By: Ellie Parker  | 

Truly “Love At First Bite”

Anyone who has been living in or near Brookdale for the past few weeks has to have heard the buzz surrounding the new restaurant “Paprika,” which opened up two doors down.

Though it is only my first year on campus, I consider myself a pretty dedicated “Tiberias” customer. I would be lying if I said I haven’t found myself sitting in my favorite seat in the back at 2 AM at least once a week. Not to get too down on “Eden Wok”, but I am of the belief that sushi will never quite compare to the Salmon Caesar Salad offered next door. So, when I heard about this new joint across the road, my heart was torn between my two loves: Shakshuka (for which “Paprika” has made quite a name for itself) and my loyalty to “Tiberias”. However, being as dedicated to my writing as I am, I swallowed my pride and entered into the world of “Paprika”.

I was immediately struck by the vibes and atmosphere of the place. The rustic feel coupled with the bright, glowing signs strung from the walls was highly reminiscent of my recent trip to SOHO. Counters and chairs evocative of a Restoration Hardware floor model and decorative chalk boards dangling above the heads of employees completed the look. The Israeli accents of the workers behind the counter and the Hebrew spoken by the customers jolted me back to my days in Yerushalayim during my year in Israel. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as I uttered words I haven’t spoken in months-“can I please order the Shakshuka?” As steaming tomato sauce was poured over slices of pita, I was highly impressed by the speed and service of the restaurant. Their efficiency brought my consciousness back to 34th street as I compared “Paprika’s” quickness to the differing line and wait at “Burgers Bar” on Yafo. All at once I felt that “Paprika” had mastered the perfect balance between Israeli culture and American organization. While they have yet to be added to the caf card, the cashier assured me that they were working to get this kink resolved. As the smell of shakshuka wafted in the air, I fought back tears of joy as I brought my tray to the bar stool against the wall.

Passersby are caught almost instantly by the illuminated sign in the front of of the shop, reading “Love At First Bite” in large, vibrant letters. I can personally vouch that “Paprika” lives up to the claim. Fast, clean, and delicious, I left understanding the tremendous draw Stern students have to the new restaurant. Not only is the convenience of the location unparalleled and the prices of the dishes dangerously reasonable, “Paprika” does not skimp on service and especially not on taste. Though I would never in good conscience turn a student away from “Tiberias”, if you’re looking for an appetizing  throwback to your seminary or yeshiva days, “Paprika” should be your go to. Who knows, maybe you’ll even see me sitting in my new favorite bar stool by the wall.