Where’s the Mexican food?

About a month ago, Rebecca (my co-blogger and skinny friend), exposed the sushi take-over in Jerusalem. Like a lot of people, she was happy to see Jerusalem swimming in seaweed. But me-I am still waiting for the Mexicans to cross the border.mexican.jpg

Did you know that there are no Mexican restaurants in Jerusalem? Some may want to argue that the restaurant Poyo Loco in Talpiot is Mexican, but they would be wrong. First of all, I don’t think a Mexican restaurant menu should offer salsa, spaghetti and hummus. And it doesn’t matter now anyways because the restaurant closed down.

And don’t even go there with, “La Boca is Mexican,” because what you want to say is, “La Boca is a strange and expensive restaurant. They claim to serve Spanish food, yet all I could find in my tiny portion was an Israeli salad wrapped in a tortilla.” So don’t go there.

Here’s the deal. I am originally from Los Angeles, so baby food came in a taco. I need rice and beans, guacamole and nachos. And no matter how similar it looks, a falafel wrapped in a lafa does not equal burrito.

Doesn’t anyone else feel me on this? I think it is time we start focusing on the real problems in Israel. For too long this conflict has been about Arabs and Israelis, East versus West, unification and disengagement-but the real issue is Mexican food. If we can’t solve the problem of having at least one Mexican restaurant in all of Jerusalem, how can we ever try to manage the above mentioned matters?

Is this a plea? Yes. Am I begging? Of course. Do I dream about fried beans with melted cheese and slab of sour cream? I’m doing it right now.

I think we can make this happen-together! We need someone rich to invest; a cook who can make burritos and an opening night with all you can eat nachos. Imagine, instead of every corner being lathered in falafel grease, there might actually be a couple burrito stands leaving oil stains too. People will know the difference between a lafa and tortilla. And, then Rebecca can write another post about the city’s new obsession with burritos.

I think in some way this might help put us back on the road map. The road map to my belly!

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82 Responses to “Where’s the Mexican food?”

  1. Posted by: Rebecca - 02/27/2008

    maybe I wouldn’t be so skinny if there was mexican…. you are quite a funny girl.

  2. Posted by: Avi - 02/27/2008

    I agree! I have been saying that Israel lacks Mexican (although apparently Tel Aviv has some traif Mexican)! There used to be some Mexican on Nachlat Shiva (years ago, sadly I discovered the shuttered restaurant) and for about a week there was a pseudo-Mexican burrito place on Shlomzion HaMalka (bad nachos, though) but it closed quickly.

    I guess we have to make due by getting the Mexican at Mega and making it ourselves. As for me, I’m just happy to find tortillas and salsa.

  3. Posted by: Dave - 02/27/2008

    Isn’t the literal translation of burrito “little donkey”? We’ve got enough of them (120 to be exact – and maybe not so little) getting paid for not going to work in a building round Givat Ram way that looks more like a railway station than anything else (and NO CROCS OR JEANS ALLOWED)

  4. Posted by: Benji - 02/27/2008

    Be careful what you wish for. Tel Aviv has some pretty bad ones.

    This Texas Jew is wishing too, Molly. A few years ago, I ordered Mexican nachos at a bar in Jerusalem. They brought pita chips with zaatar.

  5. Posted by: Molly - 02/27/2008

    These stories make it hurt even more! Oh the pain. I just want to be able to sing “nacho man,” like Homer…and like Homer, eat some nachos!

  6. Posted by: danny brothers - 02/28/2008

    Yeah, the the idea of making your own Mexican food… Great in theory, but considering 10 tortillas at my supermarket costs about 30 shekel…

    In Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley, being that it is the “bread-basket” of the South, we have about a million illegal Mexican workers. It’s great b/c of all the tasty Tex-Mex and stam Mexican places. Alas, even Israel can’t satisfy my kosher needs.

    Wanna start our own “Loco Pollo”?

  7. Posted by: Molly - 02/28/2008

    I really want to start something that involves burritos and nachos! Lets do it!

  8. Posted by: danny brothers - 02/29/2008

    First thing first, let’s get TOSTITOS in this freaking country!

