The 6-Day Trip (to Israel)

It’s been some time since Doug’s parents’ visit to Israel in January, but with the recent end of my own parents’ visit, I can’t help but reminisce.

It was their first trip to Israel.  We were excited to show them around, but were at a loss as to where to start.  Their trip was relatively short (only 6 days) and we had to work during their visit, so scheduling was very tight.

Thankfully, my organizational instincts kicked in quite quickly—I threw together an itinerary that covered most of Tel Aviv’s neighborhoods and had us in Jerusalem for a day.  I don’t know about Doug’s parents, but I was definitely exhausted by the end of the week!

Tuesday

Doug’s parents arrived in the afternoon, so Doug made his way to the airport to pick them up.  He took them to their hotel, where I later met them.  We walked along the tayelet for a short time before making our way to dinner at Piccola Pasta (a restaurant absolutely worth checking out! Read about the food here).  It was close to their hotel and we figured it was a safe bet for their first night.  We had an early dinner and took them back to their hotel, where I think they promptly fell asleep.  Mission: retrieve parents from airport and ferry them to sleep late enough to avoid jet lag = success!

We had a lovely dinner at Piccola Pasta

Wednesday

We originally planned to spend Wednesday in Tel Aviv and go to Jerusalem on Thursday, but the weather forecast for Thursday indicated rain all day.  In the interest of not spending a day soaked and unhappy in Jerusalem, we switched our schedule around a little.  We met up bright and early and made our way to the Central Bus Station, where we hopped on a sherut to Jerusalem.

For those who don’t know what a sherut is, it’s basically a taxi van.  Prices are comparable to buses.

  • Cons: Depending on the time of day, you may have to wait a bit for it to leave. They wait until they’re full before heading off to their destination.  They also don’t offer any monthly/weekly pass, as far as I know.
  • Pros: They can be quicker than buses since they only stop to drop people off (or pick people up, when they have empty seats). They also run on Shabbat.

We made it to Jerusalem with enough time to stop in at an Aroma and grab something warm to drink before making our way to the Old City.  In the interest of seeing as much of Jerusalem as possible in a short time, we took them to the Old City via Mamilla Mall.

Mamilla Mall is a modern construction built very close to the Old City.  A pedestrian walkway cuts through its center, allowing you to stroll along while looking in at the posh stores and contemporary sculptures than line the walkway.

Although not from our trip to Jerusalem with Doug's parents, here's a picture of Mamilla Mall on the eve before Yom Kippur

Another picture of Mamilla Mall on the eve before Yom Kippur

At long last, we came upon the Old City.  While we planned to enter through Dung Gate since it was closest to the Kotel (also known as the Western Wall and the Wailing Wall), we ended up going through Yafo Gate.  Initially, I was pretty worried that I wouldn’t be able to navigate the narrow, winding, indistinguishable streets of the Old City.  We had tickets for Minarot HaKotel, a tour that takes you into the tunnels under the Old City by the Kotel.  I looked at our map and craned my neck left and right, trying to find the street signs tacked onto the sides of walls.  I quickly grew frustrated by the complete lack of any side streets on my map.  As I did so, though, I realized I didn’t need the map.

While my memory usually fails me, it was astonishingly impressive in getting us to the Kotel.  I couldn’t tell you what turns to take, what stores to look for, what streets to go down—but somehow I just remembered where to go.  Within moments, we were by the entrance to the tunnels, with a few minutes to spare.  Doug’s parents finally had a moment to look around and take in the splendor of the Old City.  The cobblestone streets, secret doorways, and little stairwells charmed them.  The Kotel itself, the likes of which they had never seen before, impressed them.

Minarot HaKotel impressed them further, providing a wealth of historical information about Jerusalem and the Kotel that put things into a contextual perspective.  It emphasized just how remarkable the second temple was, of which the Western Wall was only a fraction of a much larger piece that only served as its architectural base.  We emerged from the tunnels on Via Dolorosa, each of us a pound heavier from the incredibly educational tour.

We tried to follow the Stations of the Cross (the path Jesus took, carrying the cross, from the place of his trial and condemnation by Pontius Pilate to the site of his crucifixion and burial) for a little bit, using Fodor as our guide.  Unfortunately, even the 7th edition of Fodor’s doesn’t have a built-in GPS, so we ended up giving up somewhere between where Jesus addresses the women in the crowd and where he is stripped of his garments.

Luckily, Jesus’s final path took us right through the Arab Market, which we planned to check out anyways.  There’s really nothing like it—vendors smoking in their tiny shops, hookahs laying out left and right, lemonade and pomegranate juice being purchased by thirsty tourists, all immersed amidst countless Jerusalem-themed souvenirs for people of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths.

The Arab Market in Jerusalem

By 11:30, we were hungry from the day’s walking and sightseeing.  We went to eat at Abu Shukri, a famed hummus restaurant in the Muslim Quarter.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as delicious as we’d heard, but the restaurant itself was pretty cool (it felt cave-like, in a way) and it was energizing enough (check out my post about Abu Shukri’s food).

Lunching at Abu Shukri in Jerusalem's Old City

From there, we went back to the Kotel.  We spent a few minutes at the wall, saying our private prayers.

The Kotel

People's notes are scattered all around on the ground--there are simply too many to fit in the wall's cracks

We then made our way to our next tour: Sharsheret HaDorot.  It took more than 5000 years of Jewish history and condensed it into an itty-bitty 45-minute audiotape tour.  If that wasn’t impressive enough, the varyingly-constructed glass pillars that were representative of the many chains of Jewish history definitely were.

