Archive for the ‘food’ Category


July 28, 2010

what is really israeli?

shoko (chocolate milk) in a bag for breakfast is high on the list. 

it looks slightly less pretty when one drinks it

why it is so deeply en-grained in our culture?

maybe because it is breakfast, early memories, mom, and a certain body part….

but i am here to write about a more serious topic,boards.

just one more reference to the delightful shoko bag. one summer morning i left it on the kitchen counter. in the afternoon, the shoko was not that good. shoko-late and shock-o-late

and now, focus. attention. silence.

one of the most important parameters in having an effective board meeting is ‘when do you send the board package’.

in the past i have even read academic research to support this.

you send a board package late, board will not be effective.

it will be  shock-0-late

remember. boards do not like surprises.

again. boards do not like surprise.

and some board members like to come in prepared.

now for the tough part. how late is late?

i have seen management teams  send the package the morning of the board meeting. this is often as people land in the city of the board from an over-night flight.

what is the message? you really want the board members effective? more importantly, it probably means the CEO and the CFO and other members of the team worked on it all night. how effective are you going to be running a meeting with so little time to prepare?

back to basics. no extremes. is a day before the board good enough?

i say ‘no’. it does not give enough time to prepare.

best is the weekend before the board. this, however, is either not practical or does not have the latest information. still, i encourage you to try it. delight.

how about at least 48 hours in advance? i think it is achievable, allows people time to go over and ponder, and even call and discuss misunderstandings or disagreements.

when was the last time you did something for the first time?

July 15, 2010

today is my birthday. 36 years old. depending on how you count

not a simple day. seems like a forced celbration. a bit like new years eve.

i prefer to stop and think about what has been achieved, what requries change.

and time to execute on some general rules for hapiness:

when was the last time you did something for the first time?

today, i ate insects

they are similar to shrimps which are considered by many as a delicacy

they are carbon effecient (the amount of energy that it takes to produce them is very small compared to  meat.

in many parts of the world they are popular

and it is always fun to eat something new. though i must say i am less open to that that i would like to be

my favorite foods are still:

a good pizza and a good schnitzel

just like when i was 12 years old

no soup for you

March 17, 2010

Continental has just announced that on coach, it will stop offering free meals for flights inside the USA

i do not suppose that it will lower prices.

it is the last major US airline to move towords this policy. the end of an era

a few observations:

  • Business travellers are the key to success for US airlines
  • they account for 10% of travelers and 30% of revenues. or 5x revenues per traveler
  • expect business section in airplanes to improve. this is needed. for several years BusinessFirst on Continental and other major carriers, especially inside continents (europe, US) are pathetic. chairs that are wider and recline, but do not really offer a 5x better experience. from israel to europe, it is the same seats, and the curtain just moves forwards and backwards. the service and menu is the same is the same as it was many years ago, uninteresting and overall expereince is way below what it was a decade ago
  • i feel priveledged to have the opportunity to travel on business. althought inside continents i try to fly coach. hate middle seats. especially on red eyes
  • VC entrepreneur relationship will continue to involve busines vs coach travel policy
  • VCs fly business, entrepreneurs who do the real work, coach. why?
  • when i was CEO of sphera, and traveled to boards i flew coach. as a VC, i had the right to fly business, but thought that was inappropriate
  • had the occassion to do triple red eyes in a row several times. usually SF to boston, boston to london, london to israel. so VC travel is not that beautiful. not familiar with many people, entrepreneurs included, who go for that. think of the short nights, where do you shower, where do you use bathrooms

of great interest to me:

  • what will be the upgrade policy from more expensive coach tickets to business?  i think this is a nice way for entrepreneurs to keep fresh and effective and not be second class citizens compared to VCs
  • will the airlines start charging for use of bathrooms in coach?


March 1, 2010

The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

welcome to my new diet:

no sugar, no wheat and cereals, no milk and cheese. no wine!

especially difficult, no coffee

i still try to drink one, once a week

otherwise, i really miss it

has paris lost its charm?

