Apr 13, 2011

The Magic of Odelia's

By Chelsea Truesdell

When my family and friends come to visit, I always have a long list of assorted Tel Aviv restaurants they have to try, from sushi spots to cafes to falafel stands. I am always excited to send them on their way and have them explore the culinary world of Tel Aviv but there is always one restaurant that I have to take them to- Odelia's. 
 Odelia's is like a legend that can be passed down only orally; if you catch wind of the restaurant you must be talking to the right people. This small discreet restaurant is nestled between the bridal boutiques and trendy bars lining Ben Yehuda street. If you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, you will most likely pass it again and again. There are no restaurant signs, fancy décor, or hostesses waiting for your arrival. Instead, you will find a small restaurant that houses an open kitchen and can only fit about twelve tables. The décor is modest with red checkered table cloths and red and gold paint on the wall. The golden warmth created by the colors adorning the tables and walls gives the restaurant an Italian feel, welcoming you in as if you were family.

The stews and meat dishes is what makes this kosher Tel Aviv restaurant a hit. My order always includes the Middle Eastern chicken maqluba- chicken drumsticks laid over a bed of egg noodles and jasmine rice cooked with cardamom seeds, carrots, and potatoes.
The turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon blend together to bring out the distinctive Middle Eastern flavor while the cooked chicken melts in your mouth like butter. This dish will have you licking your fingers clean every time.

The meat dishes are not the only thing that keeps me coming back. If you ask me, Odelia’s hummus and falafel are the best compared to any other Tel Aviv restaurant. The velvety smooth dish is perfectly prepared hot (also known as masbacha) or cold and is so delicious it can be eaten alone or accompanying your meal.
The falafel balls served at Odelia's are impeccable with the ideal amount of crisp on the outside and softness on the inside. An insider’s secret- If you are on the run but want to still enjoy Odelia’s flawless falafel, they sell theirs at a stand right next to the restaurant for only 10 NIS.

Really, anything you order at Odelia's will be mouth-watering scrumptious. Their finely chopped Israeli salad is a must side-dish for any meal as well as their freshly prepared warm pita. If you’re lucky enough to come a day when they are serving their chicken matzo ball soup, you must indulge. Your grandma’s recipe doesn’t have anything on this magical soup. Even their freshly squeezed lemonade tastes like a gift from the Gods.
Besides watching my friend’s faces as they dig in to the food of Odelia's, my favorite part about taking them here is to see their faces when the bill comes. I don’t know how they do it, but Odelia’s is one of the cheapest restaurants in Tel Aviv. Often times I find myself wondering how they do it- serve the most delectable Israeli food for half the price I usually pay. Somehow they seem to make it work. Odelia's is really a crowd favorite, anytime of the day. No matter what combination of foods you order, you are sure to eat like a king at Odelia's.

1 comment:

  1. That chicken looks so good! I would like to prepare this for dinner tonight. Keep sharing nice recipes like this.