Takes the cake

People with poor self-control, be warned!

Lilyot bakery 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Lilyot bakery 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Have you ever walked by a bakery and wished you could taste some of everything – right then and there? Liliyot Bakery offers you that opportunity, more or less. It’s a bakery-café located adjacent to the Liliyot meat restaurant right near Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital.
Patrons can opt to buy beautiful cakes, fresh, preservative-free French breads or quiches and take them home, or they can sit indoors or outdoors to enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry, a salad or a sandwich.
My first bit of advice is to take a quick stroll around to look at the displays, which are set up and spread out impressively in the large, open space beside tall glass windows. If you choose to stay and eat, order at the counter and take your food back to your table.
On a recent Friday, my friend and I decided to sit outside with some coffee and treats. I was pleasantly relieved to receive a “hafuch” (latte or cappuccino, depending on the place) that tasted more like coffee than milk (NIS 13 for a large). My dining partner ordered an iced coffee (the slushy kind) and was also pleased, noting that she wasn’t normally a coffee person. We shared a mini pizza topped with olives, tomatoes, Bulgarian cheese, fresh thyme and pizza cheese (NIS 20). It was nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing to complain about, either.
We didn’t try any of the salads or sandwiches, though some of the combinations looked appealing.
We also plowed through four pastries – not the pretty kind, but the kind you’d be less likely to pick and more likely to love. The minicroissant (NIS 5) was crisp on the outside, with almond slivers on top and a buttery and slightly sweet inside. As I ate it, I realized how lucky I was not to live anywhere near that bakery, because there’s no way I’d resist that croissant if I passed it daily.
We were much less impressed by the personal-sized kugelhupf (NIS 8), with its spongy yeast dough and muffin-mix flavor.
The chocolate-almond brioche (NIS 8) was dense and rich, with a strong cocoa center and a buttery element. It was enjoyable, but had to be eaten slowly. As neither my dining partner nor I are confectionary connoisseurs, we never quite succeeded to identify the fourth pastry, but we liked it! It looked like French toast and had cinnamon and raisins, but was filled with a lightly sweet cheese filling.
At the risk of sounding like an advertisement: Liliyot Bakery offers a nice selection of reasonably priced loaves of bread, tarts, quiches and some very enticing cinnamon sticks.
It’s a good place to sit with a laptop, friend or business partner, as it is more spacious than many cafes around these parts. I noticed there gift baskets available for purchase that consisted of a ceramic dish with jars of jam, olives and granola inside. Plus, the bakery will prepare trays for at-home functions. And like its neighbor Liliyot, the eatery employs at-risk youth in the kitchen in order to give them valuable life skills that they can use for gainful employment in the future.
While not everything on the menu is a grand slam, it’s mostly good. The clean environment and generous personal space certainly make the experience pleasant. Plus, if you sample a few of the smaller items and end up liking them, you can buy their full-size cousins and take them home for the whole family to enjoy.
Liliyot Bakery, Rehov Dafna 2/Weizmann 4, Beit Asia, Tel Aviv, (03) 696-5658, www.liliyot.co.il. Kosher.