My little sister looks just like me, only smaller and blonder. Like me, she is always busy and her day-planner is always bursting with notes, sticky notes, and to-do reminders. On Tuesday, I told her, as I often tell myself, that it was time to take a break from her mid-day scurrying and join me for a nice business-special at Metuka (Hebrew for ‘Sweet’) caf? and pastry shop in Tel Aviv. Again, like myself, she is a big fan of sweets, and Metuka holds a special place in her heart, much like it does for me. “But they only serve sweets there,” she remarked, “they don’t have real food.”
“Well, I have news for you,” I informed her. “They serve real food; they offer business-specials, as well as several dishes that change daily. You can order something different each time, so it never becomes a stale experience. Also, the dishes are special and not the run-of-the-mill variety which you would find in so many caf?s in Tel Aviv.” I praised and praised, always keeping in mind the skepticism of the person in front of me.
As stated above, my little sister is just like me. That is, except in one department: she does know how to eat. No one food can touch another food; nothing can be too salty, too spicy, or too sour – in short, the less flavor the better. In this sense, she has remained the quintessential little sister, dining in restaurants as a five-year-old would, making it nearly impossible to find a restaurant which caters to her specifications. So, when we arrived at Metuka, I knew it had to pass two tests: satisfy yours truly, who quickly becomes bored with food; and satisfy her, who doesn’t enjoy any dish other than chocolate souffl?.
Our waitress was up to the challenge. “I know what you’ll like,” she told my sister. “We have a first course of potato souffl?. It’s something of a potato puree.” The little one agreed to try it out, and I happily ordered myself the roasted eggplant in tahini. It was quite sweet, I thought, as I looked across at my sister who was happily eating her potato souffl?.
For the main course, I selected the Napoleon – sliced yam and leek in bleu cheese – an excellent dish, original and satisfying. My little sister went for her usual, the impossible to mess-up yam ravioli in rose sauce. If she’s happy, I’m happy. I made a note to myself of how Metuka not only serves sophisticated and unconventional dishes, but also the basic classic dishes which can be enjoyed by everyone, even my sister.
When we got to the desserts, no problems were expected nor encountered. We devoured a strawberry confection and a soft mini chocolate pie. My sister informed me that our time was up – always busy. So after a last sip of freshly squeezed orange juice, a final spoonful of dessert, and we were outside again, resuming our busy schedules. At least now she can admit that Metuka served real food, even good food. It is possible that the next time we go out, she’ll want another visit to this sweet caf?. After all, we both share another trait: when we find something good, we stick to it.
2 HaArba’a Street, across from the Cinematheque, Tel Aviv