What do you do when you have a popular bar in a trendy neighborhood of Tel Aviv?
Open a new and improved branch in another trendy neighborhood, of course. That
is exactly what the owner of Stern 1 in south Tel Aviv’s Florentin neighborhood
did when he recently opened Stern 2 in Jaffa’s ever-popular Flea
With three years of success under his belt at Stern 1, owner
Hanan Raviv decided it was time he shared the large selection of boutique beers
and extensive bar food menu with the Jaffa regulars.
Located on a quiet
street a couple of blocks away from most of the other bars and restaurants in
the Flea Market, Stern 2 is not the easiest place to find. Both my friend and I,
who arrived separately after busy days in the office, nearly walked past it
because it wasn’t obvious that we had reached the correct location. Once inside,
however, we knew we were in the right place because the trademark beer
collection couldn’t be missed, as the taps from all the different breweries took
up nearly all the wall behind the long bar.
Our waitress for the evening
was friendly and attentive and was patient enough to go through nearly every
item on the menu after we bombarded her with questions about the various drinks
Like its older brother all the way in Florentin, Stern 2’s big
attraction is the quality beers that it stocks, with a focus on local Israeli
beers, both from the barrel and by the bottle. Even though neither I nor my
friend are huge beer drinkers, we tasted a number of those that were on
After some extensive tasting, we chose a full glass of the beer
that we liked the best and proceeded to order from the food menu. It’s a good
thing the beer was flowing and we were enjoying ourselves because the food took
longer than expected to arrive, especially as it was relatively early in the
evening and the place was less than half full.
To start with, we shared
the sirloin steak carpaccio (NIS 42), which was seasoned with the usual mix of
olive oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with Parmesan cheese. The meat was of
good quality, and the dish was a good opening to the meal.
To go along
with the laid-back atmosphere, my friend and I shared our main courses. After
reading various positive comments about the hamburger at Stern 1 and how it was
voted one of the best burgers in Tel Aviv by the City Mouse guide, we couldn’t
resist checking to see what all the fuss was about and whether the burger at
Stern 2 was as good. The 200-gram burger (NIS 47), which consisted of ground
entrecote with house seasoning and beer served on a bun with the usual toppings,
didn’t quite live up to our expectations. For one thing, we ordered it
medium-rare but when it came, it was more well done. As my friend and I consider
ourselves somewhat gourmet burger experts, we also noted that the bun was of a
relatively low standard. All in all, it was a tasty burger and the beer added
something special, but it wasn’t among the best in the city.
shared the port sausage (NIS 46), which consisted of lamb seasoned with baharat
and sumac spices and port wine and plums. While it was a tasty enough
sausage, again our expectations were not quite met, as all the interesting
flavors didn’t come through.
To accompany our meat, we chose two of the
more unique side dishes on offer – chips seasoned with sundried tomatoes,
crushed garlic and parsley (NIS 22) and sauerkraut (NIS 14) infused with beer.
While the garlic chips didn’t disappoint, the sauerkraut was drowned in beer,
and neither of us could finish the relatively large portion.
of whether to order dessert was made easy for us by the fact that there were
none available on the menu.
Stern 2 is a must for anyone who likes beer
and wants to taste a selection of Israel’s finest in a relaxed and carefree
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
7 Olei Tzion, Jaffa
Open every day, 5 p.m. until the last