We have always heard from people that THE place in J’lem to eat is Olive. We also heard that reservations are a must, so five of us made a reservation and walked on down to the German colony and restaurant row along Emek Refaim.
The place was quite lovely. Eating outside is always a kick, and the tiered garden at Olive is no exception. Except for the facts that Israel allows smoking in restaurants and the tables are much too close together (making private conversation impossible), the place is really nice.
Prices are reasonable and the food is quite good. Portions are uneven: some are huge, some are miserly.
Between us we had pargiyot (baby chicken) in BBQ sauce, sesame chicken “fingers,” mixed grill, and mango chicken.
The pargiyot were moist and delicious. The BBQ sauce was both tangy and spicy. The meat was perfectly grilled.
The sesame fingers are listed as an appetizer, but the size of the plate was enough to feed the whole table! The chicken fingers were obviously freshly made. They were really quite tasty and not at all dry.
The mango chicken was tasty, but the portion was quite small: two strips of white meat.
The mixed grill was a strange dish. The meat was heaped on a platter, smothered with sauteed onions. The mixture was chicken livers, chicken, and steak. The portion was extremely large. The steak was served as a slab of meat underneath everything else. Except for the steak (our friend said the steak was not particularly good), the rest was very tasty.
The prices there range from about 85 NIS to a low of about 40NIS. All in all, the prices are good and the food is too. Waiter service is a tad loose, and water seems to be a most precious commodity.
Would we go back? Sure, but for now, there are too many other places to check out. Maybe on another trip…..