(photo credit: MOTTI MEIR)
Shipudei Miriam (Miriam’s Grill) is something of an institution in Netanya. It’s been around for 35 years, albeit in different locations. Once it was in the Central Square; today it’s in Gad Machness, not far from Kikar Atsmaut, surrounded by hotels and apartments.
If one day you just don’t feel like cooking, perhaps after a day at work or in the kitchen, it’s just the place to pop in for a quick meal. It’s very casual; you really don’t need to dress up for Miriam’s Grill.
The menu comes in four languages – Hebrew, English, Russian and French – and the place is as polyglot as can be with both staff and clientele speaking all of the above.
It’s a family business run by the three Kavalou brothers, Maurice, David and Shlomo who immigrated to Israel from Fez, Morocco back in 1961 with their parents. A fourth brother, Moshe, runs the Marrakesh Restaurant, also in Netanya.
Maurice is the front man, who proudly shows us pictures of himself with the present mayor, previous mayors and various other celebrities who have patronized his establishment.
He proved to be a perfect waiter, too. We sat down at a table covered in a white satin-like cloth and counted up the first course of salads that he set before us (salads: NIS 15 per diner). There were 11 in all, variations on pickled and cooked vegetables, marvelous homemade humus with olive oil and a very intriguing salad made from diced kohlrabi, red pepper and cranberries, which we thought was exceptional.
“Oh that’s Rambo Salad, invented by our chef Rambo,” explained Maurice. Actually, his name is spelled Rimbaud, like the French poet. It’s a homophone of Rambo and the salad was evidence of his creativity.
The pitot that came with the salads had been sliced horizontally, toasted and doused in zaatar (a herb mix) and olive oil – delicious.
For our main course, Maurice brought us a mixed grill consisting of hamburgers, entrecote steak, chicken thigh steak (pargit) chicken livers and merguez, the spicy north African sausage (NIS 135 per diner).
It was all expertly cooked, especially the liver which can easily be overdone. This was crispy on the outside, soft in, without being raw. The hamburgers were very meaty without fillers, the pargit and steak just right and the sausages peppery – perhaps a bit too much for Western palates (although not for us.)
To accompany the meat were basmati rice, cooked so that every grain was separate from its neighbor and homemade fries, long, hot, crispy and perfect. The only negative comment I can make is that the side dish of green beans was too oily for our taste and the beans were overdone.
And dessert, especially the day after Passover, is not their strong point either. A pareve chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick was deposited on a plate and presented as dessert. We took turns taking bites.
The mint tea at the end was very authentic however, and left a really sweet taste in the mouth in every sense.
11 Gad Machness St.
Tel: (09) 834-1376
Sunday through Thursday: Noon to 11 p.m.
Friday: Noon to 3 p.m.
KosherThe writer was a guest of the restaurant.
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