Zohar & The State Of Philly Israeli Food

In case you haven’t heard, chef Michael Solomonov’s new high-end Israeli restaurant Zahav is opening on Monday. Of course, we’ll have the menu shortly.

But what about Philly’s other Israeli restaurants?

A few years ago, Philadelphia was a dry spot for Israeli cuisine. Apart from a few long-standing institutions like Maccabeam and Holy Land Grill, most Israeli restaurants were located out in Cherry Hill or Bala. That was fine for Philly’s considerable Israeli expat population, but what about the rest of us who just wanted a boreka or a good turkey shwarma once in a while?

Thankfully, times have changed. Both of the restaurants listed above are still around; Maccabeam makes a heroically awesome shish kebab sandwich, while Holy Land Grill is part of a dining empire that also includes vegetarian and kosher Chinese (!) restaurants.

Meanwhile, there are other newcomers. We’ve mentioned the all-you-can eat falafel goodness of Maoz before and we’re big fans of both Mama’s Grill and Mama’s Vegetarian. Center City’s Pita Pocket also makes a mean Israeli-style schnitzel sandwich with a breaded chicken cutlet, hummus and salad in pita. However, we also want to give props to the ultra-obscure Cafe Zohar in Northeast Philly. Located on a faraway block of Bustleton Avenue, Zohar might just make the best steak sandwich in town: chunks of rib steak topped with tahini and hummus in an oversized pita with french fries on the side. Fuggedabout the cheesesteak; those crazy Kosher kids at Zohar may have just topped it.

Desert Harvest [CityPaper]
Holy Land Grill [MenuPages]
Holy Land Grill [Official Site]
Maoz [MenuPages]
Maoz [Official Site]
Mama’s Grill [MenuPages]
Mama’s Grill [Official Site]
Mama’s Vegetarian [MenuPages]
Mama’s Vegetarian [Official Site]
Pita Pocket [MenuPages]
Pita Pocket [Official Site]
Cafe Zohar [MenuPages]
Cafe Zohar [Official Site]

Zohar & The State Of Philly Israeli Food