Sunday, September 30, 2007

Haifa Middle Eastern restaurants

Haifa has many Middle Eastern restaurants. The variety of cooking style represents the variety of people and groups that live together in the city and around it. The major styles are Israeli-Arab, Druze and Lebanese cuisine.

At these Haifa restaurants pita pickles will be automatically brought to the table. The you can order a variety of salads for everyone at the table on small serving plates or specific salads you choose from the menu. The variety of salads usually include tahina, eggplant of sorts, and some kind of raw cabbage dish among others.

The main dish is ordered from the menu you can always find spring chicken (pargit) on a skewer (shipud) and cooked on a fire, kabobs of beef or lamb, steak, fish and fries.

Each restaurant will also have their special dishes according to the type of restaurant it is.

Desert is usually simple but you will usually get Turkish coffee and baklava on the hose when you ask for the bill. Sometimes you will be offered tea with mint leaves (nana) as a substitute for coffee.

Here are some of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Haifa.

Elhir – (Pronounced El Her) At the meridian hotel on the beach. Serves Druze food in addition to grilled meat. The salads and shared dishes served to the table have Druze flavouring and include some rice and other lentils in addition to the vegetable dishes. One of the special dishes I tried and liked was the chicken with interesting spices wrapped in dough.

The site I found for this restaurant is in Hebrew but the 4th link down is for pictures of the place

Maxim – This is a popular Middle eastern restaurants in Haifa with great view to the sea and good Middle eastern food. It is located in a gas station on the Costal road inside Haifa. If you take the costal road into Haifa you will eventually see this restaurant and its neon sign. This restaurant servers classic Middle-eastern dishes like Hummus, stuffed grape leaves, salads and grilled meats.

Personally, I haven't been able to enjoy dining here since the terrorist attack that happened here in 2003 killing 21 people. Having said that, I know many people still do and the food is still good.

Abu Yusuf & sons – This is one of the best known Middle Eastern restaurant in Haifa and is located in Paris square (Kikar Paris). The serve the standard salads, hummus and grilled meats along with kube an stuffed olive leaves. This is a very authentic, no frills place with fast service and all male waiters.

This restaurant is an offspring of one of the oldest and best known Haifa Middle-eastern restaurants Abu Yusuf, which is very similar to this one, but I can't send you there because I have never been able to find it on my own and have no idea how to get there other than it is in the same area as Abu Yusuf & sons but on the Port side of the street in one of the back alleys.

Duzan – This is a more upscale restaurant in the German colony in an old German house decorated in a canopy of lights. The food is based on Middle eastern dishes fused with western flavours. This is how they describe themselves on their site:"Where east meets west at "Duzan" you will be eveloped in an oriental ambiance enjoying the best of fusion cuisine". Again the site is in Hebrew but you can still get a feel for the place through it.

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