  9. Posted by: MarinNYC - 03/24/2008

    I think the reason jerusalem doesn’t have any good mexican places is because Mexican food is not Kosher. I also don’t think many Israeli’s would like heavy Mexican food. I mean of course if you are familiar with the stuff here in the U.S then yeah you are used to eating it and can accept it, but if you are a stranger to it alot of people find it too heavy, and most of the food isn’t considered kosher. Fried beans with rice and some cheese is safe to it alone. Yet you cannot truly enjoy it as it should be with a burrito with chicken or meat or some fried flautas or enchiladas suizas. Mexican food is good, but I don’t really see it thriving in a country with such food restricitions. How many “spanish themed” restauarants are there….none because hispanic food is not kosher.

  10. Posted by: Vicky - 07/05/2008

    Hi Big Falafel…
    I am the co-owner of the (most) authentic Mexican food joint in the country. It’s called Caballero’s, Bograshov 39, Tel Aviv. I personally HAND make, the refried beans (pinto, NOT black beans thank you very much) which are sacrilege to a 1/4 mexican born and raised in the streets of So. California myself. Unkosher all the way, established 2 years July 16. We serve hot homemade nachos, guacamole, salsa, burritos, cheese enchiladas, chicken or beef enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, etc, etc.) Personally, I think Israel is ready for Mexican food, but people HAVE to know you exist, which is our problem. 80% of our customer base is American or foreign. We are constantly told that our food is great, but we struggle to be seen. If you would like to try our food, call us and we will be happy to accomodate you, especially for travelling all the way from Jerusalem. I am sure my sister and I will be happy to welcome you with a free Maragarita as well. (I know how it feels to miss comfort food.) We have a website, which is kind of under construction, on http://www.rest.co.il – enter “Caballero’s” in the search. Phone: 03-620-4466

    Vicky

  11. Posted by: Brittani - 07/22/2008

    i am american and i am spending a year here. I have been dying for Mexican food. i dont understand this no mexican restaurants because its non kosher there is something called tofutti cheeses that i think would be a great substitute so make a good kosher mexican restaurant now!!!!!!!! PLEASE

  12. Posted by: Molly - 07/22/2008

    I hear you! I was just in America and ate so much salsa that I think I burned a hole in my stomach…but it was worth it…Maybe you should try to convince Vicky, who wrote a message above and is the owner of Caballero, to open a Kosher Mexican place in Jerusalem and use soy cheese…She already has her customers- we just need a place to eat!

  13. Posted by: Dave - 08/12/2008

    Mikes Place in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv has some Mexican dishes. Really helps to diminish the craving for the Jerusalem bound soul.

    Tarantino also has wraps, kinda Isramex but not bad, fairly easy on the wallet too.

  14. Posted by: Molly - 08/12/2008

    I can’t say I have ever been brave enough to eat at Mikes Place…but I probably wouldn’t start with Mexican. Tarantino’s is awesome, but I wouldn’t say that just because they wrap it up, it’s Mexican…I am still in search of salsa bars, refried beans and nachos that make you gassy just thinking about them.

    That said I will be trying out Vicky’s Mexican restaurant in Tel Aviv to see if she can soothe a mean craving. Just writing this makes me hungry for a mean tostada!

  15. Posted by: Carmelita Viner - 08/29/2008

    When I lived in Israel I ate at Caballeros many times. It’s as close as you can get to “real” mexican food, and I totally love the tacos. no hamburger meat, only real, true cooked beef in spices, so the meat is cooked clear through. my hubby and me always begged them to go kosher and move up to Jerusalem. my husband is impressed with the quesadillos — read here, no corn on it … just a nice cheesey tortilla, and if you like it crispy, you just ask. the salsa is authentic, really tasty. the margaritas and mojitos take us back, and make us feel like we’re right back in San Antonio. in fact, when I come back to Israel (being stuck in Ireland, where mexican food is totally tasteless and also full of corn, and served with a side of … fried potatoes … aaaagh. and last thanksgiving (and they should do it again) they closed up and didn’t serve Mexican, but had a proper and true american thanksgiving dinner with apple pie that only an american could know, pumpkin and pecan. those gals really know their stuff. ask them about the family picture on the wall, too. you can’t go wrong. Carm

  16. Posted by: Molly - 08/29/2008

    you make me hungry! I need mexican!

  17. Posted by: Isabel - 08/29/2008

    I am Mexican, and believe me either nachos and burritos are not Mexican Food, I Believe is the same that happens with food around the world, I ate some Argentinian in France, and is not the same, if you need mexican food, come to Mexico, we can offer you good food, with pleasure.

