(photo credit: PR)
With Bagel Café on Emek Refaim in Jerusalem succeeding beyond their wildest dreams, owners Tomer and Shimrit Tuti decided to expand their business and open a branch in Modi’in. The new Bagel Café is situated in the Moriah Center, a sprawling mall in a sprawling city.
The setting couldn’t be more different, but the high quality of the food served is the same. Bagels, which we immigrants somehow take for granted, seem to be considered quite exotic by native Israelis who flock to the small airy café to taste what they may consider sophisticated foreign food.
We visited the restaurant recently, venturing out of our Sharon comfort zone to the place that thousands now call home. As soon as we sat down, two fruit shakes appeared on the table – yogurt-based with hints of fruits like mango and passiflora.
They tasted great and felt healthy.
The bagels duly arrived, all seven kinds, as well as eight different dips and salads. The bagel varieties were natural, sesame, poppy seed, garlic, onion, salt and low-calorie whole wheat.
The salads and dips were all wonderfully fresh and tasty. They included chopped hard-boiled egg and spring onion; lemony avocado; smoked trout; creamed tuna; cream cheese with dill; smoked salmon; cheese; and cream cheese with olives. While they were all very good, the smoked trout was outstanding.
While this was quite enough food to satisfy the hungriest diner, the owners insisted that we taste the antipasti – grilled fresh vegetables which included sweet potatoes, eggplant, red pepper and purple onion, lightly dressed with vinaigrette.
And just to make sure we were aware of other savory possibilities, we were also required to taste a mushroom quiche that was so good, we polished off the whole thing.
The accompanying cappuccino was hot, strong and flavorful. As always, I was amazed at how even a decaf tastes so good and looks so authentic these days.
Insisting that we have a dessert with the coffee, our waitress brought us a divine tricolor cake, which she said was sugar-free (NIS 26).
Consisting of three layers – white, milk and dark chocolate – it tasted very rich, although it was more like a mousse than a cake.
Bagel Café also does events catering and offers home delivery.
Breakfasts are a feature of the restaurant, with prices varying from NIS 39 to NIS 52.
“We do aim to attract the Anglo community in Modi’in,” our hosts told us. “They certainly know their bagels.”The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Bagel Café Kosher, dairy 1 Leah Imenu Moriah Shopping Center, Modi’in Tel: 1-700-500-751 Sunday to Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Friday, 6:30 a.m. to one hour before Shabbat Saturday night, one hour after Shabbat until 10:30 p.m.