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the eating project: month four.

December 2, 2011

Oh Israel, Israel. What a magical land you are.

It’s hard to believe that two years ago I was in Israel. Fun fact #1: it was on November 18, 2009 that I first wrote in my journal about having a crush on Colby. Fun fact #2: it was in November of 2010 that Colby first told me he loved me. Fun fact #3: In November 2011, Colby and I had been married for 3 months. ;)

Anyways, I know it’s December 2, but Colby and I actually really did attend a Jewish restaurant on November 30. We had to sneak it in. And I’m just now blogging about it.

Here’s the thing, though. Jewish food ≠ Israeli food. I was a little conflicted on where we should go for this month. On one hand, there is a grand proliferation of Mediterranean restaurants in our area serving some of my favorite edible delights, but on the other hand, we already went to a Greek restaurant last month and we’ll go Mediterranean next month. I decided to mix it up and go for a Jewish deli. I forgot to tell Colby where we were going, so when we got there, he was baffled and said he had prepared himself for falafel. It really got me to wondering about why American Jewish food is pastrami sandwiches and pickles, when I didn’t have one pastrami sandwich my whole stay in Israel. Interesting.

The restaurant that I chose was Benjie’s Deli in Santa Ana. They had a fun light-up sign and a very old school diner feel. The first thing we saw when we walked in was this huge cardboard cut out of a man and a woman. I’m assuming the man was probably Benjie, but I could be wrong. At any rate, I loved that nice touch and was charmed from the start.


Upon being seated, we noticed that we were the youngest ones there by a landslide. This is the kind of place where pretty much only regulars come, and if you’re not a regular, you’re out-of-place (which is exactly how I felt, but not in a bad way). They had a counter where people could come and sit. A man walked in, sat right down, and the waitress knew what his order would be. I love that kind of stuff.

On to the food. Being that it was a deli with lots of baked goods and breads and sandwiches, my choices were a bit limited. I got the dinner special that included a bowl of matzo ball soup, cod, fries, veggies, and a cup of tapioca pudding. It was a little weird, won’t lie. The matzo ball soup wasn’t even good at all, to be honest. I guess if I ever go to a deli again I will bring my own g-free bread and ask them to bring me a plate of pastrami because oh my gosh I WANTED PASTRAMI. That’s what Colby had. I had a bite and it was delicious.



Actually we made friends with the people in the booth over from ours because the guy had a pastrami sandwich, too. Colby, being ever friendly with strangers, asked the man how his sandwich was. He raved about how great it was, and then his wife said that Colby should ask for a sample before he ordered the sandwich. When the waitress came back and we were ordering, the woman chimed in and goes, “Excuse me, he wants a sample of the pastrami before he orders it!” When we asked if they were regulars, the man said “yes” while his wife simultaneously said “no.” I love that kind of stuff, too. He goes, “Well, I don’t know about her, but I’m a regular.”


That pretty much sums it up! There’s about a .2 percent chance that I would ever go back there again, which doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. It was a fun experience, but i think next time I’ll go with Mediterranean food.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2011 9:33 am

    “I don’t know about her, but I’m a regular.” Dying.

  2. Mama permalink
    December 2, 2011 10:00 am

    I love it! I can just see you pulling out your “Against the Grain” G-free baguettes at your next restaurant.

  3. December 2, 2011 10:01 am

    …what shanna said.

  4. December 2, 2011 1:58 pm

    haha i love this that cardboard cutout ever-so-classy.

  5. Vickie permalink
    December 2, 2011 5:36 pm

    How cute is your Adele side ponytail?! WOW! Also, are you gluten-free??

    • December 2, 2011 6:38 pm

      haha thanks! that was just my sloppy hairstyle for the night. ;) and yeah, i am. are you?

  6. Rothman permalink
    December 2, 2011 7:08 pm

    I’ll make ya some legit matzo ball soup… and some legit Jew food… because what you ate… well, its not… sorry… :)

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