  18. Posted by: Molly - 08/31/2008

    I agree with you about mexican not being mexican in America…but that is what I know and when I say I miss mexican, I am saying that I miss the American style of mexican food. That said, I would love to go to Mexico and it the real stuff! But when are you going to bring it to Israel so I can have it everyday?!

  19. Posted by: Conservative apikoris - 09/17/2008

    I don’t know why everybody thinks that good Mexican food needs to be treif. The excessive cheese on meat dishes thing is, I think, a Gringo innovation, part of a plot by the Dairy Council to have people eat cheese with everything.

    I myself had a very good Tex-Mex dinner this evening in honor of Mexican Independence Day. OK the place wasn’t kosher, and don’t ask me what they used to make the refried beans, but other than that, my bistec ranchero has absolutely no cheese on it. They also have carne guisada, which also doesn’t have cheese, also carne asada (at least in Texas, it’s usually made with a skirt steak, a kosher cut of beef) and fajitas, there’s lots of stuff that a kosher Israeli Mexican restaurant could put on its menu. The salsa and guacamole are, of course, not a problem, and most use ingredients that are very commonly found in Israel: tomatoes, onions, lemons, cilantro, hot peppers.

    In fact Mexican food is much milder than Israeli food. True, every time I visit Texas, I get a good case of indigestion, but I went to Israel for two weeks, and I guess I ate at too many of those little places that sell skewers of grilled meat with “all the salad you can eat,” salad laced with hot chile peppers. The day before we left, I made the mistake of ordering a “red pepper salad” at the Yemenite Step Restaurant in Jerusalem (is it still open?). That did it. My tummy shut down and couldn’t take anymore, and it was straight Ashkenazi food for the rest of my stay.

    That never happens when I go to Texas, I gobble down on Mexican chow right up until they start boarding the flight home.

  20. Posted by: Ralph Levy - 10/11/2008

    To Vicki

    I am a blogger and I live in Texas and I have lived in Israel. I also own a restaurant ad site. Tex Mex will sell great there because of the Americans there. But I would recommend getting a great website with lot’s of pictures. I would never know about Caballeros unless I saw the site here. Will try it on my next trip. Hope you have Mole and Soft Tacos. Here are some examples.

    http://www.mitierracafe.com/default.html

    http://www.tacoxpress.com/

    My non food blog

    http://ralphsrant1.blogspot.com

  21. Posted by: Angelica - 02/14/2009

    you ppl are dumb burritos and hard tacos are not from mexico

  22. Posted by: Sammy Camhi - 02/15/2009

    Hi, we just opened a new mexican place in Zichron Yaacov. We’re 100% koshser. Our menu features original “Fish Tacos” in corn tortillas, beef, chicken and vegeterian tacos as well as a whole bunch of mexican side orders (beans, guacamole, salsa, etc.) We have a salsa bar which we stock up fresh every day that includes chipotle and salsa verde made from fresh tomatillos. Next week we are adding a variety of “burritos” to our menu. We are called “Amigos” mexican grill, at the lower end of the “midrajov” in Zichron. We’ll be happy to serve you. Yummmmmmmmmy. Thanks.

  23. Posted by: Molly - 02/15/2009

    Sammy- I really must be dreaming! Just tell us where and when and we will be happy to come and check it out! I know a lot of people who will want to share in this good news! And maybe you can think about opening up in Jerusalem next! Good luck and tell us exactly where you are located and your hours!

  24. Posted by: Katie - 02/16/2009

    I am loving this topic… I have been dying for Mexican.. and so my hubby took me to Sangria’s in Ramallah on V-day. Decent homemade salsa and the chicken fajitas were wonderful.

    Also, if you want to make your own… Just inside Beit Hanina if you head in from Neve Yaacov is a grocery store called Jafar… they have tortillas (flour and hard shells) and they occasionally have a large bag of tortilla chips (for around 20nis – I know pricey but you have to splurge sometimes). And, they also have salsa. Plus, this grocery store carries tons of American imports and it is very friendly and clean, worth visiting.

    Adios’

  25. Posted by: Sarah - 02/17/2009

    Angelica, you are dumb. The burrito originates in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua Mexico and the Taco has an even older history.

