From 1960s bakery to restaurant and café, Parash is a family establishment offering classic sweets and yummy treats. Yonatan Sternberg ventures to Kiryat Yovel to taste a bit.

Established some 50 years ago, in 1961, Parash is situated in the Kiryat Yovel shopping plaza. A family owned pastry shop and café, the place was founded by Mordechai Parash and over the years has built a reputation for itself as one of the leading pastry shops in the country. One day, a lovely young lady by the name of Ora walked into the café; Mordechai fell in love and they began baking together. Today, 50 years later Parash is managed by the 2nd and 3rd generation of the family.

Parash has recently been renovated and pictures from the café's early days are displayed on the wall. While Mati continues in his parents' footsteps, baking the exact same types of cakes and cookies as they did 50 years ago, he also expanded the menus and today Parash is not only a pastry shops but also a mehadrin kosher dairy restaurant and café as well as a catering service provider.

The first thing that one notices when walking into Parash is the massive, wood paneled display counters boasting an abundance of petit fours, cookies, cakes, chocolate pralines, burekas and other baked goods. Parash also offers a wide range of gluten free and sugar free options.

We sat by the window overlooking the wooden deck and shopping plaza trying to decide what to taste first. Since it was time for lunch we ordered a few dishes from the food section on the menu. Here you can find sandwiches, birthday cakes, pizza, salads, fresh – home made pasta, quiches, breakfast and lunch specials, as well as more traditional dishes including the Burik, a traditional Tunisian street food consisting of eggs seasoned and fried in phyllo dough and the fish of the day in a piquant tomato-pepper based sauce.

We tasted the grilled eggplant in tehini and the herb salad. The salad was nice and refreshing – mint, parsley, pomegranate seeds, sundried tomatoes and other finely chopped fresh herbs were gently seasoned with lemon juice and live oil. The eggplant dish was tasty as well, it is rather easy to prepare this dish, all you have to do is poke the eggplant with a fork, cook it whole on an open flame, peel off the chard spots, add a few table spoons of home made tehini and you are all set. The specials section in the menu sounded interesting - eggplant, mushroom and Swiss chard lasagna and the prasa salad. The lasagna was very generous with a rich creamy white sauce, but my favorite was the prasa salad. Prasa is Ladino for leek and the name is still used in the Jerusalem marketplace or neighborhood vegetable stores. In this case, the leek was served in the shape of delicious seasoned fried patties placed atop a variety of freshly cut vegetables. Trying to decide which dessert to order at a place like Parash can be difficult, we had an assortment of cookies and a glazed cream filled pastry that was a real treat. I also highly recommend Parash's cheese cakes, cream puffs and chocolates.

Next time you are in the area, if you are looking for take away baked goods, a full meal, catering service or to just simply sit back, have a cup coffee and relax, look up Parash Restaurant Café.