Saturday, July 14, 2007

Weekend in the City

Sign says:
Pizza Margherita - 85 NIS/Kilo
Pizza with toppings - 85 NIS/Kilo
4 cheese or ham pizza - 90 NIS/Kilo

A friend of mine recently said about Tel Aviv – “our weekends in the city are so much fun; they are like taking a mini-break while staying home”.

Take, for example, this past weekend – it was punctuated with the best food & sea related activities this city could offer. (Weekend means Friday and Saturday, as we go back to work on Sunday)

Casual lunch on Friday was at Pier 23, where you can munch on Fish n’ Chips (with spicy Thousand Island dressing) and cool Mojito’s as you look at waves crashing on the Tel Aviv Harbor. Walk a short distance to Arlekino, where Italian ice cream is sold in cups indicating the length of time it will take you to finish them (mine said 3:15 minutes, and I could choose as many different flavors as I could fit into it).

At night, we went to the foodie-must-see Ratatouille, and Saturday found us at the beach, playing cards with friends and eating some of the best cantaloupe of the season.

We concluded our day at the new chef pizzeria Tony Vespa in central Tel Aviv (actually a next door neighbor of Arlekino). The pizza is sold by weight (not by the slice). The crust is super crunchy and slightly sweet; the toppings are imaginative (I chose one slice of eggplant and Bulgarian cheese, and one of courgette, arugula, mushroom and tomato, which was a little bland. I also tasted a basic Margherita from one of my dining companions and found it to be just perfect).
Eating this thin crusted pizza will not leave you with a greasy, heavy feeling, but just wanting more.

Walking out, sun kissed and full bellied, we were feeling quite lucky to have all this so close to home.

Pier 23: Pier 23, Tel Aviv Harbor
Arlekino: Dizingof 267, Tel Aviv
Tony Vespa: Dizingof 267, Tel Aviv

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Smoking Hot Chocolate

MaxBrennerThins, originally uploaded by Holy Cheese.

I love cute packaging. I am often tempted to buy things I don’t really need, because the packaging makes it look much more inviting.
The Max Brenner chocolate company has genius designers – from the chocolate pizza to their cool lemonade glasses; their designers make up for very ordinary products, with exquisite packaging and presentation.

Going into one of their cafés/stores for the first time will make you feel just like Charlie Bucket when he first entered the Chocolate Factory – there are pipes running the store length filled with faux chocolate and a huge pot with a mechanism that is constantly stirring dark chocolate. The shelves are lined with jars filled with candy in all shapes and colors. It is a sweet toothed kid’s (and adult’s) dream.

The unique design can be noted both in the way you are served your meal in the chain cafés. For instance, you could be served hot chocolate in a Hug Mug (a mug that has no handle and is specifically designed to cup a warm drink with your palms). And also with their store products, which are usually packed in clever ways – such as chocolate paste in a metallic tube.

One of the latest products I’ve recently tried 100% Pure – Pure Milk Chocolate Thins. The thins came in a small cardboard box that was shaped like a colorful old fashioned cigarette packet.

I was amused by the “health warning” (Pure cocoa is good for your health), but the chocolate thins themselves are quite ordinary, I wouldn’t even call them “great”. They were nice enough to nibble with a cup of tea after dinner, but I would try a different product from their (rather large) selection next time instead.

Read All About It
Candy Blog reviews other Max Brenner products
Off the Broiler was in the first Max Brenner store in Manhattan (and took lots of great photos)