  26. Posted by: Sammy Camhi - 02/25/2009

    Thanks for your kind words Molly.
    We are called “Amigos” Mexican Grill in Zichron Yaacov, HaNadiv 15, at the lower end of the “midrajov” (04-629-2258.) We are open for lunch and dinner from 11AM to 9:30PM, Thursdays until 3AM!!! and motzei shabbat until 11PM. I will certainly contact you when we are ready to open in Jerusalem!!

  27. Posted by: Benyamin - 04/12/2009

    I guess I missed out on this one. My bro and I went to enjoy Caballero’s and found a disappointing site at the address. I don’t care what is there now but it surely aint Mexican. As a losingoption, we made our way to Mexicana for our dinner. It was good but far from what our tastes had desired. There is a place close to my home in Florentine – Mezcal has a limited menu but as close to ‘real’ as I have yet found here.
    I am hoping to find that Caballero’s has merely moved to a bigger location. I too am from Los Angeles and grew-up on this cuisine, these days I am preparing my own Mexican at home and often with alternate ingredients. I sure would love to get in touch with Vicky and her sister for some recipe comparisons.
    In any case, let’s hope that both cities are over-run with Chile Colorado!

  28. Posted by: Mexicoetal.com - Mexican Food - 05/20/2009

    You could also order from Mexicoetal.com – Mexican Food if you get really hard up for some Mole. I bought the ready to eat kind. So putting some of that over my in-laws cooking (just about everything is boiled) was enough to save me the embarrasment of declining to eat what was served. I passed it off as something a friend sent me to try on my food, and that he would like for me to write a review of., etc,etc,etc.. They took that story hook line and sinker, and even took some of my mole and poured it over their own food.

  29. Posted by: Benyamin - 06/10/2009

    Good News! Long time Israel resident and Canadian guy “Mike” (formerly of Mike’s Place – not the founder) has opened “Mike’s Kitchen” in association with Yankee’s Bar near Zion Square. So why is this good news? Because he is developing a menu that includes some Mexican favorites and this former Angelino is assisting him. While the menu is a bit on the eclectic side, the Mexican dishes will be authentic Los Angeles taquiera style food. You know, Sonora with the L.A. touch!

    Grand opening is scheduled for the end of June.

  30. Posted by: Molly - 06/10/2009

    Benyamin- You wouldn’t joke about something like this? I mean you couldn’t! I am already there in mind and spirit and come the end of June I will be there physically too! Can you tell us more: Is it Kosher? What are the hours? When is the grand opening date? Name some dishes! Will there be a salsa bar? I am now drooling!

  31. Posted by: Debbie Z - 06/10/2009

    Molly, I wasn’t about to read all the comments, but here’s the deal. Firstly, I was incredibly surprised to find the canned makings of a Mexican feast on sale at the Mega in the Mall- tortillas, different sauces and beans. Now, I don’t do canned stuff, and I had a Mexican meal a few months ago, and I was pretty much able to find all the ingredients I needed for it pretty easily (except chili powder, which I import from the U.S.)- they even sell pinto beans, canned and fresh. And yes, I used the Toffuti sour cream, which went pretty well. In addition to the meat and chicken fillings for tacos and enchiladas, plus chili and cornbread I made homemade enchilada sauce, salsa and frijoles. My Texan friend thought it was quite authentic. Let me know if you want recipes.

  32. Posted by: Molly - 06/10/2009

    Debbie- this is what I got from your comment: Molly, I made awesome Mexican food the other day and would now like to invite you for a meal. I will cook for you and you will feel the Mexican come back into your soul and stomach. Please say I am right!

  33. Posted by: Benyamin - 06/11/2009

    Molly – I would not joke about such things, after-all this is Mexican food and a very serious matter for we displaced eaters. Everything at Yankee’s is at Mike’s discretion and we are dealing with limited space but anytime I can convince him of something I will. If left entirely to his personal desires, Mike would serve nothing but Mexican but to be practical, that alone does not support a Jerusalem kitchen.

    I will post more about the grand opening as the exact details come together. My plan is to augment the event with my own enchiladas, hand-made frijoles and tortilla chips with red and avokado salsas. Of course, any suggestions on “getting the word out” will be greatly appreciated. Cheers to all!

  34. Posted by: Ruth - 06/18/2009

    so the big question: is Mike’s Kitchen going to be kosher?

