As with American ‘Soul Food’, which was rooted in the impoverished South yet emerged as a popular style of cooking in urban centers such as New York, all global cities have their own versions of comfort food. In Tel Aviv, no one does it better than Frida Hecht. Years before attaining notoriety as a contestant in Big Brother Israel, Frida’s story as a former drug user who employs recovering addicts in her restaurant made her a benevolent local celebrity. Surely, the fact that the eponymous named venue serves some of the best home-style cooking in Tel Aviv was a catalyst in her success as well.
Located by the intersection of Allenby and Ben Yehuda streets, the restaurant had maintained its place as an insider’s hidden gem; that is, until Frida made her foray into the small screen. Yet fame has not gotten to her head, nor has it affected the menu choices, which include highlights of the North African kitchen. The Ktzitzot, a blend of spiced ground meats and onions, is the most sought-after dish, offering a bit of nostalgia and comfort for those craving home-cooking.