At the charming Jerusalem Cafe & Bakery, $5 gets you a little more than three-quarters of a pound of savory Mediterranean home cooking at the huge and enticing buffet — as long as you get it in a to-go box.
That’s because for takeout, the buffet is priced by weight — $5.99 per pound. The dine-in price for the same buffet, which includes unlimited quantities, a drink and soft-serve ice cream, is $7.99.
But the super-friendly staff doesn’t mind if you eat your “to-go” meal at one of the cozy booths or tables. Just remember, a drink will cost extra.
On two separate trips I filled my box with super fresh Greek salad with electric green, crunchy romaine, moist, juicy cucumbers, small, ripe red tomato slices and feta cheese; large, tender cubes of gyro meat; creamy, dill-laced tzaziki; wedges of grilled pita plus a dollop of baba ghanoush or hummus and came in just under the $5 mark.
Other notable offerings on the spotlessly clean buffet line include a creamy, golden chicken curry, a spicy beef moussaka, a zesty marinated red cabbage salad, crispy disks of falafel and a roasted Mediterranean vegetable medley.
Owner Adel Azzeh, a native of Jerusalem, cooks all the dishes by hand seven days a week. The bakery part of the operation has its own following: Azzeh sells 75 to 80 bags of his house-made pita bread per day, and that’s not counting large quantities he supplies to area restaurants.
The coconut-honey and walnut pastries are also to swoon for, and the 85 cents for an imported mango drink from Egypt made with real fruit and real sugar is the best beverage buy in town in my book.