Pundak Haim (Haim's Inn),
generally know by its patrons as Haim's, is located in the Shaaraim neighborhood
of Rehovot, just off of Herzl Street, Rehovot's main drag.
Haim's was established in 1966
by Haim Gafla. He called the restaurant Gafla, and his wife did all the cooking.
After his death, his son, Menashke and daughter-in-law, Tami, took over,
and changed the name to Pundak Haim Gafla in his memory. Menashke and Tami
are amiable people who do their best to make you feel welcome and comfortable.
The menu (in both English
and Hebrew) including a large selection
of appetizers including home made salads and hot hors-d'ouvres.
There is a wide variety of stuffed vegetables and several soups. Main dishes include a wide variety
of meats including lamb chops. Several side dishes, such as beans in sauce, are offered. Desserts
include chocolate mousse, Bavarian cream and baklava. (I wonder how the first
two came to be part of Mid-Eastern cuisine.)
Annice G. visited this restaurant and reported....Hot toasted pitot, a dish with
pickles and olives and a small dish of schug (hot sauce) were placed on the
table. My partner had a glass of red wine, which he said was quite good.
I stuck to water. (After all, I was driving!) I started my meal with the
kubbeh, which is one of my favorite Mid-Eastern appetizers. I was presented
with four nicely-browned kubbeh balls along with half a lemon. The balls were crisp
and non-greasy, with a very tasty filling. My partner had the bone marrow
soup, which was a large bowl of rich meat broth with small pieces of marrow
and a large piece of bone in it. For my main course, I had the chicken liver
skewers, which consisted of eight livers, well-done on the outside but pink
and juicy within. It came with a large serving of rice (my choice) and Israeli
salad (chopped tomatoes and cucumbers) on the side.
My partner (whose appetite far exceeds mine) ordered the mixed grill. This consisted of skewers of kebob, chicken, turkey and chicken livers. These are served with fries and salad. The kebobs were tasty, the chicken moist and tender and the livers excellent.
I didn't manage to finish my livers and rice, and asked the waitress to pack the livers up so I could
take them home (with a hard-boiled egg and some sauted onion we'd have ourselves
a nice little Shabbat appetizer). She asked if I wanted them for my dog,
and I pointed to my partner and said that they were for him. She explained
that for an animal they would just put the food in a bag, but for people
they would wrap it in foil (which she did). Our waitress was very sweet and
obliging, and the service was excellent. We finished off our meal with mint
None of our food was particularly
spicy, and that was just fine with us. (We didn't try the schug!). I guess
they heard our strong American accents and correctly guessed at our preferences.
But you can request that the food be prepared more "harif," if that is your