When you have three daughters with less than four years between them, it can be hard to find individual time with each of them. It’s something I’ve worked hard at over the years, and I’m proud of the relationship I have forged with each of my girls. I had a strong bond with my own mother, and miss her every single day, but she wasn’t my go-to person for advice or to talk about my dating life or even to go shopping with. I wanted something different for my own relationship with my daughters and I am blessed to have it. I can’t really tell you how it happened. It’s not like my mother did something wrong in raising me, it was just the way it was between us. For me it was just dumb luck and I know I am blessed to have three daughters who seem to like me (most of the time, anyway) and value my opinion.
Recently I have found that there is time for one-on-one. Their schedules are so different, that at different times, someone will be home and available for some me time. I’ve raised my girls well, and like their mom they just love an outing to a local eatery.
My recent summer vacation (remember that?) found me at home with my eldest, who had a week of downtime between her last final exam at the university and her big trip to Central America. Downtime included breakfast at a cafe of her choice in our local mall, which is a seven minute walk from our house. She chose Cafe Landwer, a popular Israeli chain of cafes which was originally the first roaster coffee in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine. After opening a small coffee bar and roasting facility in Berlin in 1919, Moshe Landwer saw the writing on the wall and moved his business to Tel Aviv in 1933. So this cafe has been around for a long time, although it is only in recent years that that it has branched into the cafe business.
I’ve had the pleasure of being in several of these cafes throughout Israel and all of them have charming decor. For the Modi’in branch, retro design rules and the cafe is decorated in earthy colors including caramel-colored high backed booths with space for a small party. I especially love the old-fashioned “ice box” which serves as a refrigerator and the wooden file cabinet style drawers at the front of the restaurant. Seating can be in the restaurant itself, outside on the mirpeset or in front of the restaurant in the mall. A brick wall adorned with vintage photos further adds to the atmosphere.
My girl and I shared a classic Israeli Boker Zugi, or breakfast for two. Israeli cafes are known for their amazing breakfasts and Landwer did not disappoint. These breakfast usually come with eggs–any way you like them, a myriad of salads and cheeses, rolls and fresh juice and coffee. Landwer’s included Israeli salad, tuna salad, cream cheese, feta, eggplant spread, labnah with za’atar and chickpeas, halva, yogurt with granola and honey, fruit jam and butter. Our eggs were basic omelets, but the whole-grain breads combined with those salads and spreads were scrumptious and filling. For our cold drinks, we added a few shekel and ordered limonana–crushed ice fresh lemonade with mint. Topping it off with the ubiquitous Cafe Hafuch–another staple of Israeli life–made the meal perfect.
We left the cafe sated and happy. A few days later my girl got on a plane to begin yet another adventure in her quest to conquer the globe. I patiently await her return; when she does she will regale me with tales of her travels, hopefully over another enjoyable meal together.
Cafe Landwer is located in the Azrieli Mall, Top Floor, Lev Ha’ir 2, in Modi’in. Phone number: 08-972-2000. The breakfast for two was in the hundred shekel range (about 26 dollars at today’s exchange rate).