Poor service, food tasted decent - til I got sick....
We went in last night to an almost empty restaurant. The server was friendly and seated us right away. There was ethnic music playing pretty loudly and since it was our first time eating here we asked about the menu but had a difficult time hearing between the waiters heavy accent & the music.
The hummus tasted fair but lacked the traditional olives to accompany it. It also came with several other plates of pickled cabbage, beets, a potato salad of sorts and what looked to be a salsa that I didn't taste. The "pocket" pita bread was warm but thin and not as tasty as I've had before. Our soda's were filled once during the 1 1/2 duration of our stay - and even for that we had to flag down the waiter for refills and had to do the same again in order to receive our check! Given the serious lack of patrons, I honestly can't give them much slack in that department.
Our food was mistakenly delivered to the wrong table before it reached us (which is pretty bad given that there were only 4 tables filled, including ours). My boyfriend loved his dish, the "Chicken & Pork Special", the spices were tasty and he gobbled it down after sharing a taste. The Lamb Kabob I got was nothing special - tasted like something I could have easily BBQ'd at home, no spices, etc. The moment I was close to feeling "full", I began to have digestion troubles and had to race to the bathroom... it didn't stop there, I was sick and actually vomited multiple times once I got home.
I would not recommend this establishment to anyone unless they have stomach's of steel. Try Chutney's, or Namaste (both in the Vancouver area) - great food, fantastic service. There's also a new establishment that I've heard good things about, just blocks away on the same street, north (on the opposite side of Mill Plain).
Y U C K. This place has the absolute worst food I have ever OVERpaid for! The pita bread was cold and tough.... the chicken was all fatty and gristley.... The rice is bland, and to top it off, it was all floating in a soggy mound of grease. The manager was incredibly rude, even when I lied and total him the food was "ok". I will never go back and would never suggest it to anyone.
Ok food, horrible service. The food is good but after you come there a few times you realize that all dishes come with same side, so most of their dishes taste the same. Definitely pricey for the portion they offer. There is only one server per whole restaurant who doesn't speak good English. The service is horrible. The manager acts very unprofessional by asking too many personal questions and even being somewhat disrespectful. As much as I love Mediterranean food I'm probably not coming there again.
Best Mediterranean Food on the North Shore.
First of all, let me address the veracity of the negative review.
From my experience, no negative comments can be made about the cleanliness of the establishment or the quality of food. Upon walking through the doors, I was transported from the bland exterior to the strip mall where the cafe is located to a very nicely painted and decorated dining establishment.
Now regarding the large, sweaty, hairy-chested man, this is ALL true. However, if you are at all familiar with the machismo and image that is preferred by some Mediterranean men, I can tell you that he only adds to the authenticity of the experience. The large hairy man is also quite surly, but in a good way, bringing some humor and levity to the dining experience. When he brought our meals to the table, he asked through a thick accent "'now which one of you had the fish?". Neither of us had, and I was not looking forward to the cross-cultural miscommunication challenge that is sometimes encountered at ethnic restaurants. Needless to say, he was just messing around with us.
On the food, the babaganoush was excellent. After plowing through the side order portion I was ready for more. We had the kufta kabob (incredible for a lamb lover) and the chicken and lamb special (amazing flavor).
The only negative about the food was the pita, tot the greatest pita bread I have ever had. Probably store- bought, which is not a crime, but it could have been toasted or heated to give it that desirable crunch.
I was so impressed with my first experience at the Jerusalem Cafe that I was motivated enough to post my first citysearch review.
I'm also glad so see another restraint in Vancouver bringing high quality, reasonably priced cuisine to the confines of the friendly local strip mall, in the tradition of Roots, 360 Pizza, Doner Haus, and many others.
Terriffic and Authentic Middle Eastern Food. Get there early for lunch..
When I was stationed in Turkey while serving in the Navy I fell in love with the food. In the fifteen years since I left, I have visited Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants all over America and in most cases found them to be inferior to my experiences abroad. The Jerusalem Cafes in Vancouver, replicate the Middle Eastern experience most closely in terms of both food and atmosphere. Best of all, the prices are reasonable and the service is friendly and quick.
The first review that bashed the place for cleanliness was in my exprience incorrect and probably written by some high maintenance East Coast type who was expecting the place to be a kosher deli because of the name.
Kabob Down. You are first greeted by a sweaty and hairy man. You know he is hairy because his shirt is usually open to reveal his chest. I question the authenticity of the Meditteranean starter as it contains pita, cabbage, potato salad and salsa. On our last and final visit we ordered the chicken kabob. When the hairy man brought the food a half hour later he accidentally dropped the kabob on the plastic tablecloth. He then accused my husband of pushing him causing the kabob to fall. This was a lie. He turned and went into the seedy kitchen. My husband got up and asked for a replacement kabob since the kabob was on the dirty table. The hairy (and sweaty) man picked the kabob off of the table and proceeded to eat it barehanded off of the table right in front of us. Perhaps it was his way of letting us know we were too picky by expecting a clean meal. Perhaps he is used to eating spilled food right off the table. On a side note, this is the cleaner of the 2 Vancouver locations. It's really a shame. We enjoy ethnic food and like local businesses to thrive. They need to clean up their act in the way of customer service and cleanliness.
YUMMY FOOD. The kafta kabob is one of my favorite things to order here. I love the humas and pita as well. The atmosphere is great and the staff is friendly. Great prices and good food plus it's not to far from where I live makes this one of my favorite resturants of all time. I've gotten a few friends hooked on this place. If they love it I can almost promise that you will too.
Entree's are awesome. We found Jerusalem Cafe 2 years ago when we moved into the area and we've been "hooked" ever since. Pretty much every entree we've tried has been excellent. My favorites are the Shish Taouk, which is a chicken dish and the lamb sandwich. The premeal dishes with pita bread that they bring out for free is wonderful. The rice is very good as well. Our 11 year old daughter loves this place. Very friendly service everytime and the owner has a great sense of humor!
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