November 15, 2009

I love paris
I am here for 2 days on business
In the last 3 days I had 2 red-eyes
Tel-aviv to boston and boston to paris (way too short)
My plane landed far from the terminal. waited for a bus. rain. coat is in the suitcase. cold.

paris doisneau baiser

It is now 23:30
I am sitting at ‘les deux magot
Just ate a chevre chaud on toast and am drinking mouton cadet


Has paris lost its charm?
CDG was once an architectural masterpiece, with fantastic understanding of flow, moving lots of people in style to far away, romantic places. It had vision, and lumiere, the lighting was jet-age
It is now a dark, decaying structure where people wait in long lines, bump into each other, exits are too tight, the place is dark and resembles orly, a terminal of a developing world

Bonjour paris

I order a double espresso machiatto and a croissant
Who says I can not speak french?

The coffee is out of a machine, the croissant is with abricot
I ask for the original croissant beurre

Both coffee and croissant are not as good as in israel
What happened in 30 years?
Well, israel has become a coffee empire and the croissant is mass produced, not by a artisan boulanger with love
It is stale.
Is paris stale? Has it lost its charm?

The tour montparnasse is old, still erect, still out of place
La couple is not full of artists. Modiglianni is dead

Has paris lost its charm?
The closhard are not french, they are homeless immigrants

It’s not you, it’s me
Have I lost my charm?
I am not as youthful as 30 years ago
Have I ever had charm?

Well paris sure did; and it does
The museums are full of art
The streets are alive, with the sound of music
Hausmann did a good job. A very good job.
The light falls on the city with grace
paris_night Some stores (gap, mcDo excluded) are breathtaking
I walk into a book store
Fall in love with the smell, the paper, the books
Liberte,Egalite, Fraternite
velolib, still world leaders in smart mass transit
From here, israel looks like an isolated place in another world
One without justice, or values

Paris is still desirable and expensive
The art in the streets and museums still take the wind out of me
The grey skies add ambiance
The shoes are still exquisite
The cafes still have plastic straw chairs on the sidewalks, chairs side by side, overlooking a couple walking hand in hand, stopping for a kiss

The restaurants still have simplicity, authenticity and  produce with appellation controlee

Has paris lost its charm?
The girls are sexy, and have not lost their french
The students of the latin quarter still have round glasses
The waiters still wear papillon and give you good advice if you speak french
There are people from 50 countries on the streets, mostly smiling and highly satisfied with their latest purchase, hidden in beautiful shopping bags, from boutique shops that have been around since 1817
The invalide shines when the sun comes out
The sacre coeur is still beautifully kitsch
The Swedish lady sitting next to me smiles

Has paris lost its charm?
It like a high-school sweetheart you see after 30 years
Not the same, has had better days, but still your heart misses a beat
Once loved, always in love

Meeting point

November 6, 2009

I love train stations
A micro-cosmos that is alive
It is a city within a city
Ever saw a meeting point sign?
This is where people are supposed to meet. Neat.

meeting point images

Doing eurail during two separate summers made me realize the beauty in rail travel
Into the center of a city, overnight couchette, sleeping with strangers
Mass transit, effecient, a network, clockwork green

Train stations vs airports
Fiat 500 vs cadillac fleetwood

Trains are green
They make cities walking friendly vs parking friendly (is there such a thing?)
The opposite of american sprawl

Grand central in nyc is a landmark
You still see tourists taking a photo in the central hall
A view into the past; But, making a revival.

(in previous post i claimed the city is where you go to see the future. well you can go to the city to see the past, too)


For the best coffee in nyc, go to Joe’s coffee
Opposite track 11 or so, close to the Lexington ave entrance

You will not believe starbucks drink is called coffee, too
Joe’s is located in a small hole
There is most always a long line
And they take cash only

(a bit like the soup nazi)

falafel, should be eaten standing

October 24, 2009

one of the things i love about living in (leaving) israel is that fact that good falfel is abound.

i try to eat falafel at least once a week

it is a kind of reverse tax.

this country takes its toll on you.

falafel is how you take the toll back.

which falfel do you prefer?

each one of us has his ‘home base’, the one that is good to come back to. you have tried others, it has been a while, but coming back to this one is like coming back home, to mama

send me your recommendations.

one of the legacies i try to trams fer to my children is the habit of falafel once a week. man, it is hard when your girls are ‘צפונבוניות’. but that’s where having a son comes in. you can “greps” together.

