Nov 9, 2011

Jamilla Means Beautiful

Eating has always been the pinnacle of enjoyment for Dylan Stein. Eating good food is an essential and indispensable part of Dylan's life. Living as a student, unfortunately, prevented his culinary adventures from being as lavish as he would have hoped and he had to ask himself, " How can I stretch each dollar? He finds himself again in Tel Aviv asking himself the same question and he's finding the places to eat that will make his stomach AND wallet happy... The Hungry Canadian is happy to share these thrifty and delicious finds with us... Welcome to "Cheap Eats Tel Aviv"

With a hunger exaggerated by the previous evening’s sixth annual Nike Night Run (which incidentally, I highly recommend) and a hankering for a new style of cuisine, myself and five comrades set off to find a place to satisfy our growling appetites. As a point of clarification, I would like to add what qualifies as a true ‘cheap eat.’ I am looking for meals $15 or less, which is equivalent to about 55 shekels.

After a walk down Nachalat Binyamin, home to a plethora of tempting Tel Aviv vendors and restaurants, we hit Gruzenberg and spotted people eating on a patio in what looked like ceramic bowls. Intrigued, we sat down at Jamila Morrocan restaurant. (31 Gruzenberg)

These bowls turned out to be the bottom half of a Tajine. This earthenware slow cooker is used all across North Africa, and is especially associated with Moroccan cuisine. The base of the Tajine is used as the serving dish.

Tajines allow for cooking at low temperatures. This permits rich flavor of different foods to meld together and promotes the creation of a delicious sauce. Most importantly, this special cooking device creates succulently tender meat.

Every dish at Jamilla includes a Moroccan salad; consisting of small dishes of beets, tehinaandcabbage, as well as endless bread. I really enjoy how in Middle Eastern cuisine food is often placed in a variety of small dishes. It causes the eater to constantly get to mix, match and customize foods; described by one fun-loving foodie as a “snack-tivity”

I had the Tajine chicken of the day (44 sheks,) a chicken breast in lemon sauce and olives. I found myself mopping up the lemon sauce with the continuous refills of complementary bread. Funny how in the land of pita, a simple loaf of bread with a nice crunchy crust becomes such a treat.

Other dishes that adorned our table included beef couscous (43,) stuffed red pepper (40,) and Moroccan soup (38.)

A practice that I have noticed at a number of  restaurants in Israel is that a hot beverage is included after the meal. This really should be adopted everywhere. It ties the meal together and is the catalyst for some post-meal lounge time and conversation. Jamilla served up some delicious green tea with nana.

All in all, Jamilla did the trick. This sentiment was articulated by my ever-eloquent roommate as he stated, “I’m, like, super full right now.” And I still have enough money in the wallet to go out again tonight.

Chew cheaply and smile on… Next stop, fried chicken.

1 comment:

  1. What is Nana??? Tell me more about the tea - like green japanese? what is it served with??
    And let's face it, small bowls of snack-tivity sounds better than playing with your food; thanks for the new perspectives on food enjoyment!