Ever get the desire to suppress your meat-eating desires and go out for some
healthy, vegetarian food? It was the 50th birthday of my friend and colleague,
Liat Collins, and I couldn’t think of a better place to take her and her family
out to dinner than the new Village Green in Jerusalem’s German Colony –
particularly as Liat is a vegetarian, and the restaurant is known (at least
among Anglos) as the one of the best vegetarian establishments in the
An offshoot of the legendary restaurant downtown, the new branch
opened just a month ago on Rachel Imeinu, near the corner of Emek Refaim, where
the former Pituyim (Temptations) was located.
As you walk in, there is a
welcoming feel in what is clearly a more upscale version of the restaurant on
The food is good and wholesome.
The portions, however,
ranged in size from an individual pizza that could easily be shared by more than
one diner to lasagna in less than generous portions (particularly considering it
tasted delicious, leaving you wanting more).
There is a large selection
of soups to start – all made from natural ingredients – and there is, of course,
their famous self-service salad bar and hot buffet, where you have a choice of a
constantly changing selection of fresh and hot vegetables, salads, grains and
sauces. The cost is NIS 8.5 per 100 gram, and the price includes a serving of
bread and butter.
We decided, however, to order the spinach and mushroom
lasagna (which is made from whole-wheat pasta and tomato sauce). At NIS 32, it
was delicious and worth the price, but it was a small serving and left us still
a bit hungry.
The stuffed vegetables, made with organic brown rice and
baked in tomato sauce and herbs, are a good accompaniment (NIS 24) but also not
Also available are vegan burgers (NIS 18) served
with peanut sauce, tomato sauce or tehina, and a burger meal – which includes a
veggie burger in a bun, vegetable garnish spreads, baked chips or sweet potato
(NIS 42), which looked very tasty.
Liat’s nine-year-old son, Yossi,
ordered a whole-wheat cheese pizza, which he said was “great,” even though he
couldn’t manage all six slices, and we were happy to take up the offer of a
doggy bag. You can also order cheese and vegetable or tofu and vegetable pizzas
As it was a birthday celebration, we decided to splurge on
desserts, all of which are said to be healthy, made with whole-wheat flour and
no artificial flavoring.
The vegan, tofu-based chocolate cake (NIS 18)
was a bit bitter, as we had been warned, but the lemon meringue pie was
outstanding, and the sorbet (NIS 13 a scoop) – especially the mango flavor – was
As its name suggests, the Village Green is very much a
neighborhood establishment. The atmosphere is warm and cozy rather than
“Basically, the Village Green has been a concept that has been
around for about 30 years, and we’ve been building up a base of good, vegetarian
food, combining health with taste,” says Bryan Choritz, one of the proprietors
of the new restaurant who made aliya from Cape Town. “So in our new restaurant,
we adapted this concept to the Moshava [the German Colony], where people want
more of a dining experience.
Downtown it’s more for people on the go,
business people and tourists.
So we created more of a dining ambiance
here. But we have the same kind of healthy, tasty food. We have a lot of
whole-wheat and organic ingredients, all good for you!” Unlike the Village Green
in the center of town, the branch in the German Colony is much more
service-oriented. The waitresses were friendly, helpful and
Every effort was made to accommodate a gluten-intolerant
member of our party, and it was stressed that with prior notice they could have
provided a wider choice.
A welcome addition to the range of eateries
available in the area of Emek Refaim, particularly for vegetarians, Village
Green is the sort of place that invites you to return – and the menu is
regularly changed so that new options are available along with the
It might not be the swankiest option for dining out, but with
its friendly feel, there is something particularly inviting about it.
writer was a guest of the restaurant.The Village Green Rachel Imeinu 5,
Jerusalem Kosher Mehadrin, Jerusalem Rabbinate Hours: Sun-Thurs 8:30 a.m. to 11
p.m. Fri. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturday night: opens an hour and a half after
Shabbat. Telephone: (02) 650-0106