Every so often I discover that I’m willing to travel the distance to check out a café that a friend highly recommended. That’s why he and I got in my car and drove out to Ramat Beit Shemesh, to Café Bagels. Café Bagels was established two and a half years ago by Steven and Jennifer, an American couple who immigrated to Israel and settled in Ramat Beit Shemesh. The atmosphere there appealed to them, but something from home was missing. That’s how they decided to found Café Bagels - a café specializing in various types of bagels and pastries.
As we entered, we saw that Café Bagels is a homey place designed to serve a clientele of locals. Most of the neighborhood residents know Steven and that this is the place to come from some good eating. Proof of this is the fact that though Café Bagels is not located near a large centre, the steady stream of customers doesn’t stop for a minute. And with Steven’s strict use of nylon gloves when touching food one knows that every inch of Café Bagels is 100% hygienic.
The menu at Café Bagels is vaguely reminiscent of an American diner. Amongst the omelet breakfasts and the salads, you can also find pancakes. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten pancakes and decided my taste buds need a refreshed. I did recall that one doesn’t normally eat sweet before savory, but no one knows me in Ramat Beit Shemesh, so I felt free to behave as I pleased. The pancakes at Café Bagels include two pancakes, especially tasty, covered in chocolate sauce and maple syrup. I don’t think I should wait so long between pancake meals anymore.
After the pancake opener, I ordered a satisfying and healthy breakfast that included an omelet with green onion, various types of salad, chickpeas, fresh mushrooms and a nice dressing. My friend enjoyed an onion bagel filled with smoked salmon, garlic dill cream cheese, black olives, lettuce, tomato, green onion and capers.
Though it seems that at this point that we aught to be near the full mark – there were just so many appealing dishes on the menu! Before getting the dishes to come, we took some time to observe our surroundings. On the walls were pictures with price tags next to them, paintings by Jordana Klien, a famous artist with gallery shows all over the world…and Steven’s café. We hadn’t quite finished our observations when our next dish arrived: pasta soaked in a thick Alfredo cream sauce. I would have added a little green onion or chopped chives for colour, but it was tasty with the decoration. We also tried that salmon croquette, a fried patty of ground salmon, parsley and mayonnaise that had a fun crispy texture.
We thought we were finally done. But no. I’ve known for quite some time that the purpose of the meal is to pave the way to dessert; the path we paved had two lanes and a shoulder. With our cappuccinos came an amazing homemade cheese and cream cake that signed off our culinary experience at Café Bagels in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
3 Nahal Nitzanim (Ramat Beit Shemesh), Beit Shemesh