Gil says falafel should be eaten standing.flafel eaten standing

it’s worth the trip

October 1, 2009

machne jeuhdaa great new restaurant opened up this summers in jerusalem מחניהודה.

finally, for the first time in a long time, there is fresh reason to travel to jerusalem on a summer’s eve

it has a lot of what you want in a restaurant:

  • it is located in the market
  • it has dishes you have never tasted before
  • it is authentic
  • prices are extremely affordable
  • service is friendly
  • the waitresses are different than the ones in telaviv. here you are part of a community, not a post-modern urbanite

here is another review

just go there.


this was supposed to be the end of the post, but wanted to share a few more thoughts about the name and its meaning for me:

  • מחנה-יהודה is actually camp judaea the young Zionist movement in the USA
  • if our state was not called israel, what would it be called? (palestine is taken). i suppose judea, which is also the root of the name for our religion. so we are all in the same camp, camp judea. כל ישראל חברים , or , “כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה”. we lost a bit of that, havn’t we?
  • one of the songs which excites me the most every independence day is שאו ציונה נס ודגל,  which flag? דגל מחנה יהודה
  • i was born in a neighborhood  of Petach Tikva called מחנה יהודה (which by the way had a great footbal team). that’s where my roots are. like it, or not. i like it.

bring your own laptop?

July 30, 2009

there is an Aroma branch in the piazza of the building where i work.

it is currently israel’s largest coffee retailer and has quite a few branches abroad.

israel’s coffee chains have done a great job locally, have been able to kick out starbucks, and have been expanding internationally. Their rise has been greatly due to the economic depression of 2001-2004 post the burst of the bubble and fall of NASDAQ. it is great to see that some business do well in an economic downturn. the main reason is that people still want to go out and have fun. instead of a restaurant and $30 per person per outing, you can go out, have quality time and spend $10 or less.

during this economic decline (2009), sales of premium wines in the US ($15-$50 per bottle) are up. the reason? again, people want a quality evening. a night at home over a quality bottle costs less that going out!

Aroma is a quality operation. the formula is well defined. the processes are extremely efficient. they are extremely minded to how long you stand in line. so there are not too many choices in the menu. everything is freshly made, including the breads which are baked on premise. yet lines are shorter than at starbuck’s. they do a good job of changing the menu just a little bit every few months. they also promote music and are exclusive distributors to some great records. for example, Arkadi Dochin’s Nekudat mabat (2007 – try song number 2, eifo at ahuva for which i could not find a good youtube link, or Dmyon Chufshi – a great song by churchil, itzhak klepter, later on in his career)

Aroma’s latest innovation, which i think is really cool:

an acer aspire one netbook for you to use while you are in the shop.

netbooks are a great alternative to laptops. i am considering buying one for my kids

and having your own mobile netbook with free wi-fi while drinking coffee is a great alternative to doing emails on you iphone

this is smart marketing and value creation. it costs aroma very little and benefits all of us much more than it costs aroma. how often are we able to do that in our own business?

nice move, aroma

Louis lunch

November 3, 2008

Was the hamburger invented in haburg?

nop, in new haven. at louis-lunch in 1895.

perhaps it is not that healthy, but hamburger, a good one, not at the yellow M, can be delightful.

Louis is great for a simple good meal. nothing fancy. pure. not a place ‘to-go-out’, it is a place for a meal.

at Louis everything is very simple and to the point. menu has very little other than hamburger which is cooked in a special grill in front of your eyes. the place is the size of a room. the wooden tables have many names etched-in. some hearts with names of two lovers have at least one name crossed out.  broken hearts.

hamburgers usually served with a slice of onion and a slice of tomato, no buns, just two slices of toast.

no ketchup

when i think of things i miss in new haven or what i would do first when i am back, louis lunch comes to mind

with the smiling faces of limor and gil