We met up in Sunny Isles Beach today for lunch with friends in from Toronto for the weekend. It was a good halfway point for us coming from Boca and their hotel in South Beach. I used to love Bissaleh but it had been a while since we were there, and we had a so/so experience at their sister restaurant, Bubbaleh's recently. We were afraid they might be stretched too thin.
Bissaleh is a dairy kosher restaurant, so you'll find fish on the menu but no other meats. Lunch was excellent. We all enjoyed the fresh lemonade with mint, which is outrageously good. The mint adds such a delicious freshness to the lemonade, cutting its sweetness.
For lunch, we enjoyed 2 Burekas and 2 Bissalehs among the 4 of us -- spinach and cheese Burekas and spinach and mushroom Bissalehs. If you haven't had one before, a bureka is a delicious puff pastry-ish savory food that is usually filled with potatoes or cheese combinations. The cheese in the bureka was very creamy and wonderful.
The Bissalehs (named after the restaurant -- 'bissaleh' is translated as 'a little bit' in yiddush) were fantastic, and even better than the Burekas, but there is certainly nothing little about them. They are also savory pastries. They're made from long flaky dough (Yemenite style, I think; not as puffy as the Burekah dough but flakier, with more buttery deliciousnes) that is filled with a cheese mixture, shaped into a long roll, then coiled and baked. They are buttery, crunchy and fantastic. I'm going to have to try to figure out how to make them! They serve these dishes with a hard-boiled egg alongside, some spicy tomato sauce (fantastic sauce!) and marinated cabbage and carrots to cut the buttery, cheesy flavors a bit.
The food was so good that we ate way past the full point and couldn't even eat dinner! And I was pleasantly pleased to find that the service was better than in years past. The restaurant is on Collins and 176th (in the same plaza as Timo) and I definitely recommend checking it out. They also have great Malwach, huge salads and Mediterranean salad platters.
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