"To take a break and not think" - This is all we wanted, thus Keren and I took a day off from the city and drove into nature. Keren lives in Jerusalem and I in Tel Aviv, so it was very nice to find an area in the middle, at the bottom of the Judean Hills, to enjoy the view and the environment. We started our morning with a tour of wineries in the area and walked through the olive and wheat fields. After a couple of easy hours, when our hunger began to make itself felt, we drove to Kibbutz Zora, located just next to Beit Shemesh, for the brunch buffet at Cafe Margo.
It is hard not to fall in love with Margo, which combines the natural surrounding thicket with a magical pastoral restaurant. Margo, whose full name is Ruth Margaret Nekesh, was owner Orli Luk's Grandmother. She was a noble, intense, educated and opinionated woman before her time. Before the women's initiative movements began, in the 70s, she ran a restaurant on her own. One of the stunning women of her era.
Orli and her childhood friend Adriana Adar joined forces and dreamed up a coffee shop that would bring Grandma's spirit of women's initiative. Cafe Margo is open every day of the week for business events and private events. On Fridays Margo is open to the general public for a spectacular brunch, one of the best I have tasted in fact.
The design is warm and homey, reminding one of a grandma's house. We began on the healthy side with a bowl of praiseworthy granola with yogurt, a rich salad with a variety of season fruits, honey and dates. No doubt this was a good start towards my second plate and the world of salads. The bar offered a large variety of salads including lettuce salad, cherry tomatoes with mushrooms, root vegetable and walnut salad, cauliflower salad with roasted almonds in soy dressing, artichoke and pepper salad, a variety of roasted vegetables, avocado salad, tuna salad and more. I added a couple slices of bread, also a variety: rye with walnuts, sourdough and French bread. Next to the breads I also found spiced butter, sun-dried tomatoes, basil pesto, hard and soft cheeses.
Once my hunger had relaxed a bit, I went to examine the "Grandmothers' Wall" at Cafe Margo that had captured my attention when we arrived. We imagines a wall of studio portraits of grandmothers of yesteryear. It began with a single picture of Grandma Margaret, the restaurant's namesake, and over time regular customers brought old photographs of their own grandmothers to add to the wall. Over time it grew into the "Grandmothers' Wall." I returned to the table a bit emotional, suddenly missing my own Grandmother.
One must not miss the quiches. From among the selection of crusty pastries baked in the giant stone oven with quality cheeses and antipastos, sweet potato, roasted peppers and more… I chose Grandma Margo's famous brick made of filo dough stuffed with sunny-side up eggs, done just so the white is secure around a bursting yellow. This is a recommended choice!
The final indulgence was the dessert buffet, including a selection of homemade pastries, maple nut cake, carrot-ginger cake, a variety of jams, halva, chocolate and more. Brunch at Margo includes, of course, bottomless drinks for 69NIS per person. Children under 12 are only 49NIS. Make reservations in advance 050-8504085
Recently Margo also opened an event room for 50 guests to celebrate in a pastoral and intimate atmosphere and kosher cuisine. After spending three hours at Margo I could definitely say that this place offers a fantastic brunch that I highly recommend.