My favorite meal to eat in Israel is breakfast. Not only does each person order multiple drinks (water, coffee, fruit juice) but any entree you select comes with a plethora of sides - bread, spreads, salads - it's an unimaginable amount of food. One of the most memorable meals I had on my last trip (July 2015) was to Benedict in Tel Aviv, known for their epic breakfast feasts.
During this visit I had one such breakfast at Bleecker Bakery in Beer Sheva. It's a chain and we grabbed a table at their location in the Grand Kanyon mall (yes, with a K).
I like any menu that advertises "Always a good time" right at the top.
We started with drinks. My friend ordered a carrot and orange juice which she described as, "The perfect ratio of both ingredients. The citrus flavor from the orange wasn't too tart, making it super drinkable."
Since I don't drink coffee, but I was craving something warm, I asked for a hot chocolate. My breakfast date smiled and said, "That's what my kids always get here."
The hot cocoa tasted like chocolate pudding! I mean that in the best way. It got me excited for more hot chocolate as the temperatures drop in Boston.
Bleecker Bakery's breakfast options each include several components. No matter what you choose, three of four plates will arrive in front of you. It's very "Be Our Guest."
We decided to share two of the most popular choices, After the Rain and the Village Breakfast. After the Rain is a piece of brioche toast, topped with mushrooms and two sunny side up eggs, garnished with haloumi cheese cubes.
For me, each bite was a little dry. The eggs weren't quite runny enough and I wished there was some kind of sauce to tie it all together.
The Village Breakfast came with an omelette, an eggplant stuffed with tomatoes, a side of spinach and parmesan falafel and salad. Israelis love to eat salad (really all vegetables) at breakfast, which I don't think I will ever adjust to!
For me, the best part was the spinach and parmesan falafel. Falafel can taste greasy or heavy, but these were wonderfully light. They were also sitting on top of a generous amount of labneh cheese.
Did I mention that menu item also included an entire loaf of za'atar bread?
I used the bread to get every last bit of labneh! If you like za'atar spice, Sofra Bakery on the Cambridge / Watertown line makes the best version of this bread in individual sizes (the size of an English muffin).
We couldn't possibly finish everything that was put in front of us, but we made a solid dent. The wait staff was attentive at the beginning of the meal, but kind of disappeared toward the end.
As we were leaving the mall we stumbled upon a display of sufganiyot, the traditional round donuts for Hanukkah. Much like I feel when I see Christmas decorations before Halloween, my friend griped, "Oh no. Not these already! Hanukkah isn't for another six weeks! This seems earlier than ever this year."
Even if they are out six weeks early, they look pretty damn good!