A quiet slice of Israel in Brookline
On the Cheap by Joanne Hinkel
At Coolidge Corner's newest kosher kitchen, the slogan on the menu says it
all: "When you miss Tel Aviv, Come to Café Aviv." In this small, spare
room, furnished with tables and a few paintings, a steady crowd of
Brookline-Israelis gathers over the spices of home-style Israeli food.
The canonical Israeli eats are all on the menu, shawarma and kabobs
included. But the really special dishes are less familiar to American palates.
The most delicious is Ziva, a huge swirl of Yemenite phyllo dough filled with
ground beef, minced potatoes, onions, and a subtle blend of black pepper,
parsley and paprika; it is served with salad, rice, and beans ($12.95). An
array of beef or chicken shish kebobs and schnitzels are available. And
vegetarians have an unusually hearty option with the stuffed-vegetable entrees:
a huge cabbage, pepper, or eggplant filled with rice and spices ($9.95).
As for snacks or appetizers, Café Aviv offers more unconventional
pita-toppers than just baba ghanoosh and tabouleh. Try the Moroccan eggplant
salad ($4.95), eggplant marinated in oil and red pepper; or the Matbucha salad
($4.95), mushy tomatoes and garlic.
Café Aviv, located at 14A Pleasant Street (Coolidge Corner), in
Brookline, is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., on
Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (because of Shabbat), and on Saturday from 6 to
10:30 p.m. Call (617) 731-9780.
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