Chef Eyal Shani’s Pita Empire now spans 4 continents and many branches, and it all started in Tel Aviv. Shani, a judge on the Israeli “Master Chef” and a rather poetic / extrovert personality was one of the first chefs to take the humble pita a step forward and into the gourmet street food era. Miznon (Hebrew for “Canteen”) now has three different locations in Tel Aviv. The basic principle remains the same in all of them – a vegetable heavy menu of Pita stuffings, alongside some meat and some of the branches also seafood (Ever had Shrimp in pita? If not, it’s a must try). The whole roasted cauliflower, another of Shani’s signature dishes, will always be present, as well as a little self-service stand where you can gorge you face in free pita ends with Tahini, crème fraiche, hot green peppers and pickles. Another common denominator for all Miznon’s branches is the rather loose service and hipster-ish vibe – you order and pay at the cashier and wait for your name to be called – it can take 2-3 minutes, it can take 10 and it can take even more. In any case, the end result is worth the wait. The Pitas themselves are always super fresh, fluffy and warm as they are baked in-house, and the different fillings, always oozing with local goodness, demonstrate the simple power of the new Israeli cuisine – Tahini or sour cream, crushed tomatoes, hot peppers and a stew of meat, chicken livers or a dollop of ratatouille, and that’s it. Eyal SHANI has got the award for the best entrepreneur and culinary trendsetter.