enjoy every minute there and wish to return often.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


On the main drag no less.

Estimated at being between 30 and 50 feet deep.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat :0(Safed)