From the street, it looks like little more than a shack, nestled among boutique hotels and beach revelers in one of north Tel Aviv’s most expensive, touristy neighborhoods. Woven reed walls protect it from prying eyes. Most of the time, it’s closed.
But on Saturdays the doors open, and those in the know come seeking hearty Israeli favorites, a cross-cultural selection of the country’s favorite comfort foods — rich homemade jachnun, pleasantly spiced cholent, hummus and freshly squeezed orange juice. That’s all the place serves. Who knows about the place? A decent number of people, it seems; I was introduced by my friend Irene. Do these people include the authorities? That’s far less certain, or so I’ve heard.
A limited menu, even more limited hours — what makes this little place so special?
Get your breakfast food at the counter, and head on up the stairs. There, you’ll find a rooftop patio high above the beach, overlooking turquoise waters, sun-bleached sands, sailboats, joggers, swimmers, in short, the masses below — all those who don’t know they could be sitting calmly on a wooden balcony, enjoying the sea in quiet and relative privacy.
That is, if they come on time. When the last jachnun sells, the place closes up shop for the week, until the next Saturday.
1 Habkuk Street (Matzetzim beach), open Saturdays until about 5 p.m. Jachnun costs 20 shekels, orange juice 15 shekels, and cholent 40 shekels.