Jerusalem Garden is a little gem tucked away in one of downtown’s busiest corners. If you weren’t looking for it, you might not even notice it was there.
Nestled inside Pack Square, this sweet little spot is reminiscent of a European sidewalk cafe. Listen for the jaunty instrumental tunes and you’ll find the place. Although it tends to fly under the radar, Jerusalem Garden is home to some wonderful food.
The inside is beautiful–plush textures and moody colors. There’s even a party room in the back with pillows so that you can sit on the floor. It was a (moderately) nice day, so we decided to sit on the tiny-yet-adorable patio and sneak in some people-watching.
Jersualem Garden has been in the same location for 20(!) years, and is family-owned and operated. Just our kind of place! While tourists wait in line at high-traffic restaurants across the street, you’ll see locals in-the-know swing by the Garden without even having to wait.
The architecture is fabulous in this area…grab an outdoor seat if you can and enjoy the view!
Chelsea went for Blackened Salmon, served with hummus, tahini salad and roasted pita. The salmon is flaky and perfectly cooked, and it goes beautifully with the Mediterranean flavors of the hummus and tahini. If you’re a seafood lover, this is the dish to beat.
Mattie had the Vegetarian Platter which is, quite frankly, the business. Falafel, tabouleh, Kalamata olives, tahini salad, stuffed grape leaves, baba ghanoush, and hummus, all served with fresh warm pita bread. It is totally a vegetarian’s dream…the biggest challenge is deciding what to try first. (Psst…the grape leaves.)
Chelsea’s boyfriend Matt took a break from work to pop by and say hello. The couple that lunches together, stays together.
Our server recommended the baklava, and we are damn glad she did. Fresh out of the oven and drenched in honey, topped with crumbled pistachios…heavenly. It’s a good sized piece, plenty for the three of us to share and feel satisfied. The filling was perfectly textured and the crust was golden and flaky.
We also ordered Turkish coffees to go along with our dessert. Don’t let the size fool you–these little suckers are STRONG. They’re a super-rich, nutty, chocolate-y brew. In fact, they’re so thick Matt thought we’d be able to stand a spoon straight up in one. (We couldn’t.)
Next time you’re downtown, give the Jerusalem Garden a try. It’s like a little staycation, right here in Asheville.