  35. Posted by: Benyamin - 06/24/2009

    First, to Ruth…No, This is not a kosher restaurant. To be brutally honest this would defeat the menu of a Sonora style Mexican menu. Now, to everyone…We will be having our Grand Opening party on Saturday, July 4. There will be the usual bar specials and eclectic menu and 5 bands on tap for the evening as well as an impromptu jam session later. In about 24 hours there will be a proper announcement prepared from the Facebook group for Mike’s Kitchen. Cheers to all!!!

  36. Posted by: Molly - 06/24/2009

    Benyamin- I wrote about the new place last week check it out! http://www.thebigfelafel.com/a-new-taste-of-the-jerusalem-food-scene/

  37. Posted by: Benyamin - 06/24/2009

    Molly – Thanks so much! However, I must insist that you come as my guest and sample our enchilada plate. This has been the favorite so far. In any case, please come and enjoy a dinner as our guest and then tell me what you think.

    Officially we are in Nachman Square – just behind Hotel Kikar Zion on Solomon street 12.

  38. Posted by: Molly - 06/24/2009

    Ok- but Becca and I come together as a team!

  39. Posted by: Benyamin - 06/24/2009

    Then you both come with my invitation, please.

  40. Posted by: Ariel & Rebecca - 06/28/2009

    Caballeros is absolutely fantastic! I have been craving this resturant since I left Israel and went home. It is incredible and everyone is so nice and helpful. If I could, I would live in that resturant just to eat the yummy food! It is so authenic. I have been to Mexico and Caballeros is WAY BETTER! I ate so much and I could go for round two. Caballeros HERE WE COME!

  41. Posted by: Molly - 07/01/2009

    Benyamin- Are you now open? What are the hours?

  42. Posted by: Benyamin - 07/03/2009

    We are open already but our Grand Opening Party is Saturday, 4 July starting around 8 in the evening. BBQ, Salsa bar, Salad Bar, Live Music and all! More info can be found on the facebook “Mike’s Kitchen” group. We are in Nachman Square, Solomon 12. Anyone reading this who attends, please ask for me. Our regular hours are from 11:00 and late into the night, 7 days. Hope to see you all there.

  43. Posted by: ester - 08/02/2009

    Mezcal (tequila bar & mexican food) is in 2 Vital st., Florentin neighborhood in Tel Aviv.
    We serve tostadas, quesadillas, enchiladas rojas and verdes, pollo en mole, chimichanga, among other things…
    we have beer negra modelo and we also prepare micheladas.
    We are open everyday from 7 pm, our tel is 03-5187925 and e-mail elmezcalbar@gmail.com

  44. Posted by: Jorge - 08/06/2009

    Hi All my Name is Jorge I’m 23 years old and I’m Mexican from Puebla City ( the place where the original MOLE comes from). Thanks 4 the Information Guys I’m so happy to know that MEXICANA in Tel-Aviv is not the only Mexican Place in Israel, honestly I’ve tried Already and it’s AWFUL and the service is as bad as their attempt to Mexican Food, I really Hope I can find just a bit of Home in your Places that hopefully I’ll be visiting soon.

    I also Know the concept you have of Mexican Food because I used to live in Canada(where the Mexican Food is pretty much the same as in the US)and is quite different than THE REAL-ONE but still is not bad. Thanks 4 Everything.

  45. Posted by: Mitzi - 01/03/2010

    I am from los angeles and just moved here 6 months ago with my boyfriend. I was also raised in a Mexican household and ohhh LORD, do I miss all the Mexican food I’ve taken for granted! I yell at my Israeli boyfriend and tell him to take me to a decent Mexican place because my cravings are off the chart. I miss enchiladas, nachos, beans, rice, wheat and flour tortillas, tacos, burritos, salsas, guacamole, quesadillas, mole, and cactus salad. pretty much everything Mexican. even a Taco Bell would count as authentic Mexican food here. I hate how un-authentic the food is here and how they cheat people by saying it is. Israel has no idea what they’re missing out on and what real Mexican cuisine is. I think they’re ready to eat it and I’m sure everyone will go nuts.

    P.S. forget kosher. seriously. now is not that time! Mexicans put cheese on pretty much everything!

  46. Posted by: Karen - 01/26/2010

    A couple of mexican jewish immigrants opened a pretty decent REAL mexican food restaurant in Karmiel, where I live. I had some quesadillas, burritos, nachos and chili con carne. It was delicious!
    It’s called Los Amigos.
    An answer to my prayers for Mexican food!

