NOLA American Bakeryby Sarit Goffen | 26.11.15
For over 3 years, Nola has been greeting the passersby on the corner of Dizengoff and Arlozorov streets with a warm embrace and a cloud of sweet smells wafting from the kitchen of an American chef.
But Nola is much more: not just a name, it’s an acronym for New Orleans, Louisiana. Nola’s founder, Talya Ressner, was born in New Orleans to a third-generation New Orleans mother and a Tel Avivi father. She immigrated to Israel at the age of 8.
Prior to establishing Nola, Ressner was a product designer, and after several years in this field she came to a crossroads, unsure of what was next.
Her childhood memories of chocolate chip cookies that were chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, cupcakes, and other all-American scents led her to start reading American baking blogs and begin baking as therapy.
“After a while, people started telling me ‘you should really open a place’, ‘it’s so right for you’, and gradually it began to make as much sense as a designing project. Once I started thinking about starting a shop – I knew in my mind and heart exactly what I wanted it to look, sound, smell, and of course – taste like.”
Nola’s bakery is run by pastry chef Dorit Brand, and its menu contains American classics from around the USA, “as well as some of my own innovations and interpretations.” Naturally these include muffins, cupcakes, large soft American cakes, brownies, lemon bars, and a variety of pies and classic delights like buttermilk biscuits – a rich southern treat.
The café menu includes American breakfasts, with hash browns, bacon, salmon, pancakes, and the Po-boy sandwich – a New Orleans classic (with pulled beef or fried shrimp in classic Cajun seasoning). Of course, there are real New York bagels that are boiled before baking. Talia says she went to New York especially to learn the recipe and the baking process.
Nola is a charming café with a warm family atmosphere that can be felt all around. The calling card features Talya’s grandmother from New Orleans, and the shelves in the café are laden with old photos of her grandparents. The décor is also classically American, in its attention to detail. Talya selected special vintage items from American flea markets, and these all serve to import the magic and nostalgia for the country across the Atlantic. If you’re looking for the ambience of an American diner, Nola is the place.