Ess, Bubelah, Ess!

February 11th, 2014 § 2 comments


The way I see it, as a tourist, the biggest problem with Israel is that there are only three meals in a day. I know when most people think of food, they think Italy or France. But out of all the countries to which we’ve been, hands down Israel is my favorite eating, and it has the food I most often try to replicate at home. The fruits and veggies are so fresh (and they are only available in season here); the breads are scrumptious; the sauces are tantalizing.

On our first night here, we met up with cousins. The kids, despite the language barrier, hit it off immediately. Ignoring age, the kids paired up by gender: 8-year-old Pie with her 11-year-old cousin and 10-year-old Doodles with his 8-year-old cousin. Apparently there is one thing that can cross all age and language barriers and Pie and Girl Cousin found it: Rainbow Loom (although in all fairness, Girl Cousin’s English is quite good). Doodles and Boy Cousin played chess and ran and discovered they both know all the words to “What Does the Fox Say?” (joy for the rest of us). Fast bonding for the two of them, and both kids are eager to see their newfound Israeli cousins tomorrow.


Giggling cousins


Rainbow loom: maker of friends

That first night with the cousins, we went for pizza in their neighborhood. Pizza, right? It was amazing. The mom was disappointed that Boy Cousin wanted such a boring pizza, but we were fascinated. We’d never eaten pizza with corn on it, but it was delicious. Turns out it’s a super common topping here, probably like mushrooms for us. They also put sauces on their pizza when they get them, either a hot sauce of a tomato sauce.


Pizza with corn

At almost every hotel in Israel, breakfast is included. The spread of Israeli breakfasts are fabulous, and I have to remind myself that there will be two other meals in the day. Israeli salad, vegetables, fruit, fish, bread, eggs, cheese, so much food (but never, mind you, meats, because all the hotels are kosher and you cannot mix milk and meat at a meal). Even my food adverse son is able to eat, as yogurt and, yes, puddings, are always available for breakfast.

What I eat:


Bread, fruit, Greek salad, fish, avocado egg salad

What the boy eats:


Egg, bread, chocolate and vanilla pudding

And then just on the streets and in the markets, where the piles of fresh food and pastries tempt you at every stall.


Spices in the Carmel Shuk


Pastries in the Carmel Shuk


A bread and egg concoction that both children ate while seeing Old Jaffa


Pomegranates in the Port Shuk

On about every third corner is a fresh juice stand, where they have just about every kind of fruit and veggie possible. I swear, before I leave, I’m going to have a kohlrabi juice. The woman at the stand said it’s quite good.


A just-moment’s-ago squeezed grapefruit juice

And finally, tonight, the kids weren’t hungry for dinner, so I took the opportunity to indulge in my beloved eggplant, which no one else likes. I had heard of a dish called Sabich, and I was determined to try it. The stall was about a mile from the hotel (ha, Duchess! Even in my quest for food, I’m wracking up the steps!), and it was worth every step. I. Love. This. Food. The pita is incredibly soft. And inside it is fried eggplant, potato, hardboiled egg, hummus, tahini, veggies, and spicy mango sauce. The guy who made it was super friendly, and made sure to make it spicy for me.



I’m already plotting how to ditch the family again and go back for another sabich before we leave Tel Aviv. Now I’m full and exhausted. I’m going to go to bed and dream of sabich.

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§ 2 Responses to Ess, Bubelah, Ess!"

  • Angela says:

    I want sabich!! Oh my gosh, I’m so hungry now, lol. The food looks amazing!

    BTW, I swear I’m going to be picking up little, colored rubber bands for the next twenty years!!

  • Alicia says:

    Your pictures and the additional 4 inches of snow coming down here right now are making me wonder why I thought we could not do Israel this year. Definitely jealous!

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