Begin the Badolina

Inventive, Israeli-inspired bakery and cafe debuts in Rice Village

Inventive, Israeli-inspired bakery and cafe debuts in Rice Village

Badolina assortment of breads
A few of the breads. Photo by Ralph Smith Studios
Badolina chocolate babka
Chocolate babka will be a weekend special. Photo by Ralph Smith Studios
Badolina exterior
Find Bādolina at 5555 Morningside Dr. Photo by Eric Sandler
Badolina sourdough
Sourdough bread. Photo by Ralph Smith Studios
Badolina savory pastries
Selection of savory pastries. Photo by Ralph Smith Studios
Badolina Nelson bread
Nelson bread. Photo by Ralph Smith Studios
Badolina assortment of breads
Badolina chocolate babka
Badolina exterior
Badolina sourdough
Badolina savory pastries
Badolina Nelson bread

A bakery from the owners of Doris Metropolitan will debut this week. Bādolina Bakery & Cafe opens Thursday, June 3 in Rice Village (5555 Morningside Dr.). 

First announced earlier this year, the bakery serves as a showcase for pastry chef Michal Michaeli, whose breads and pastries have always been an integral part of dining at Doris Metropolitan.

“Michal is the queen of this kingdom. I’m just here to facilitate,” Itai Ben Eli, CEO of Bādolina owner Sof Hospitality Group, tells CultureMap. Ben Eli and his partners, Itamar Levy and chef Sash Kurgan, formed Sof to expand their presence in Houston with Bādolina and Hamsa, a modern Israeli restaurant that will open this fall.

The bakery is stocked with plated desserts, cakes, sweet and savory pastries, and loaves of breads that use recipes developed by Michaeli and Kurgan. Although the design mostly encourages grab and go, dine-in service is available at both a few indoor tables and on an expansive patio that Bādolina will share with Hamsa. Coffee and espresso beverages are brewed with beans from local roaster Katz Coffee.

“Some of them are traditional, some of them are my translations of flavors, some of them are things I miss from Israel,” Michaeli says about the selection. “Nobody invents anything, you just innovate and make things people can identity with.”

Customers will certainly identify with Michaeli’s croissants, cookies, quiches, and sourdough breads. People familiar with Jewish pastries will recognize weekend specials such as babka, rugelach, and challah. Focaccia loaves come topped with sliced tomatoes and caramelized onions.

The chef puts her own spin on some of the offerings; for example, chocolate croissants use a chocolate dough. Other pastries reflect Michaeli’s preferences for items that are either sweet and salty or sweet and spicy.

Bādolina will also offer bourekas, a savory puff pastry filled with spinach and cheese, which are incredibly popular in Israel but rare to find in Houston. The bakery will be open Tuesday-Sunday from 7 am - 6 pm.

“We’ve spent a lot of time conceptualizing the bakery and its offerings,” Ben Eli said in a statement. “It’s a culmination of the team’s experience working in restaurants from all over the world.”