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n Rachela is a real gem of a restaurant in the city center. For this upcoming holiday of light, Chef Shimon Gamliel serves up a seemingly endless variety of vegetable and cheese pancakes. My dining partner and I were fortunate enough to sample five different creations (NIS 35-39). All of them were delicious and even though we preferred the ones with less cheese, we practically finished them all and would have done so if not for another meal to attend to! Thus our top three potato pancake choices were the caramelized onions with a taste of Roquefort, the roasted eggplant, and the spinach with a hint of mint. For gooey cheese lovers, go for the sweet potato option. Also try all of the varieties dipped in honey or with a few drops of the decorative balsamic reduction.
If these fried goodies do not suit your tastes, try a fresh salad or fish dish also on the varied tearoom menu. And to warm your body and soul, get one of the Ocha teas. We chose the caffeine-free Rooibos Masala in a teapot for two.
HaHavetzelet 5 (off Jaffa St.), Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Fri., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and open Sat., December 12th for Hamshushalayim. (02) 624-5613
n Kadosh has been delighting us for over four decades with salads, pasta dishes, baked goods from its on-the-premises bakery and great cups of coffee. This locale is perpetually full of people, great service and warmth. Chef Keren Kadosh treated us to a winter/ Hanukka menu premiere straight from Hungarian food stands. LÃ¡ngos (pronounced LAHN-gosh) have a similar consistency to that other Hanukka treat, the (sufganiya) doughnut. At Kadosh, the lightly fried doughy goodness is made with finely grated potatoes and sour cream in addition to the flour, and is served with a creamy garlic sauce topped with a hefty serving of fresh parmesan plus a bowl of onion soup. The soup on its own goes for NIS 30 and with the lÃ¡ngos, NIS 42.
Shlomzion HaMalka 6, Sun.-Thurs., 7 a.m.-1 a.m., Fri., 7 a.m. until half hour before Sabbath, Sat., from half hour after Sabbath. (02) 625-4210
n Lev Rehavia, a homestyle eatery with Mizrahi tendencies, serves up a scrumptious potato pancake (NIS 6) speckled with zucchini and carrot. The vegetables are hand-grated by Malka, cook extraordinaire, and fried to a golden brown. These delights were a tad greasy but my latke partner and I were not expecting them to be any other way. Our Eastern European roots were showing when we asked about an applesauce accompaniment but we soon realized that these perfect potato pancakes needed no additions.
Malka has already taken advance orders for her tater treats for the holiday, so if you'd like some for your Hanukka party, be sure to call soon. This meatery is open daily for lunch and early dinner plus takeout. And if you don't feel like cooking for the Sabbath, stop by on Friday morning to buy yourself (and family) a meal or two.
Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael (KKL) 15, Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri., 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Malka (050) 286-7894
n Heimishe Essen boasts all foodstuffs suited to the Ashkenazi palate so latkes (NIS 12/ sitdown and NIS 9/ take out) are always on the menu. These were made in more of a recent history purist style (see last week's Jerusalem Post Magazine article by Faye Levy) with finely grated potatoes and nothing else. My dining partner and I found these rather bland but guessed that as a side dish to a meat main dish, they would soak up the gravy and be filling and tasty.
Jerusalem Post Political Correspondent Gil Hoffman, raves about the NIS 45 business lunch offered at this restaurant, which has been serving up homemade-style eats since 1965. For just under one Agnon note (not including tip), the afternoon meal includes soup, a roll, main dish plus two sides and a dessert or a beverage.
KKL 19, Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri., from 9 a.m.-until 1 hour before Sabbath, closed Sat., Business lunch, Sun.-Wed., 12noon-5 p.m. (02) 563-9845