Pizza Cosi

Pizza Cosi
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Italian
Kosher
46 Ben Yehuda
03-716-6432
Sunday – Thursday (11am–12am)
Friday (11am–3:30pm)

My friends and I may have ended up at Pizza Cosi on its first night open—I’m still not sure.  Either way, the group was quite happy to be seated in the attractive restaurant after roaming about the streets aimlessly, unable to settle on a place to eat.

I found the name of the restaurant to be deceptive. When I hear “Pizza Cosi,” I think of a simple pizza joint.  But don’t be fooled, the restaurant was quite lovely, with booth tables and simple décor.  The music, however, made it seem like they were trying a little too hard to be hip.

Pizza Cosi

Pizza Cosi

After we placed our orders, our oddball waiter (who looked like he must have had a second job as a mime) brought us some delicious, warm bread with a tasty olive tapenade.

Our oddball waiter…

Bread and olive tapenade

Doug and I a ordered fried goat cheese salad to start, which was delicious.  The nuggets of cheese were perfectly crispy, warm and creamy on the inside, doused with an amazing dressing.  A few juicy plum tomatoes and mushrooms that came with the cheese made the dish seem fuller, but without need.  As one of our friends commented, the fried goat cheese nuggets were “hella bomb”—they could have been a dish of their own.

Fried goat cheese salad

Our friends ordered the bruschetta antipasti, which was nothing special—doughy bread with grilled veggies.

Bruschetta antipasti

My gnocchi with Bulgarian cheese was good.  The gnocchi was light, chewy, and soft, providing a pleasantly delicate texture with each bite.  The Bulgarian cheese definitely contributed a salty touch that was just right at first, but managed to get a little overwhelming as I continued to eat.

Gnocchi with Bulgarian cheese

My friend’s Napoletana pasta was basic—a classic that wasn’t done excellently or poorly.  Meanwhile, Doug’s Pestito dish was a little lacking. It was a little too oily and could have used some cheese and, surprisingly enough, more pesto.

Napoletana pasta

Pestito pasta

Our other friend’s pasta dish, salmon fesa, was tasty.  The salmon was well cooked and had a good flavor, but the dish itself would have benefited from some spiciness.

Salmon fesa

All in all, our restaurant experience was solid.  The food was good, the waiter was incredibly attentive (perhaps because we were practically the restaurant’s only patrons), and the environment was lovely.  What they lacked, however, was diners.  I’ll chalk it up to bad publicity for the restaurant’s opening, though, and wish them more diners in the future.

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On Tap(s): Frozen Yogurt

Taps
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
http://www.tapstaps.com/he/home/a/main/ 
Frozen Yogurt
Not Kosher
2 HaArba’a
03-603-3330
Sunday – Thursday (10:30am-12:00am)
Friday (10:30am-3:00pm)
Saturday (an hour after Shabbat ends – 12:00am)

Taps : Tel Aviv :: 16 Handles : New York.

Taps is the type of place that makes any day better.

Taps

The frozen yogurt at Taps is self-served.  You can select as many flavors as you want and cover them with as many toppings as you please.  When you’re done loading down your cup, you put it on a scale to be weighed and pay by the gram.  I’ve always loved the concept—it seems silly to me to have to pay per topping (what if I just want one strawberry on my ice cream, just to brighten things up? Or what if I want to throw in just a couple of M&Ms for a surprise chocolatey bite here and there? What if I can’t pick between chocolate and caramel swirl and want both?)

Given my love for this type of frozen yogurt place, I’ve been to quite a few in New York.  Some have more flavors than others, most have basic fruit and candy toppings.  But Taps had more of both than any place I had ever been to in New York.  The selection of toppings was truly astounding—from cereals to chocolates (each one with milk, white, and dark options), dried fruit to gummies, nuts to fresh fruit, fudges to jams—they have countless options.

Taps

The toppings corner at Taps

Some of the cereal toppings at Taps

Some of the chocolate toppings at Taps

The sauces at Taps

At this point, I honestly can’t remember what I had.  It was probably a medley of tart flavors (plain, peach tart, and pomegranate raspberry tart probably filled the majority of my cup) covered in milk chocolate mekupelet, gummy bears, raisinettes, strawberries, pomegranate, chocolate chip cookie dough, mochi, passionfruit, pineapple, almonds, granola, craisins, dried passion fruit, M&Ms, and the type of chocolate fudge crunch that hardens upon contact with the cold frozen yogurt.  While I can’t recall exactly what I picked that night, I do remember loving every bite and forcing myself to refrain from licking the cup clean (we were with Doug’s parents, after all).

Pomegranate raspberry tart

My completed masterpiece of a treat

My only disappointment is that there aren’t more Taps locations.  Given that we moved out of Tel Aviv shortly after discovering it, we never got to go again before coming back to the United States.  We’ll just have to wait until our next trip to the land of milk and honey for our next Taps fix.

Mama’s Borekas

Mama’s Borekas
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Borekas
Not Kosher
16 King George
03-525-1111
Open 24-7

With the days of my grandmother’s homemade borekas recently behind us, I can’t help but think of our singular borekas outing in Israel.  While the borekas absolutely does not compare with my grandmother’s, it could certainly do in a pinch.

A mound of my grandmother’s DELICIOUS homemade borekas

Mama’s Borekas

Mama’s Borekas is open 24-7 and I could have actually imagined myself going a lot more often, if my grandmother hadn’t spoiled us with her delicious borekas.

We ordered a potato mushroom borekas, which was quite heavy, but in a nice, filling sort of way.  The potato filling was well cooked, creamy, and perfectly proportioned.  The accompanying tomato sauce was cool, giving a nice light touch to the starchy treat.  The dough flaky and, while just a bit too oily, not overwhelmingly so.  All in all, quite a satisfying treat.

Potato and mushroom borekas

The cheese and olives borekas was also quite tasty.  Filled with salty Bulgarian cheese and olives, it had a sharper flavor than the potato borekas.

Cheese and olive borekas

Each dish came with an assortment of sides, including the tomato sauce, tahini, some pickles, and an egg.  It was perfectly filling and, at 21 shekels, doesn’t break the bank for a late-night snack.  For 32 shekels, they throw in a 1/3L of beer; for 35 shekels, a 1/2L of beer.

Mama’s Borekas

If you’re looking for some variety, they also serve malawach and jachnoon.