  47. Posted by: Molly - 01/27/2010

    Karen-
    So lucky!! Is it Kosher? Why don’t we have any Jewish Mexican immigrants open a mexican place in Jerusalem! Just so unfair. Even just a little burrito shack. I saw on Emek Refaim they are opening: a new cafe/bakery, a bakery and a pizza place. Did I mention there is a pizza place 3 blocks from it and another pizza place 3 blocks from that…and of course there are tons of bakeries and cafes. Ahhhhh!!!

  48. Posted by: Cecilia - 02/04/2010

    I’m with you girlfriend! I made Aliyah 2 years ago and that is what I have been saying. I am from So. Cal and dreaming of Mexican food. The biggest problem I find here is the lack of a decent tortilla! I don’t get it, why is it such a challenge? The ingredients to make tortillas whether flour or corn are so simple. A good flour tortilla needs some flour, fat ( oil, margarine, butter) some water and salt. Tortillas are the foundation of Mexican food. Mexican food is misrepresented here with these gross vacuum packed frisbees with a list of preservatives that start with E10 and end at E100. Tortillas need to be made fresh and eaten fresh. Most of the places that serve Mexican food use these packaged cr–! I think if Israelis had the real tortilla with different fresh fillings ( fresh meaning not El Paso canned beans and sauces)they would love it. I am really curious if any of these restaurants mentioned such as Caballero, Amigos, or Mike’s place make there own tortillas.

    My next advice is to the new restaurant opening Mike’s Kitchen. Less is more. Read the book from Good to Great by Jim Collins. I have never had a good meal at a restaurants that offer multiple types of food such as Italian, Mexican, Chinese. Listen to all the chefs such as Gordon Ramsey. People don’t like a lot of options. They like good food. Have a few dishes, but make them GREAT. Even if it is just a mean Mexican quesadilla, make it great and people will come flocking. There is not much competition here in Israel. Anyone that offers any decent Mexican food here can corner the market.

  49. Posted by: david - 02/17/2010

    all the products you wanth for a maxican delicius dinner or to open your restaurant at LA BONITA IN KARMIEL
    FLUOR TORTILLAS,CORN TORTILLA,NACHOS, JALAPENOS,FRIED BEANS AND MORE AT
    http://www.labonita.co.il kosher and badatz

  50. Posted by: ester - 02/22/2010

    the answer to all your prayers is mezcal, mezcal, mezcal!
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23203376808&ref=ts

    open everyday from 7 pm
    fridays from 12 (noon)
    2 Vital St, Florentin, Tel Aviv
    03-5187925

  51. Posted by: Cecilia - 02/22/2010

    Hi David,

    Are you implying that your tortillas are actually fresh home-made tortillas with no presevatives?

    Or otherwise why would anyone want to go all the way to Karmiel to find the same processed foods available at Shufersal?

    Thanks
    Cecilia

  52. Posted by: david - 03/03/2010

    yes cecilia
    our products have no preservatives made in mexican tortilla machines thats mean gas oven, no electric oven,and our corn tortilla is made with real maseca we also grow our own jalapeno and tomatillo and make fried black beans an pinto beans

  53. Posted by: Cecilia - 03/04/2010

    Fantastico!

  54. Posted by: ester - 03/11/2010

    Mezcal Tequila Bar, the only place which serves real mexican food in Tel Aviv, celebrates 2 years old!

    We will be celebrating this Friday (12/3) from noon – till night. Special dishes, mariachis (at 9.30 pm) and our traditional piñata.
    (Mezcal will be open from 12 – noon -, offering special birthday dishes)

    Hope to see you there!


    Mezcal – Tequila Bar & Mexican Food
    2 Vital st., Florentin, Tel Aviv
    03-5187925
    elmezcalbar@gmail.com

    OPEN everyday from 7 pm
    FRIDAYS from 12 (noon)

  55. Posted by: Molly - 03/11/2010

    Ester Mazal Tov!! And wow I am super jealous- I wish I was in Tel Aviv- I want Mexican food now. But maybe for my birthday!!

