Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

9 Beach Café


There’s a great cafe on the beach in Hertzilya, Israel.  It’s called 9 Beach (don’t know why), and it’s just a great place to hang-out.  There are quotes on the walls from Led Zeplin, Oasis, Linkin Park, Alanis Moriset, Sex Pistols, etc. and great rock-n-roll playing.  Every table has a view of the beach, and the entire wall facing west is made of glass panels that they slide open to allow the sea breeze to roll in.  The food is pretty much what you’d expect at a bar, but not bad.  The beer selection was rather modest.   But what really makes this place a winner is the location.  I went here every day after work to wind down a bit.  Highly recommended!

Jerusalem Humus


Well, it took me 2 1/2 days, but I found it.  The Jerusalem Humus is a restaurant just around the corner from my hotel, the Sharon Hotel in Herzliya (just north of Tel Aviv, Israel).  I went wandering for lunch and found this small shop, which clearly served humus, and had a nice open-air patio.  I decided to go with the shops namesake dish.  The Jerusalem Humus is a bowl of traditional humus, with a well made in the center filled with grilled chicken and grilled onions.  The bowl was drizzled with olive oil, and garnished with paprika and parsley.  You ate everything on pita, and there were some hot sauces, too.  One had a nice kick to it, but the other looked and tasted exactly like Pace picante sauce.  With a coke & tip it came to 53 shekels (about $14).  On the way back to the hotel I grabbed a candy bar at the convenience store.  It was 6 shekels ($1.60).  I don’t know if this is from a weak US$, or if thing are just expensive here, but both those seemed quite high to me.  To put this in perspective, the 12 oz can of Coke at lunch was $2.40, where I’d expect to pay no more then $1.50 in a US restaurant for a can.   This probably has something to do with me eating two blocks from a beautiful beach, too.

In any case…great hummus, interesting new candy, and a walk along the beach made for a great lunch!

humus with chicken & onions, pita, Coke, hot sauce, pickles & lettuce

The Jerusalem Humus

Coca Cola - nectar of the Gods


I can’t make this map plug-in go straight to the satellite view, so switch to the satellite view and you can see my hotel (the pool SW of the marker).

Israel – Day 1


Tuesday was my first full day in Israel.  I woke-up early to a beautiful morning and decided to take a walk on the beach.  I walked from my hotel most of the way down to the marina; about 45 minutes round-trip.  I’m not really a morning person, but this was a really nice way to start the day!

View from my room


Tel Aviv – Day 0


I left on Sunday evening, headed to Tel Aviv, Israel. I’ll be here for a few days on business, and will have most of Friday to play before heading back late Friday night.

The flight over was uneventful.   I flew direct on Delta, and was able to upgrade to Business Class.   Maybe I’m just becoming jaded….but it was a pretty disappointing experience.   We had two meals, and the food for both was way over cooked.    No photos of food this time.  The flight was bumpy almost the whole way, so the shots are horrible.  I watched Hurt Locker, which won 6 Oscars.  I thought it was fairly well done, but wasn’t nearly as impressed as The Academy.  What always strikes me about movies like this is just how dedicated our soldiers are.  While they may or not be quite as animated as they’re portrayed, I feel certain that they’re that dedicated to the mission.

I sat next to a Delta 777 pilot (that’s the plane we were on, too) that was on vacation.  As we were beginning our descent, he asked me how well I slept, and that got us talking about what the “crew rest” area is like on the plane.  After we landed, he was kind enough to show me the space.  It was very cool!  Up near the galley there’s a door that swings open to reveal a very tight set of stairs; almost a ladder, really.  You climb up this into an area above the Business Class over-head luggage bins.  There were two business class type seats, and two full beds situated behind the seats.  There was a sink, but no toilet.   Apparently the cabin crew has a similar space, but it has only beds, no seats.  While it’s not exactly luxurious, it seemed rather adequite.  And it’s quiet up there; no cabin announcements, no passengers talking, no toilets flushing, etc.

Here’s a shot of the seats.  I’m linking this from Boeing.  You can see the floor just below the phone in the center; it’s not very tall.  This was shot from the stairs, so you’re seeing all there is.

