A journey from a love affair with processed foods to a love affair with cheese.
As you walk along the tracks from Baka towards the Tachana Rishona, you pass an old station house on your left, across from the massive parking lot. Even after the tracks were done, and then after the station was built up and opened, this little station house sat empty and unrenovated. But now, just over a year after the rest of the Tachana opened, Beit HaKavan, a new restaurant by Master Chef winner and HaMotzi owner Avi Levi, moved into the space.
As has been well documented in these pages, I am a total sucker for cute, interesting design and gimmicks. I know some judge me for it, but I love bells and whistles, as long as it turns out they adorn rather than merely compensate for the dining experience. And the station house is just so charming. See for yourself:
The idea behind the restaurant is to take the kind of fancy food that is served at HaMotzi and return it to the street food level in a way that’s both accessible and gourmet. I guess kind of like a permanent fancy food truck.
What you can’t see in the pic above is that around to the side there is a window where you can order for sit down or take away. (For sit down you can also order at the table, which is what we did.) The menu is divided into pan dishes and pita dishes wherein the latter is basically the former but in easy to handle pita. The sit-down, pan-based menu includes items such as shakshuka and merguez (spicy sausage) shakshuka, steak with a sunnyside up eggs served with tehina and pickles, grilled chicken served with tomatoes, cucumbers, and tehina, mixed grill served with amba, a merguez bean dish, kabobs, savich, and shnitzel with fries. Sides available include fried cauliflower, amba fries, veal cigars, felafel, and more. The sole dessert listed is baklava. Prices are very reasonable; the cheapest thing on the menu is a side order of regular fries at 18 NIS and the most expensive is the steak at 54 NIS. Beit HaKavan also offers a few beers on tap (nothing too exciting) and house wine.
As always, we decided when we went a few weeks ago to split a few dishes between us. We settled on the shakshuka merguez (41 NIS), hummus with ground lamb (45 NIS), and roasted cauliflower and sweet potato (36 NIS). Each dish came in a covered dish served on a tray along with a serving of bread (we had been warned that they are stingy on the bread, but we found we had a sufficient amount) and the relevant fixins: The shakshuka came with hummus and schug, the hummus with pickled lemons, and the cauliflower with tehina and spicy tomato salad.
The most interesting, not surprisingly given what we ordered, was the cauliflower-sweet potato dish, which quite simple but very tasty, with the vegetables roasted to be very soft but not mushy and sprinkled lighly with tehina. The flavoring in the lamb was pleasing, though the hummus was a little coarse for my taste. (I know this is totally a matter of personal taste, but I prefer my hummus as creamy as possible.) The shakshuka, if anything, had too much merguez, though again, this is probably more a reflection of my meat-shy tendencies than any objective fault with the food.
Overall, we were pretty pleased. The food was decent, the service was good (it was very busy when we went, despite the image above), and they created a perfect atmosphere for enjoying a bite and/or drink on a warm summer night.
Kosher, meat, not expensive. Located at David Remez 2. Open Sun.-Thurs. 2 pm – 12 am.