  56. Posted by: Shanee from Vegas Aka Little Mexico - 04/06/2010

    This is so depressing. This thread (Which I just stumbled across today for the first time) has been going on for about two years. I LIVEEEE off of “Mexican” (quotes because like yocompatible of you I count Mexican as anything from taco bell to traditional Mexican dishes from the summer I spent in Mexico) food at home and am now in Israel for 9 months. After scrolling though, i still feel like there still aren’t really any options for mexaholics like us. Even worse, I’ll be in Eilat for 5 months; tons of fakers ad even farther from Tel Aviv than Jerusalem is. :/

  57. Posted by: Molly - 04/07/2010

    Shanee aka Little Mexico- I feel your pain and know that everyone that is a part of this thread feels your pain. All I can say is when you eat it you appreciate it so much more. And also try making your own salsa- its work out well for me. Don’t get me wrong I still miss the real thing, but it helps with the day to day addiction!

  58. Posted by: Molly - 05/25/2010

    UPDATE:
    Hey!
    So a Mexican place opened up in the city center and Becca and I and our good friend Shira were super excited…but of course it wasn’t exactly what we had hoped it would be. Michael, a Felafel reader wrote us and I wanted to share our letters so you can really see what is up!

    Michael:
    Just before and across from the bus stops by the iriah is a new dairy mex restaurant called Mexican Baguette. it says that it is Glatt Kosher — which is kind of irrelevant since it is chalavi, and is located at 19 jaffa. phone is 054-8454-113. they are open 6 days a week from 10am to midnight. i first noticed it last week, which may be when it first openned, and went in to try it. it was too new to have a menu, so i cannot tell you what they offer. but, i had enchiladas — which turned out to be three fried tortillas with a tomato sauce over it for 18nis, which tasted fine. the woman in the kitchen is a nice middle-aged spanish cook, who, when i asked her about heuvos rancheros said, how many. no chile rellano however — they told me that they were chalavi — i am not sure how that was relevant because the chile rellano i remember was cheese coming out of chiles, but who knows. hopefully, when i go there next they will have a menu. it is worth a visit.

    My response:
    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for writing. I would actually like to post your letter in the mexican post comments’ section if that is ok with you, since I want our readers to hear what you had to say. Unfortunately Rebecca and I had also tried this place last week- but apparently by dinner time they run out of food and so there is no cook that you speak of and the food is gross. So unless you want cigarettes or ice coffee from an 18-year-old behind the counter, you’re out of luck! I asked the kid that besides the mexican flag on the wall- what about this place made it mexican (again there was no food at that time) and he said the owners are mexican. I told him it was a shame that they had this restaurant which is so needed and yet they are blowing it! And the name is horrible…what about a Baguette is Mexican?

  59. Posted by: Molly - 05/26/2010

    And…just to make it clear- they do serve food in the morning and afternoon so if you want to try it out that’s the time to go!

  60. Posted by: Raquela Serber - 07/06/2010

    Hi,
    I just moved to Israel semi permanently to open a Mexican restaurant. I’m 25 from California, and I’m a graduated chef and all that good stuff but most importantly my mother was mexican I lived in mexico and learned to cook their richly delicious food.
    I have a little Mexican Catering going right now but out side of that I am here to open a little
    non-pretentious taco shop/cantina.
    Know on any locations anywhere between Tel-aviv and Jerusalem?

  61. Posted by: ester - 07/13/2010

    hi Raquela!
    welcome!! me and my husband run a mexican bar which serves a wide variety of food (enchiladas, tacos, chili con carne, pollo en mole) in tel aviv in the southern area of florentin. we’ve been open now for 2 and a half years, and you are more than welcome to talk to us if you want some tips :).
    Ziv and Ester
    “Mezcal” – Tequila Bar
    2 Vital st., Florentin, Tel Aviv
    03-5187925

  62. Posted by: Jerusalem Taco - 11/17/2010

    Mexican Fiesta Night by Chef Yacov — the least represented and most loved food genre that is next to impossible to enjoy kosher in Yerushalayim.

    Also “Baruch BeRabooah” serving Home Brewed Beer — lets have an awesome chill together!

    Mexican Fiesta Night Menu:
    Beef Burrito
    Chicken Taco
    Veggie Burrito
    Rice and Bean
    Fresh Made Churros

    Drinks:
    Margaritas 25 nis
    Home-brewed Beer 15 NIS

    Types of beer:
    Bock
    Red Ale

    **Happy 2 Hours from 6pm – 8pm**
    13 NIS per beer.
    Buy 2 beers at full price get a free “Baruch BeRabooah” T-Shirt.

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=132544976799267

  63. Posted by: Molly - 11/19/2010

    Amazing!

  64. Posted by: Gabe - 11/20/2010

    I’ve also been blogging about Mexican food in Israel. I recently checked out the new Mike’s Place in Jerusalem…it was ok but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you think shawarma wrapped in a tortilla qualifies as Mexican food.

