Monday, November 29, 2010

Pizza by the slice comes to Haifa!

Pizza is one of the most fantastic types of food, and as a huge fan I was really excited when Bruno’s opened up in Mercaz HaCarmel, right next to Mandarin, a year or so ago. The best bit is that they serve pizza by the slice, so you can try as many different kinds as you wish! This place reminds me of pizza joints I saw during my first trip to New York in 2003. It’s casual, with just one high wooden table inside (some of us stood while eating, some sat), and a few tables strewn outside. People constantly come and go, ordering to eat in, take out, and hot sheets of pizza are pulled out of the ovens and brought to the display glass.

Bruno’s used to charge according to weight, but now they have a pretty standard set of sizes (bambino - 7.5 shekels, margarita - 9 shekels with toppings, personal 14/17, medium 26/32, family 48/58), and you get amazing value for your money. There are fantastic dips (pesto, tomato and a spicy one) to which customers can help themselves (we dipped our pizza crusts into them) and four types of salads, all under 30 shekels.

So, what do we recommend? Any of the large range of vegetarian pizzas, as well as the pepperoni-topped slices (hard to come by in Haifa!). Beverages – the usual soft drinks, plus bottled Stella Artois and Peroni on tap, which I didn't try (I like my beer but am not too adventurous).

Atmosphere – casual, friendly, young, but suited to families and pizza lovers of all ages.
Background Noise – a fair bit, but it’s what you’d expect in a place like this.
Service – friendly, helpful.
Price – good value
Location/Accessibility - 131 Sderot HaNassi, Mercaz HaCarmel Click here for location. Buses, taxis and the under-ground Carmelit all stop in the area; a 5-minute walk from the Dan Carmel Hotel and the Dan Panorama Hotel; 10-minute walk from the Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn; 15-minute walk from the Bahá’í Gardens.
Parking - available in the residential streets nearby but can be difficult Sunday-Friday.
Wheelchair Access - yes, but small step at entrance.
Children - yes, child-friendly.
Indoor/Outdoor Seating - both, but not much.
Smoking/Non-smoking - smokers outdoors.
Not kosher but vegetarian options available!

Enjoy the pics I'm posting for the first time!

More good pizza in Haifa

Monday, October 25, 2010

Writing, blogging, eating and drinking

It's not that I haven't been eating or drinking in Haifa lately. Nor have I ceased going to the market or shopping for food. I've been doing all that, actually, and more! But I've been terribly busy writing my last papers for my BA to seriously commit to this blog. I do, though, have a number of half-written posts about varied topics waiting to be completed and posted: the best coffee places the city has to offer, my favourite pizza joint, the new Farmers' Market, and of course, the best cafes to sit and write/type in 'til late!

Apart from reading French literature, I've had time to keep up-to-date with my favourite blogs...more about that later. In the meantime, it's back to writing while people-watching in Greg, near Horev Centre.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Haifa's outdoor market mentioned on Food Bridge Blog

Haifa doesn't get mentioned enough, (hence the creation of this blog!), so you can imagine my excitement at reading a post on another food-related blog, Food Bridge, about a visit to the outdoor market, Shuka HaTalpiot, in Haifa (click here for the article). The descriptions and colourful photos remind me of my first shopping experiences at the Talpiot Market a few years ago!

This blog is fantastic source of information about Middle Eastern culture, explored through local food and recipes. It can be accessed at

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mandarin for breakfast

One of my favourite weekend activities is reading the paper over a late breakfast. It turns out that a great place to do this is Mandarin, which not only has several branches in Haifa, but a stack of weekend newspapers. On a Saturday morning in June, when the idea to create this blog first popped into my mind, we went to Mandarin on Sderot HaNassi, in the Carmel Centre (click here for map). I’d only ever been there for lunches or coffee dates (I highly recommend their goulash soup), but have now added them to my list of favourite breakfast places in Haifa. What is special about this café is the setting. It’s located off one of Haifa’s busiest streets but without all the hustle and bustle. There is plenty of outdoor seating surrounded by trees and plants which really feels like a little oasis. Due to the heat we chose to sit inside by the glass walls, overlooking the diners sitting outside. Inside the décor is very homey, with wooden floors, tables and chairs, and old-fashioned ads covering the walls.
Mandarin has a fairly reasonably priced breakfast menu. I chose to order from the low-fat menu, and for 37 shekels received the “Mini-Mandarinit”: a small platter with a selection of low-fat, but very tasty, cheeses, olives and warm, wholemeal bread covered with sunflower seeds and a hard-boiled egg with a salad. The meal included sweet, freshly-squeezed orange juice and and a cup of good coffee to conclude. The salad was fresh except it was made up of tomatoes and cucumbers only, and the onion relish listed on the menu was missing. After informing the waitress she promptly brought the missing elements over to the table (without an apology) and when I commented on the fact that it was a fairly meagre salad, the response I got was one of disinterest. Wouldn’t you expect more than 2 vegetables for something listed as “salad”? My breakfast partner enjoyed his scrambled eggs with mushrooms and ham which came as part of meal which included the same salad, cheeses and beverages as mine.

Food: Great for breakfast. We also recommend their salads, goulash and vegetarian lasagne for lunch or dinner (based on previous experiences).
Atmosphere and Clientele: Relaxed, intimate, suitable for couples and families; people on lunch breaks also fill the place mid-week, as do tourists who happen to stumble across it.
Service: Half of the waitresses were attentive and friendly, the other half cold fish who clearly had no interest in making our experience a pleasant one!
Location/Accessibility: Buses, taxis and the under-ground Carmelit all stop in the area; a 5-minute walk from the Dan Carmel Hotel and the Dan Panorama Hotel; 10-minute walk from the Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn; 15-minute walk from the Bahá’í Gardens.
Parking: Available in the residential streets nearby but can be difficult Sunday-Friday.
Bathrooms: 7/10. Male and Female share.
Wheelchair Access: Yes (but a few small steps at the entrance).
Children: children’s menu and high-chairs available.
Indoor/Outdoor Seating: Yep. Unfortunately, as with many places, smokers can sit anywhere outside, making it impossible for non-smokers to enjoy the area without smoke in their faces.
WiFi: Yes. Great place to study or get work done!
Address: 129 Sderot HaNassi, Mercaz HaCarmel, Haifa (click here for map)
Official website: (only available in Hebrew)
For more reviews:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome to Eat. Drink. Haifa!

People often question Haifa’s future. However, many of us have chosen to live here and many more come to visit. Haifa if full of places where one can get a good bite to eat, have a drink with friends or sit quietly with a newspaper and a coffee. There are a number of establishments that I feel are worthy of being reviewed, for better or worse. This blog will look at the various options available and review each location according to specific criteria:

Food, beverages, atmosphere, clientele, décor, background noise, service, price, location/accessibility, bathrooms, wheelchair access, children, indoor/outdoor seating, smoking/son-smoking, bookings, dress code, pets, methods of payment, English menu, WiFi, parking.

Your thoughts, comments and questions are always welcome. A Hebrew version of each review will be included shortly. Bon appétit, Haifa!