Twenty years ago I gave up the good life in Manhattan and moved to Israel. Whether it was epiphany or lobotomy I’m not sure, but I’ve never looked back.
I do, however, have some kvetching to do. (Actually, I have plenty, but I’m working with a deadline and word limit here). My kvetch meter is activated whenever I enter a restaurant and request an English menu.
I can manage in Hebrew but I don’t want to. I love reading descriptions of food, so why struggle if I can cherish every culinary nuance in my native tongue? The good news is that most restaurants provide menus in English. The bad news is… OMG! Who writes them???
Want a few samples? These are actual, un-retouched, non-tampered with, I swear I saw them examples!
Let’s start with Brefest – umm, what looks good? How about a Mashroom or perhaps the Herd and Salamon Omelet? Although, the Sandwich with Tona, Teiow Cheese and a Freash garde Salade sounds good too. Maybe go sweet with the Blinchess with Raisines and Patato?
If you’re a British attorney, then I’d suggest the Advocato Salad. Or perhaps a Slection from the Tousts section – served o a bread? Gee, do I feel like the Yeiow Chees Toust or the one with Bazil, Mashrooms and Pesta? Wait! I have it! The Coraconet Toust! It comes with Yeiow and Bulgarnian Chees! (In case you’re wondering – croissant toast).
Maybe a Jacket Patato Topted with Chees? (I don’t know – is it double or single breasted?) Or for the health conscious among us, how about a Jumping Salad with Vegetbles and Nodels. (Jumping as in sauteed?)
At dinner I always like a good buttle of red wine, especially if I’m having the Lamb Asso buco on a bed of Coconut. But sometimes I prefer a white, so I go for the Chuddony. It’s always hard for me to decide between the Quail Tights in Mustered Sauce or the Battata Ravuly (sweet potato ravioli).
My all time favorite is Kaved Oaf. Kaved as in liver, oaf as in chicken, but kaved is close to kavod, meaning honor. The menu translated the dish as: Respect Your Chicken.
Feel like dessert? A Tel Aviv hotel offers Chocleate Marquisw Accompanied By Forest Fruit. And then there’s that cafe where: “We personally invite you to come and take a look at the refridgerated cake satnd where you will find old friends like Tirramousso, Poppy sead Cake and Home apple strubel. Our staff will be happy to assist you in choosing the cake you desire. we enjoy your deliberation.” They suggest following it with a cup of grounded coffee. I do so like to be grounded after my deliberations.
You see why I like menus in English? I get food and a show for the same price!
Stay tuned for more on Life on the Other Side in future issues.
Anne Kleinberg is a former New Yorker who transitioned from Upper West to Middle East, from interior design to writing, and from singlehood to marriage. She is the author of several cookbooks and recently published her first novel, Menopause in Manhattan. Read more about Anne at www.annekleinberg.com.