I had eaten at Jerusalem's very regularly from the mid-80s for 25 years. But it had been a few years since my last visit. Nevertheless, it was with nostalgia and fond memories of the friendly service, ambiance, and, above all, the quality of the food that I recommended to another couple we gather here for dinner after American Idiot.
Regrettably, the experience left me feeling betrayed and like an American Idiot.
Encouragingly, Jerusalem's looked the same, inside and out, even the hot waitress was the same! Oddly, on a Sunday evening there were no cars in the lot and for 30 minutes ours was the only occupied table until a homeless guy shuffled in to to hold down a table in the corner.
The place was uncomfortably cold. We mentioned this to our server a couple times and while promising each time to turn up the heat, it never happened.
Then we discovered they no longer serve beer, wine, or even their signature brewed herbal hot and ices teas. WTF?
We started with a falafel appetizer and were disappointed that for over $6 we got 4 overcooked falafels less than half the size of golf balls, a few pieces of head lettuce, and a wedge of tomato doused in cucumber sauce.
We decided to press our luck by ordering the over $6 hummus and taboli appetizer. Another mistake. The hummus was runny and so lacking for stature it flattened out all over the plate. The tabouli was good but there was about a half a cup -- a spoonful for each of us.
The lemon chicken rice soup was overly predominated by lemon and contained no hint of chicken.
The gyros omelet wasn't. It was scrambled eggs with a few smallish pieces of schwirma.
The chicken wrap was unremarkable.
The biggest disappointment was my combination plate. For $15 I got 8 pieces of toasty dry shiwarma the size of a nickel (I counted and compared), one-bite pieces of grilled chicken and gristly lamb (apparently those were the kebabs), one piece of something shaped like a half-cylinder about the size of the cottony part of a tampon. The Jerusalem salad turned out to be a few pieces of head lettuce and a tomato wedge doused with cucumber sauce. Substituting tabouli would have resulted in a $3 upcharge. Oh, and plain rice.
Ordinarily we'd have finished the meal with Turkish coffee and desserts but the rest of the meal had been so incredibly sub-standard we decided to head elsewhere.
It struck us that Jerusalem's, rather that dying with dignity, is desperately attempting to cling to life by diminishing the quality of the food, substantially reducing portion sizes, and heating the place with candles and the shiwarma roaster...
Much better places nearby with similar cuisine:
It's Greek to Me
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