A guilt-free meal out – would you believe it? There is indeed such a thing at Café Louise in Haifa. As soon as you enter the café you feel a something different, something that’s hard to put your finger on, but as soon as you’ve eaten a meal, you understand. The café was founded on the principle that it is possible to combine gourmet with natural and healthy. With every dish on Café Louise’s menu one notices the deep consideration given to combining the café’s ideology – the dishes are full of whole grains and fresh organic ingredients – freshness and healthiness is the name of the game at Louise – no preservatives, not artificial food colouring and no unnecessary additives, but…everything is still super flavourful. Whoever said healthy food isn’t tasty? The miracle of health has proudly occurred here in Haifa!
As Yael and I sat down in the café, we felt something magical in the atmosphere. The café was completely full, but was amazingly calm and quiet, the waitress was extremely busy, but the smile didn’t leave her face, the owners went from customer to customer making sure everyone was having a good time. There’s no doubt that there was something different there. Something homey, something warm that affected the customers and us as well. We took a peek at the menu and were amazed by the range of delectable sounding dishes. Yael, who has experience with health food, pointed out that the selection at Louise is extraordinarily impressive and there’s no doubt that whoever built the menu is a genius.
To start, we got the 3 types of sourdough bread. The bread is baked on-site, made of whole-wheat sourdough, full of dietary fiber. Each type features a different sort of fruit. The rolls are served with an olive oil and garlic spread (there’s no butter or mayonnaise here!). Yael and I happily taste each type of bread with its spread while we selected some appetizers.
I ordered a rice noodle salad which contained organic rice noodles, seaweed, green onion, fresh vegetables and a garlic, ginger and lemon vinaigrette. The salad was generously sprinkled with lots of sesame seeds and roasted peanuts. The salad was shiny and gave off an aroma that left us nothing to do but grab our forks and dig in. In the meantime, Yael received a sandwich made of the in-house baked bread, with fennel jam, Roquefort cheese, nectarines, apple and arugula. We also shared the sandwich and agreed that it succeeded in stealing the show. The bite of the Roquefort was further emphasized by the fresh fruit – another streak of genius.
The sandwich and salad gave us an appetite for more, bringing us back to the menu to decide in which direction to head. For our main dish we ordered 2 dishes, agreeing in advance to share them. We chose the chicken breast coated in oats, bran, coconut and poppy seeds (baked, of course) served on a bed of fig mash. It was a dish we had never before tasted, and all others seemed to pale in comparison. The second dish, which paled less – in fact we ate it with great pleasure, was a dish of organic pasta sheets in coconut milk sauce with mushrooms, chives, poppy seeds and parmesan cheese. Yael went back and forth from one dish to the other. I tasted both, but concentrated on the chicken breast and fig mash, the perfect dish for our healthy meal. Once the colour had come back to our cheeks, we discussed the matter of dessert, and if such a thing as healthy dessert even exists. Turns out that it does…Yael mentioned fruit, and I agreed.
I always agree to dessert. We ate kadayif filled with seasonal fruit, accompanied by vanilla ice cream, raw tehina and date honey. We also couldn’t give up on the tapioca, a particular favourite of mine, which also contained top quality fresh fruit. Satisfied and smiling, we got up to leave, freeing up our spots for other healthy people who had come to celebrate their healthiness ate Café Louise - a small café with big large and unique ideas.
And one last word to end off: In October a Tel Aviv location will be opening (near Ramat Hahayal and Tzahala), at 11 Rogee Malcot Street.
58 Moriah, at the corner of Carmelit, Haifa