777 Crew Rest

Our sales rep picked me up at the airport and drove the 30 minutes from Ben Gurion airport to my hotel on the coast, just north of Tel Aviv.   After freshening up a bit, we headed to dinner at a cafe on the beach at sunset.  The location and weather were perfect, but alas the food…well, I’ll be more specific in my request tomorrow.  :)   The whole menu was in Hebrew.  My rep asked if I wanted chicken or beef.  I asked for the chicken, and it turned-out to be fried chicken fingers, with french fries.  Ugh.  Tomorrow I’ll eat better, and have pictures.


Level 107 Lounge


I was looking for a place to get a good view of the strip, and the Stratosphere is an obvious choice.  It towers above the strip from the north end.  There are other choices (like Mix Lounge @ Mandalay Bay), but this seemed the best choice for me.  It was great!  If you want to go to the observation platform, they charge you $16.  But going to Level 107 is free, with a one drink minimum.  We went on Thursday night, when cocktails were 50% off for ladies.  So for $15 (with tip), we had a beer, a cocktail, live music, and a great view.  Score!!!

View Larger Map

Level 107 (Stratosphere) on Urbanspoon

Best Burger In Vegas


On our way to see the dolphins at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret garden, we stopped for lunch at BLT Burger in the Mirage.   We had decided we’d just see what was inside the casino and stop at whatever looked good.  While the decor of the restaurant is cool (open kitchen, cool wood ceiling, etc), it was the SMELL that drew us in.   Whoa!


Geek Finds Skylark Diner


My geek side has really benefited my foodie side lately!  I’ve always known I could store a “favorite” on my GPS, and I frequently created those “favorites” on my PC and saved them to the GPS so that I’d know where to find places that I’d never actually been to before.  Alice’s Restaurant is a prime example.  It has been marked on my map for probably 9 years, but I only got there last week.

What I just discovered, though, is a site called POI Factory.  A “POI” is a “Point Of Interest”.  POIs are how your GPS stores all the gas stations, restaurants, parks, etc.  They’re very similar to “Favorites”, but not quite.  In any case, POI Factory is a user driven site where people share locations that they’ve already marked.  What I stumbled into was a file with the locations of all the restaurants featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  I’ll admit to only being a casual fan of the show, but having all these spots on a map seemed like a fun way to explore good new restaurants.

Last night I saw that I was relatively close to the Skylark Diner and decided to give it a shot.  Whoa!  This is not your everyday diner!  It’s a “fine diner” (their term).  The food and decor were both very upscale for a diner.  They have a full bar, with an extensive wine list.  Yea, quite different.   They had recently added a fresh cavatelli dish, so I decided to give it a try.  Cavatelli is a type of rolled pasta, and this was made fresh (not dried).  You can really taste the difference.  They topped the pasta with chopped hot Italian sausage, escarole, roasted red peppers, shaved garlic, and olive oil.  It was absolutely delicious!  I was stuffed from dinner, but had to take a cannoli back to the hotel for desert.  It was good, but but award winning.  I’ll certainly go back to visit the Skylark.  Check-out the link a above for photos, menu, etc.  Well worth a visit if you’re anywhere close.

Skylark Diner - main dining room

Support Capitalism


When I travel, I enjoy eating the local food.  But as an American capitalist, I also enjoy supporting American franchises.  Lots of people will tell you that “You can get McDonalds at home, don’t eat it in Japan!”  What those folks are missing out on, though, is that the restaurants typically have different menus overseas.  Some places (Subway and Quiznos come to mind) have identical menus, but most adapt to the local taste and ingredients.


Layover In Tokyo


I saw Mt. Fuji from the air!  :)  I love sitting by the window, so I can see the world go by.  Generally I see lots of “typical” landscapes, and a lot of clouds.  But every now and then you get to see something spectacular, like this!  Sorry the photo quality is weak.  The skies were very hazy, and this took some pretty heavy processing to get to this point.

Mt. Fuji


Saturday in Narita


Last Saturday morning I got up, finished packing, and took a bus to the airport.  I met-up at the airport with a friend from college who I hadn’t seen in probably a decade.  We took a local train to Narita-san.  There’s a big temple on top of the mountain, with a gazillion vendors at the bottom, mostly selling food.