A hummus flavored ice-cream doesn’t necessarily sound like a good idea, but we had to check it out.
It seems like it’s going to be really hot this summer in Israel, and I’m not even talking about the weather.
Although, I do think frustration from the unbearable hit and humidity has at list some contribution the the severity of social rage, that is once again occupying the streets.
But on my way to witness the extreme police brutality on Tel-Aviv the last Friday, I managed to save a short moment of escapist pleasure in the local branch of Legenda, a chain of Italian ice-cream places.
They have over 30 different flavors of ice-cream and sorbet, some of which look really great.
Being a serious ice-cream addict who have just got back from 10 sunny days in Berlin, where “EIS” is everywhere and costs a third, I was trying to eat more hummus and less ice-cream for a while.
In Berlin, the weather was fine and we had bicycles, so the woman and I were cycling all day like crazy, burning enough calories to escape the consequences of our gluttony.
In Tel-Aviv, June is already too hot for moving on a bike – unless of course you’re a professional biker, or one of them skinny girls doing the Tel-Aviv bike tour thing, which nobody told them was supposed to be so sweaty. Read more
With pale wood paneling, recessed green and blue tiling, and lighting that dims as the night progresses, Nanoosh’s atmosphere is far from that of most Israeli hummus joints. This is, after all, Manhattan’s upper west side, just a stone’s throw from Lincoln Center. But the restaurant’s Israeli owners have ensured that the neighborhood’s residents and theater-goers can get hummus Israeli-style, as a main meal rather than just an appetizer served with triangles of pita. Read more
We hadn’t even have the chance to get used to the idea that there’s falafel in China, and now we’re told that there’s hummus in Japan. A lot of it.
It’ll be old news if I’d tell you that we’re fashionably late after Japan in many of the things we do. And it’s always fascinating to see how Japanese trends and inventions find their way to the west. Read more
Berlin hummus special, part II
After a week in Berlin, without real hummus, I was ready to go a long way – literally – to eat my favorite dish. Finally, after some scary experiences, I got what seemed like a second best: a great Falafel.
In the second week of our current visit to Berlin, we met David, a former Israeli who lives in Berlin for many years now.
David was very sympathetic to our sad story about not being able to find good hummus in the city. He suggested we go to Casalot, a Palestinian place in the Mitte quarter, serving traditional Arab dishes (here’s their German site).
Berlin 2007 is huge cosmopolitan metropolis with a population of 4 million, and a feeling of endless choice. Dozens of different tongues are spoken through the city streets, in which people of all nations can be seen and delicacies from all continents can be eaten. Only the hummus sucks.
Ironically, it seems like 9 of every 10 Berliners are fans of Israel. Most Germans living today were taught to loathe nationalism, and detest racism and chauvinist thought of any kind. They are usually very pro-Israel, though, and are eager to express that.
Most Berliners with whom I spoke, had visited Israel at least once, or have Israeli friends, or at least know a word or two in Hebrew – usually “Shalom” – and do their best to use it in a conversation.
Add to that the fact that Berlin has a large population of immigrants from the middle-east – Israelis, Lebanese, Egyptians, Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanian, Iranians and mainly Turkish – and you’d understand how come they know what shawarma, falafel and pita are. And yes, they also ate hummus – but the chances are it did not have Tahini in it. Read more
In the middle of Tel-Aviv, a tense and busy city of business, politics, cafes and clubbing, a place of good hummus and good music is more then a haven – it’s oasis.
In the case of “Abu Dahbi”, it’s a Galilee-style hummus (as well as Meshawsha, Mahluta, Hummus-Ful and Falafel), accompanied with black music. Mostly hip-hop and reggae, some from abroad – including classics – and some of local artists.
Gal Eilam, one of the owners, says that the rhythm of reggae is the rhythm of heart-bits. His business partner, Samir Ayub, says the most important thing for him is that their clients will leave the place full and happy – and this why the portions are so large, and there’s a refill if you’re still hungry.
I don’t know which of these two sides of the same place make it so calm and friendly, but this is the place I chose to be interviewed in last week, talking on TV about hummus and The Hummus Blog (you can read all about it in my previous post, The Fame of Hummus). There are many hummus places I like, but this one really feels like a safe haven. In some strange way, it reminds me of Berlin.
If you get to Tel-Aviv, don’t miss it:
Hummus Abu Dahbi, 81 King George Tel-Aviv (10AM-8PM I think)
And here’s a beautiful video clip of Axum, a hip-hop twosome, taken at Abu Dahbi’s. It is mostly a Homage to some Israeli artists and cult-movies, and the words are in Hebrew, but I think you’d enjoy it anyhow.
(BTW, I wasn’t even hungry before the shooting, but could not help myself from eating all the hummus in my plate only to regret later for not taking some back home with me.)
Remember to wear good shoes, drink a lot, and try not to buy every beautiful thing you see – but do go to Hummus Abu Sukri in old Jerusalem. And please – go through Via Dolorosa.
For those of you who didn’t figure it out yet: I’m an Israeli, living in Tel-Aviv. I’m Jewish, so the fact that a certain place is associated with Jesus doesn’t mean much to me. I may find such a place fascinating, as I may with other historical sites, and that’s about it.
But if you or the people you travel with, happen to be Christian, than you can have twice the spiritual experience in the price of one: Hummus Abu Shukri plus Via Dolorosa.
Now, there’s a point to be made: the name “Abu Shukri” is used by several hummus places, most of which reside on Abu Gosh, an Arab village a 5 minute drive from Jerusalem. Read more