“Within five minutes of sitting down, I was already facing a Belgian waffle in all its glory, with a scoop of ice cream, a large waffle, and four mounds of whipped cream. This is my breakfast. It will do no good to preach about health at this time…” Nadav Avidan began his day the fun way at Briza Kalderon, right on the beach of Rishon LeZion
The beach has one major problem – it is seasonal. “I can’t go to the beach during the winter, it is cold even during the day, so I’ll just wait for the 3 months of summer” is the prevailing attitude when it comes to the beach. I, on the other hand, have long since known that there is another way – with a “winter” like we have here, in which the cold starts to set in mainly in the afternoon, why not enjoy a sun-washed morning at the beach, when all the kids are off at school, and one can truly lean back and space out while contemplating all of creation, or one’s favorite ice cream flavor (we’ll get to that soon)?
I was attentive to my friend Ori’s request to have a friendly chat with the purpose of helping him sort out his confused life. Since Ori lives in Rishon LeZion, I did what a best friend should and made my way to the beach nearest to his home. He had no doubts as to where we should sit – Briza Kalderon, a place which proudly carries the banner of “40 years at sea.” Try and take that in for a second – 40 years. Forty. Emmy Kalderon, a charming woman by all accounts, told us that the first location they had was opened in Bat Yam by her grandfather, later on it was run by her father, and now she is the one who oversees the place, which has been open in Rishon LeZion for 8 year now. In such a family business, how could one feel anything less than at home?
Of course for a conversation like the one I was about to have, some food was needed to cut through the drama. Within five minutes of sitting down, I was already facing a Belgian waffle in all its glory, with a scoop of ice cream (choosing from the assortment of flavors is far from easy), a large waffle, and four mounds of whipped cream. This is my breakfast. It will do no good to preach about health at this time. I enjoyed it so much that I almost ordered another helping of the dish. Ori, for his part, did not give in to the urge for sweetness, and after a lustful stare at my plate opted for the banner meal of the restaurant – shakshuka with spicy sausages. A word about shakshuka – everyone here knows what it is and has tried it (I assume). Everyone here knows the difference between the real deal and the kind made with no attention to detail. At Briza Kalderon, in one of the few times in my life, as one who is not a fan of how this dish is prepared in most caf?s and restaurants, I encountered the real deal. It was a surprise, an assault on the senses which lead to total submission. There and then, at that very poetic moment, the shakshuka ceased to be Ori’s and became my own. The Belgian waffle, wonderful as it is, was psychologically ignored (so I wouldn’t have to deal with eating two dishes with such contrasting flavors) and I devoted myself entirely to the shakshuka. Ori hurriedly ordered the house burger and proceeded to guard it with his life, denying me access to even the fries. He summed it up as “darn good.” Ori was never much of a conversationalist.
The whole experience seemed to do well by Ori, and his troubles seemed to fade away for a while, and the conversation drifted to a far more challenging topic – getting the Supreme Court to make it a requirement for every beachfront restaurant to undergo training at Briza Kalderon. The concept at this restaurant is simple: prepare and serve quality food, which shows the customer respect, and which gives him more than his money’s worth. And if it is indeed so simple then how is it that the Kalderon family, in business for 40 years, and a rare few other places are the only ones who seem to have adopted this concept? The food at Briza, main dishes and desserts, is simply excellent, meticulously prepared, and served in generous portions, as well as giving you a feeling of aesthetics and cleanliness in its presentation (how many times have you eaten sandy toast at a beachfront caf??...).
To quote the legendary Israeli rock band ‘Tislam,’ – “such a morning of fun, such fun I had this morni