Ben Ami Cafe, Tel Aviv2013-11-17
- Phone : 03-560-9960
Ben Ami Cafe, 22 Nachmani Street, Tel Aviv
Ben Ami Cafe, Tel Aviv sits on the North-West corner of Nachmani and Melchett Street, in a quiet side street close to Rothchild Blvd. The bakery-cafe has several outdoor seating available, and as many seats indoors. Ben Ami, which translates to “Son of my Nation” or if you were to combine Hebrew and French it could mean “Son and Friend,” offers a relaxing quiet location to meet with friends or with family for brunch. The staff is mindful and friendly and seemed to work well together. Upon over requesting one waiter for a glass of water, a second waiter surprised me with exactly that. It’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked here in Israel.
The Tel Aviv Cafe offers standard breakfast fare with some unique choices, such as the Pear-Brie/Ricotta Toast with honey. The server recommended the croissants, but we had arrived at 12:30pm and they were fresh out. The waitress assured us it was one of their most popular items. Be sure to check out some of their baked goods on the way out. I picked up a brioche butter Challah, on my friend’s insistance, and I could not have been happier with my purchase. (Nothing says best post-brunch breakfast like brioche French toast.) I found this place by googling top Brunch/Breakfast places in Tel Aviv, but in truth, I’m starting to doubt all these Top 5 lists. Ben Ami Restaurant/Cafe is a nice place to have breakfast or Brunch with friends, and even pick up some excellent cakes and cookies, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by the experience of dining there.
Dishes at Ben Ami Cafe
- The Big Breakfast 49NIS
- +2NIS for the large Cappuccino
- Pear Brie/Ricotta sandwich 28NIS
- Americano 11NIS
- Brioche Butter Challah 28NIS
Total = 118NIS [/menu]
Birthday Brunch at Ben Ami, Tel Aviv Cafe
It was my friend Andrea’s birthday when we finally decided to get together. It’s hard enough to pick a place to go on a regular day, so it being her birthday I figured if we were going to get brunch it better be someplace reputable. I stumbled upon a short list of top five breakfast eateries on the Internets and on it somewhere in the middle was Ben Ami. Funny enough I can figure out what I googled exactly to get that list again. But there you have it, I can’t offer my source, which is good if I’m a cop in a police TV show. Bad if this is being graded for academic purposes.
Oh well… school grades be damned! And what is brunch without a little adventure into the unknown.
My Friend, we are going to Ben Ami!
Andrea couldn’t be happier, since she gets to have brunch with me, but realistically, it’s close to her and she has been there before so she knows exactly what to expect. Some people don’t share the same sense of adventure as I do.
She orders the Big Breakfast and it is indeed too big for her. It includes 2 eggs, and several little bowls of cheese, tuna, and olives. The Birthday girl is particularly fond of the accompanying salad. She leans in and says: “Don’t tell anyone…
But I don’t like Israeli salad.
Andrea then described out the usual chopped up tiny Israeli Salad reminds her of baby food, so thankfully Ben Ami offers some adult sized pieces of tomato and cucumber. You hear that Tel Aviv, man-up and make your salad pieces bigger! (That may have been her birthday wish.) The small dishes of cheese and olives are a nice touch, and I found myself helping Andrea out with her dish, snacking on the wonderful Israeli black olives.
I ordered the Pear Brie/Ricotta Sandwich with honey because it sounded like a wonderful combination of sweet and savoury. I enjoyed the toasted cheese and pear pairing but found it too soft and subtle, so I added a bit of salt to the top to balance it out.
I also found the Americano to be bold without being harsh.
Ben Ami, Tel Aviv Cafe Suggestions
On our way out of Ben Ami Cafe, Andrea practically demanded I get one of their Buttery Brioche Challahs. It serves no practical purpose on a regular Shabbat — meaning it isn’t parve, and most Shabbat meals serve meat. But I would be remise if I didn’t get one for later. I succumbed to her birthday badgering (how do you say no to someone on their birthday, and when they are asking you to buy brioche?) As from what I could surmise, Ben Ami has some excellent cakes, cookies and pastries up for grabs.
I quite enjoyed Ben Ami brunch with Andrea and even more so, enjoyed the brioche later that evening. I couldn’t wait the following morning to bother with making French toast. It just means I’ll have to return.
Chanukah is Coming
As my brioche was being rung up by the server, I grabbed my camera and started photographing the cafe’s delicious baked goods. I noticed a plate of donuts/sufganyot and was excited to see that Chanukah was on it’s way. Living in North America, once November hits it’s all Christmas all the time. So it was nice to be in Israel and see a little Chanukah spirit. Chanukah is a particluarly fond memory of mine growing up as a kid in Canada, all of us around the Chanukiah while my mother lead the three boys with Ma’otzur… and we would butcher the song with the made up English verses we learned from our friends.
My father wasn’t amused.
Back at Ben Ami, the server wanted to assure me not to get too excited.
Me: Hey Chanukah’s here! Sufganyot!
Server: It’s not Chanukah yet. It’s in 3 weeks.
I know… but there is not time limit to being happy.
Happy pre-Chanukah 2013.