  65. Posted by: Molly - 11/23/2010

    Thanks for the info Gabe- unfortunately that almost sounds good to me…guess I have been in Jerusalem and without Mexican for a bit too long!

  66. Posted by: Eva Schwartz - 12/12/2010

    Former El Pasoan here 37 years with the taste of enchiladas and tacos implanted in my memory Looking for CORN tortillas For ssoo long Can anyone help ? There are a number of former El Pasoans (family)who would bless me if I could serve them a memory

  67. Posted by: pressedolives - 12/22/2010

    EVA,

    I just bought corn tortillas for the first time in 2 years of living here. I live on the corner of Neve Yaacov and Beit Hanina. Just one block inside Beit Hanina is a grocery store called Jafar and they sell them. Many Israelis feel comfortable using this store and the pharmacy just on the edge of town. Hope this helps you… this store also has giant bags of tortilla chips, flour tortillas and salsa.

  68. Posted by: Molly - 12/22/2010

    wow corn tortillas!! amazing news! thanks for the update!

  69. Posted by: Alli - 03/07/2011

    I heard there is a Mexican woman in Givatayim that cooks from her house and that you can order take out from…haven’t tried yet, but you can!

    Ms. Rossi Asher
    052 801 2428

  70. Posted by: Molly - 03/07/2011

    Interesting! Thanks for the tip!

  71. Posted by: Big Country - 09/02/2011

    The main reason that comes to mind it is near impossible to have a Kosher Mexican restaurant. Jerusalem would be an awful place to open up a store. Talk about lack of a business plan. Considering that most of Jerusalem’s population is Orthodox, there is no way they would even consider eating a treif Mexican dish.

  72. Posted by: Molly - 09/03/2011

    Wow I could not disagree more. Fake cheese is incredibly tasty and easy to do nowadays. In fact I have been to vegan cafes where the cheese and the meat taste real…all made out of vegetables. I also think that if you were the ONLY Mexican place that you would have the market. I think a mexican place has just as good a chance as any other new place.

  73. Posted by: alsky - 10/13/2011

    i am
    aking aliyah soon. My husaband is Mexican. We want to open mexican restaurant.

    Thanks for the info

  74. Posted by: Molly - 10/14/2011

    That’s great- where would you do this?

  75. Posted by: Ben David - 08/30/2012

    I am a cook at Buffalo steak house on emek.

    We recently changed our menu to be tex mex after the new chef and I started.

    We offer empanadas, texas style bbq brisket and short ribs. Tamales occasionally on special. Churros for dessert with mexican pepper chocolate.

    We also smoke and cure our own meats, including: lamb bacon, goose prosciutto, salami, biltong, and salmon.
    The BACON is one of our most popular items and can be found on our charcuterie plate or put on as an addition to burgers.

    Upcoming specials may include fish tacos, huevos rancheros, and other mexican treats.

    I want to be clear, we are not a mexican restaurant, but we are two chefs with experience in california (i grew up in oregon in addition to living in cali after college) and trying to bring tex mex to jerusalem!

  76. Posted by: Molly - 08/30/2012

    Wow! This is great news. Best of luck! We would love to come in and try the food and write it up if you are interested! Let us know. My only issue with restaurants doing TexMex is they miss the idea of salsa and cheap mexican. Everything you said you make sounds delicious and expensive. I know you said you aren’t trying to do real mexican, but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be unlimited salsa with your order. When I go to LA I hit up Baja Fresh and make a salsa train from their salsa bar. Surely there is some kind of in-between and maybe you will figure it out there. BUT, it sounds like you should try to open up your own Mexican place or similar to the food truck craze in the US you should have a burrito cart and sell them for NIS 15, I guarantee you would make money, if only from me! Let the Mexican Food Movement Begin!

  77. Posted by: dini - 05/29/2013

    oh my word i laughed so hard at the ‘baby food came in a taco’ line!!

  78. Posted by: Laura - 12/21/2013

    Hi, I totally agree with you, I am mexican and I am badly missing mexican food. I cook it very good, but I can’t find ingredients in Tel Aviv, maybe it’s beause i just arrived from México and I dont know where to find them.
    I think “Mexicans” restaurants here are just a bad copy of our foor. :(
    If you fin and interesting restaurant please let me know!

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