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“Perfect for the Budding Anorexic!”

Jerusalem's Restaurant
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Ranked #678 of 1,808 Restaurants in Minneapolis
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Maplewood, MN
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Perfect for the Budding Anorexic!”
Reviewed February 26, 2012

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
Falafel King

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank The_Bohemian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Huntington, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“World-class find -- go there before they realize how good they are and raise their prices!”
Reviewed June 28, 2010

Unexpectedly authentic middle eastern food; fantastic bargain as they are serving great food in huge portions; caring, friendly service; tasteful informal decor with Arabic items, pleasant background music that still allows conversation. They also offer take-out (and have containers to take left-overs.
Their Shawirma is especially good -- way better than gyros that tend to be excessively salty and greasy. Really good tabouli, with lots of ripe tomatoes. If you have enough capacity, try a cup of the lentil and spinach soup -- terrific middle eastern seasoning.
Belly dancing is on the weekends; call for information as to when.
As a bonus, they offer free parking.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TravelingGourmet99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Authentic Middle Eastern food & atmosphere - delicious”
Reviewed October 30, 2009

This was a pleasant surprise! I've spent time in the Middle East and this place delivers the exact same mouth-watering, wonderful cuisine you find in the actual city of Jerusalem. The staff was very cordial and welcoming. I introduced myself to the owner and he's a great guy, too. Had some delicious pumpkin soup, followed by an excellent combo platter of shawirma, falafel, and hummus that came with crispy potatoes and veggies (cuke, tomato, lettuce), plus pita. They also gave us a complimentary plate of crispy baked pita slices spiced with zaatar. Yum! Oh yeah, the decor is very cool too. An all around great experience. Can't wait to go back. Will have to go sometime when the belly dancer is performing!

1 Thank MidWestNewYorker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“poor food and service”
Reviewed June 28, 2008

Their food is bad, the grilled meat is very dry, most likely re-heated lunch leftovers. The service is very slow, a single waitress was handling the whole place.

Thank sjanand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“I enjoy the dark atmosphere. The food is good & you get your money's worth.”
Reviewed April 27, 2008

I enjoy the dark atmosphere. The food is good & you get your money's worth.

1 Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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