Sunday, November 22, 2009

Restaurant Review: Alberto's

Tonight we celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday at Alberto's of Ligad Center in Modi'in. Well, it's sorta in Modi'in. Ligad Center is a commercial center comprised of three different buildings where some catering halls, a couple of restaurants, offices and odds and ends stores are located. It is several miles out of Modi'in and when you drive there you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. I am not sure why the city planners put the place so far out, rather than start at the edge of the residential area of the city and expand outward. Or at least put it closer to the end of the residential area.

But I digress, because I am here to talk about Alberto's. If you think it serves Spanish or Italian cuisine, you'd be wrong; the restaurant is a typical Israeli grilled meat restaurant. When we walked in, I thought they were having a party, because the tables were set up in rows. It looked like a kibbutz dining room. But no, there was no party, so I guess it's set up this way to save room, although we were the only patrons in the restaurant for most of the time we were there.

Three minutes after we sat down a jug of lemonade was placed on the table. Two minutes later an abundance of salads was delivered. These included cole slaw, purple cabbage salad, several different kind of eggplant salad, onion salad, hot peppers, pickled vegetables, chumus, techina and Israeli salad. Then the laffa bread, fresh from the stone oven came. All of this was delivered before we even got the menu. It was all fresh and tasty. Finally, the french fries arrived, also piping hot and fresh, along with a bowl-ful of Heinz Ketchup packets. We started eating before we ordered and throughout the evening the waiter kept on refilling what was scarfed down, ingested.

The pricing works something like this: You order skewers of meat or chicken or kebab. For 45 shekel, you get one skewer and for 55 shekel you get two. (There was also something for 65 shekel, but noone ordered that and I don't remember what it was). For 45 or 55 shekel you get the skewers you order plus all you can eat and drink of what I described above. There is also a kid's meal, which cost 26 shekel.

Most of us ordered the pargiyot (deboned chicken thighs) skewers, while some ordered the kebab. These also came to us fresh off the grill, with just the right moisture and flavor. But, I'm afraid to say by the time they got to the table, I was stuffed.

The bill for seven people was 330 shekel, which is not unreasonable. This included a special birthday dessert we ordered in honor of Abuelita's birthday. And we were indeed stuffed to the gills. I still am. But I have to say, if you're watching your carbs, you really have to be careful here. Those laffa breads keep on coming, and they are pretty irrestible.

All-in-all, I'd say Alberto's is a fun family-restaurant that serves delicious Israeli salads and grilled meats. It's worth a trip....and, well, you'll stick to the low-carbs thing tomorrow.


Commenter Abbi said...

Sounds like a yummy stekiya.

I'm sure this will ruin the dish for you (sorry!) but pargiot are actually deboned baby chickens. :( I think a bit bigger than chicks, but not much.

Leora said...

Sounds tasty.

Baila said...


No, that really doesn't ruin it for me at all.


I'm still full, 10 hours later.

Israel W. said...

Great review!
But I have a different point of view.
Albertos is a good example of how lowering your standards and quality even for a time period enough for a repeat customer to experience it once, can lead to a lost customer.
We used to go often with every family visit or whenever we wanted to celebrate something, however service started to deteriorate, the salads you would get were not a great variety anymore and the last time we were there (probably 6 months ago) two of us got very ill.
I'm glad to hear that they got better again (we use to love it), however my previous statement might be the reason on why the place was empty.
My 2 centavos. :)

Leah Scheier said...

I love Albertos! They also have a 29 shekel lunch special where you get a huge plateful of salad as well as an entree and two sides and all the pita you can eat. Now I like going to see my accountant in Ligad!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Some of these places have a one-time serving plate for half the prices.

You can pile the salad high and usually it is more than enough.