Read This Now: Israeli Cuisine In The Spotlight

Photo courtesy Collin Keefe,

Photo courtesy Collin Keefe,

So the good folks over at Food Republic had an interesting idea: 5 editors, 5 world cuisines, 5 days, with each day’s focus being stories about (or inspired by) a single cuisine about which the editors wanted to learn more.

Yesterday, it was Japanese food. Today, it’s Israeli, with a bunch of stories all being done by Matt Rodbard. And one of those stories happens to be all (well, half) about Michael Solomonov, Zahav, and Solo’s two upcoming restaurants–which, of course, is why I noticed it in the first place.

Not just that Solomonov got a mention. It’s not like I’m stalking the guy or anything. But being a non-Philly writer writing about things Philadelphian, Rodbard got taken to task for a (slightly) clumsy line he included which some readers took as a slight against Philadelphia. It wasn’t, actually, but it did ruffle enough feathers that I–as the man who once went all kinds of apeshit over Matt Duckor characterizing Philadelphians as a bunch of jug-blowing knuckleheads and fatties who didn’t know enough to wear our good overalls out to a fancy dinner at the Olive Garden–was looped into the Twitter conversation.

Here’s what Rodbard actually said:

“Before Zahav’s opening, Israeli cuisine was hardly on the radar in the United States, and most certainly not in the slightly provincial culinary scene in Philadelphia.”

It was the “slightly provincial” line that angried up the people, despite the fact that he was talking about Philly pre-Zahav and, for the whole rest of the piece (and ALL of the piece that he linked to), pretty much slathered on the love for our fair city.

But anyway, that’s all beside the point. What matters is that Rodbard wrote a good, solidly reported essay on Zahav, Solomonov, Balaboosta in the West Village, and Israeli food in general. And if you care about such things (which you should), you should really check it out.

Israeli Food In 2014: Is The Hummusiya The New Banh Mi Shop? [Food Republic]