Written by on April 12, 2011 in I Eat Haifa, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Ahuza

How I heard of this place: In the mid 19902, I was visiting my sister in Haifa and she told me about a new cafe that was all the rage. In the Merkaz, it was a special coffee shop designed to bring the cafe experience to Haifa. Mojgan and I enjoyed the Israeli version of cappuccino’s and hot chocolate, mochas and iced coffees (granita-style) over the course of the month I was in Haifa. Since then, new Greg cafe’s have popped up all over Haifa, bringing the number to about 15. Two years ago, when I visited my other sister and her family in Haifa, we went to one of their mall locations so that my nephew could play, while we enjoyed lunch. The year before, she took me to Greg Gallery – which, apparently, is not part of this Greg scene (and has since closed) – in the Ahuza, where we enjoyed beautiful pesto bagels with cheese, glorious, fresh salads and a rosemary (hot hazelnut-chocolate).

Type of cuisine: Greg Coffee was founded in 1994 as a bar – coffee designed to raise awareness of the cafe in HaifaOver the years, additional branches were opened, expanded product range, been answered to give you professional and personal service of the waiters and waitressesGreg and quality coffee products will find excellent and unique blend of coffee for us, good food and fresh (pastries, breads and more …).” Translating to, a cafe, serving espresso beverages, fresh fruit shakes, freshly squeezed juices, teas and hot chocolate, as well as pastries, brownies, cakes and cookies, in addition to large, fresh salads, mini pizzas, pasta, sandwiches and Israeli breakfasts to boot – among other things. At Greg, you will not go hungry or long to quench your thirst.

Ambiance: “Greg Coffee purpose is to provide customers a unique shopping experience, that leaves your mouth wanting more. Cafe Greg There is a pleasant atmosphere, feel at home and work that give customers a warm attitude. Today we can enjoy reading a book next to the daily coffee that combine various Vsnypnu network node within the books. Also we have branches across the country are acceptableThere are branches in most corners of smoking, you can enjoy wireless Internet, you can also take weight and purchase coffee and our coffee products professional home. 

Network Greg’s cafes slice across the country.” The Ahuza location is open 24-hours and, from the main road, patrons are welcomed into a space with floor-to-ceiling windows, patio-like chair and cozy couch seating in the entryway. Walking through the establishment, cafe go-ers make their way down three steps to the the second tier of the cafe, where heavy iron and tiled tables can be moved together to accommodate large parties (of eight), as well as keeping them seperate for more intimate patrons. Continuing to the right of that space and down another set of stairs, is another enclosed area, with windows on all sides, that is designated as the smoking area. Just inside the smoking area, and down the stairs from the mezzanine seating, is the barista quarters, cashier counter and pastry display cases. A large orange juicer sits behind the counter, next to the sweetened coffee-flavored granita mixer, and a handful of Israeli servers, smiling and laughing with each other.

What I ordered: Eight of us met at Greg for casual, late-evening drinks and conversation between friends, old and new. My sister and I had just left a dinner party and opted to order a small cup (16 ounces) of fresh carrot juice (14NIS) and a small fresh squeezed orange juice (14NIS), respectively. At the far end of the table, a 16-ounce lemon-mint (14NIS) drink was ordered to accompany a pizza meal. Those seated closest to us enjoyed a medium cafe au lait/cappuccino (15NIS), a small White Chocolate (15NIS), served thick, with a spoon (unless you specifically request diluted), as in most cafes throughout Haifa, a small cafe au lait/cappuccino (12NIS) with Brownies (19NIS), a rich chocolate pastry with walnuts, served alongside a mound of whipped cream, and a small cafe au lait (9NIS), which was served with a mountain of whipped cream atop. The last beverage was ordered on the side of a Country Vegetable Salad (34NIS), cucumbers, tomato, red onion, chopped mint & parsley, seasoned with olive oil and lemon (dressing) and served with homemade bread and spreads. Continuing around the long table, we had one order of the large Cold Coffee (18NIS), based on espresso with cold milk and whipped cream, a Greg Schnitzel (56NIS) – chicken breast coated in bread crums served with tartar sauce, green salad and potato puree (choice of sides include: potato puree, green beans, rice or home fries) – and a bottle of Coca-Cola (12NIS). In front of this patron, two in our party ordered pizza (39NIS), 6-inch pizzas served with the diners choice of toppings from feta cheese, goat cheese, roasted pepper, tuna, roasted eggplant, mushrooms and green olives.

What I loved: I only had the opportunity to sample my orange juice, which was so fresh it had a tinge of rind flavor and the chicken schnitzel with mashed potatoes, which were the perfect greasy meal on this late-night cafe venture.

Why I loved it: The setting is relaxed and, as with other Israeli establishments, no one is questioned or kicked out for ordering something small or sitting for hours to talk and laugh. The food is consistent and expansive, portions equaling what we tend to think might be considered American portions, which allows for sharing and much time to be spent catching up with old friends.

Cost: Average (39NIS-79NIS for entrees, 34NIS-59NIS for salads, 5NIS-37NIS for desserts, 8NIS-24NIS for beverages)

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