Jerusalem’s Restaurant — April 29, 2010

1 05 2010

Jerusalem’s Restaurant
1518 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis
 

Jerusalem’s onion-shaped spire – an iconic symbol of Eat Street – calls out this neighborhood treasure that sits mere steps from the heart of downtown and just shy of I-94. From the street, one might be reluctant to venture inside (we sure were!). But while the restaurant’s façade could use a face lift, we didn’t regret our decision once we made it through the door. Satin sheets billowed from the ceiling, giving the interior a tented feeling, and ornate lamps and fixtures completed the Middle Eastern vibe. 

Rolled grape leaves on a plate of hummos next to the Cold Soup

The well-paced service was friendly and unobtrusive. As we pored over the considerable list of options, the waitress presented us a complementary starter – fried pita chips sprinkled with herbs and spices. Within 10 minutes, our Middle Eastern feast was before us; we wasted no time digging in! (The food items below are spelled as they were on Jerusalem’s menu.) 

I opted for two items – the Vegetarian Grape Leaves Appetizer and a bowl of the Cold Soup. The appetizer platter consisted of seasoned rice and onions hand-rolled in grape leaves. The leaves were thick and held the contents together nicely, while contributing a subtle flavor to the bite-sized rolls. Though they looked small and only came three to an order, the rolls were quite filling alongside a scoop of homemade hummos and a small salad. 

The Cold Soup (offered seasonally) combined freshly diced cucumbers in a homemade yogurt and garlic sauce with so much punch and flavor it was ideal for dipping extra pieces of pita bread.  It was also a substantial portion – I could have gotten by on a cup instead of the large bowl. 

Jim had the special: the Jerusalem Dinner, which was a combination plate of shawirma, kibby and falafil served alongside yellow rice and a side salad with tahini dressing. The shawirma  was similar to gyro meat – just as tasty and seasoned but less oily – and the falafil looked like hushpuppies, with the ground chickpeas rolled into a ball, deep fried and covered with sesame seeds. Kibby was the most unique portion, somewhat resembling a triangular pastry. The bread-like top and bottom consisted of bulgar, potato, cauliflower, carrots and pine nuts, which hosted a layer of ground beef in the center. 

The Jerusalem Dinner

The pastries near the front were hard to pass up, but we’d eaten more than our fill.  Next time, we said as we passed through the hanging beads and out the front door. Jerusalem was a unique food experience that opened our eyes to different seasonings, meat preparations and food combinations. And while different can sometimes mean unpleasant, our experience was anything but. Our meal was delicious, prices were reasonable and the atmosphere was an exciting escape from the usual feel on Nicollet. Jerusalem’s Restaurant is an Eat Street staple for a reason, and we just signed on as its newest fans. 

 
RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Ambiance/Environment: ♠♠♠
Menu Selection: ♠♠♠
Service: ♠♠♠

Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠♠
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠♠ 1/2

 

  

Total bill, including tip: $29 

Jerusalem's on Urbanspoon 

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