We like eating out in Israel. The variety of kosher restaurants is nothing short of breathtaking. That does not mean, however, that all is well in J town or any other place in Israel. We do have some gripes. None of them are really major, but they are the little things that bug us.
Why is it so hard to get a glass filled with ice in this country? The service staff will bring a supposedly cold bottle of soda to the table along with a glass. Why is it so hard to put ice in the glass? And even after we ask, there never seems to be more than two small cubes; plus it is as if they first have to make the ice before they bring it to you. In the meantime, your barely cold soda is now not cold at all. So our question is: Did the lady with the recipe die?? It should not be that hard to get ice in Israel.
We have never been to a kosher restaurant in the States that did not put motzi bread next to the washing station. If it were an expensive gesture on the part of the restaurant, none would do it. So, the question is, why does not even one restaurant in the whole of Israel put bread near the washing station? How hard would it be to do that?
Tatooed, pierced wait staff are a turn off. Ever notice that in the better kosher restaurants in the States, the wait staff keep their arms covered, and you never get a wait person weighed down with an abundance of piercings? In Israel, not only is the wait staff too often covered with piercings and tatoos (which we personally find offensive in the Jewish state), but they all too often seem to have an attitude. We must say, however, that often even the owners do not care for what you think. In Israel, the attitude seems to be, “Ok, you didn’t like something? Don’t come back.” Most good business people will tell you that the customer is always worth keeping. That does not seem to be the case in Israel. Food complaints are far too often treated like annoyances.
Granted, restaurants do not make money on tap water. Yet that does not explain why even some of the good restaurants feel that there is nothing wrong with serving water directly from the tap, without ice (see above). How hard would it be to keep some cold water in the fridge?? How difficult would it be to put ice in the water? And by ice we mean more than the usual two cubes. Obviously, the restaurants want you to buy something to drink. The markup on drinks is nothing short of astronomical anywhere in the world. But by the same token, if the water in the place is good enough for them to cook with, it should be good enough for us to drink. And cold enough to enjoy.
As we said before,these are just minor annoyances, but they do add up. In Israeli restaurants, the motto seems to be caveat emptor. It really needs to change to: the customer is always right.