Friday, August 26, 2016

"Café Café" in Ra'anana Mall

Is it just in Israel where every mall seems to have the same stores, and after a while you wonder where you are? That's how I felt the other day, when I went with my cousins to the Ra'anana Mall, or was it a mall in Ra'anana. Does the city have more than one? Way back when, over twenty years ago, when I was attempting a career selling advertising, I found trying to sell at a mall was awful, since almost all the stores were branches of chains, and they all gave the same response:
"Speak to our main office. We don't do the advertising."
When we went in and looked for a place to eat, we almost went to the Gregg's, but since we always go to the Gregg's in the Sharonim Mall at Tzomet Yarkon (Junction,) I wanted something else. Why travel and go to the same chain? So we walked a little further and found a Café Café, another of those chains which has branches all over Israel. I've had rather mixed experiences at them. Usually the food is good, and the service is non-existent. In Center 1, Jerusalem, the staff is notorious for incompetence. When serving groups, some people finish eating before others are served, and I'm not talking about the first one just having a cup of coffee.

But we figured we'd give it a try any how. It was much emptier than the Gregg's and we got a fantastic large round table, with upholstered chairs for six, though we were just three.

There were plenty of English language menus which helped some of us choose easily. We checked the selection before taking a table. Usually, the wait staff really nudges while we're still choosing, but in Café Café they gave us time to choose, or so we thought, until we got impatient waiting and had to try to signal one.

Szechuan Salmon Salad, NS59, less for members of their "club," moadon.

I ordered the Szechuan Salmon Salad, which was very tasty. My lunch companions had the Haloumi (cheese) Salad and the Szechuan Salmon Pasta, if I remember correctly. We all finished every drop and found the food tasty. We just drank (tap) water with our meals. Even though we were three, they brought us the water in glasses, not a pitcher. Even when we asked for more water, remember that it's summer and drinking water is necessary, the waitress just brought three more glasses.

As long as you're not in a real rush, this is a nice pleasant place to eat. It seemed that every time we, or diners at other tables, needed a waiter, we'd have to try hard to find one. They weren't on the ball, checking what people are up to and need. Yes, the Café Café is dairy and strictly kosher, Mehadrin. I'm not sorry we went there.

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