Glass pillars representing the first generations of Jews at Sharsheret HaDorot

The pillar of glass with missing pieces represents the loss of millions of Jews during the Holocaust at Sharsheret HaDorot

After the tour, we left the Old City through Dung Gate.  We made our way on foot to Mount Zion, where King David’s Tomb and the site of the last supper are located.  I don’t know about Doug or his parents, but I was shocked by the lack of large masses of tourists. I actually had trouble finding the right building (they’re in the same place) because it was so deserted. For now I’ll chalk it up to drizzly weather, which reared its cold and unavoidable head.

King David’s Tomb was tucked away in a small synagogue.  Whether King David’s remains truly lie there is debated; even so, it drew a small crowd of pious individuals who hoped to pray by the great king’s resting spot.

The half of King David's tomb in the women's part of the synagogue

With King David

Just a hop, skip, and jump to a room upstairs and we were in the room where Jesus supposedly ate his last meal.  To be honest, what intrigued me most about the room were the cats that took residence there.  One sat stoically by a golden tree sculpture while another huddled atop a light on the floor, seemingly trying to keep warm and dry despite the weather.

The room where Jesus supposedly had his last meal

A (blurry) picture of a cat sitting stoically by a golden tree sculpture in the room where Jesus supposedly ate his final meal

A cat huddled above a light in an effort to keep warm in the room where Jesus supposedly had his last meal

I was soon to envy those cats, dry (if not warm) under a roof.  Our next stop on the itinerary was Shuk Machane Yehuda, which meant we needed to take a cab, which meant we needed to go outside to hail one.  Unfortunately, many people were hailing cabs, given the terrible weather.  By the time we got one, I was uncomfortably dampened.  Tired from the day’s sightseeing so far and cold from the rain, I enjoyed the ride in a catatonic state.

We got out of the cab and made our way into the heart of the shuk, stopping at the famed bakery Marzipan on our way.  We grabbed a few rugelach before heading over to Melech HaHalva on Eitz Chaim Street.

The famed rugelach at Marzipan in Jerusalem

Doug’s mom, Patty, had been looking for a suitable, non-denominational present to bring home.  Of course, an edible gift is almost always welcomed, so she loved the idea of getting halva, a sesame-based dessert. In fact, she loved the idea so much that she bought a kilo of halva… a KILO of halva.  For anyone who’s wondering, the chunk she bought was about the size of a cantaloupe.  I’m pretty sure that’s more halva than my entire family consumes in a year.  But on the bright side, it meant she didn’t have to gift shop for anyone for the rest of the trip.

Halva options at Melech HaHalva

Our kilo of halva in tow, we went to our second Aroma for the day to grab something warm to drink while recapping on the day’s activities.  We munched on our rugelach and some cookies while pouring over various maps of the city and reading little pieces out of the guidebook about things we saw during the day.

Relaxing and regrouping over coffee at the Aroma in Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem

Somewhat re-energized, somewhat exhausted, we made our way to Ima’s for dinner.  We initially planned to eat at Machneyuda, but our reservation was for 11pm and we knew our internal batteries weren’t going to last until then (if only we were the Energizer Bunny!)  Had we been able to stay busy and go to the Night Spectacular Show at the King David Tower after the shuk, maybe we would have been able to make it to a later dinner.  But unfortunately, the show was canceled because of bad weather. So, instead, we had a lovely dinner at the Kurdish/Iraqi-themed restaurant (check out my post about Ima for more details about the food), before making our way to the Central Bus Station, hopping on an intra-city bus, and heading back to Tel Aviv.

Thursday & Friday

Stay tuned and check out Doug’s upcoming post about exploring Yafo, Shuk HaCarmel, Nachalat Binyamin, Namal Tel Aviv, and Neve Tzedek!

Saturday

Saturdays in Israel can be tough if you don’t have a car.  While we could have taken a sherut somewhere, we would have probably needed to take a cab at some point… and the majority of things are closed regardless.  How lame would it be to take a sherut to Jerusalem only to see empty streets?  Or getting to Haifa just to find out that you can’t tour the Baha’i gardens on Saturday?

So I decided to keep things local and stay in Tel Aviv.  HaTachana (literally “The Station”) was open on Saturday, so I figured it’d be a good opportunity to check it out.  Doug and I had never been, but were curious about it: it was a 49-acre compound just a mile away from us, after all, and we hardly even remembered hearing about it in passing.

HaTachana was once the terminus of the railway line that traveled between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.  Its use was discontinued in 1948 and the station fell into disrepair.  In 2005, the renovation process began; by 2010, it had been restored to its former glory.  While there is still an old-school train car outside the station and another one just behind it that you can watch a short, informational show about the station on, HaTachana is no longer in operation as a train station.  Instead, it is a shopping complex full of fun stores to roam about in aimlessly.

Upon arriving, we went straight into what I imagine used to be the main building at the station.  It was restored and converted into a café/souvenir shop and had an array of Tel Aviv souvenirs.

The entrance building at HaTachana which now serves as a souvenir shop

Another model train at HaTachana in Tel Aviv

Once we finished perusing the gift shop, we entered the shopping complex area.  It was smaller than expected (definitely not 49 acres, although I’m thinking not all of it is a shopping complex and we may not have seen it all), but was incredibly quaint.  Stone paths led to posh stores with glass-front windows, which sat across from stores tucked away into stone edifices.  It almost felt like we were in a small, medieval village gone modern.

My favorite store was what I now call the Dumb-Dumb store.  Why, you ask? Because it makes you feel dumb.  The store carries countless puzzles and mind-exercising games and gadgets.  Upon entering, they give you puzzles to solve. While at first you may think there’s no way two pieces of wood that combine into a pyramid could stump you, you soon realize you’re not as smart as you thought.  I could probably have spent hours trying out all the different puzzles… but unfortunately, time was short (and, as I later discovered on a separate visit there, the staff doesn’t take well to people trying the puzzles just for fun—if you aren’t going to buy anything, they won’t let you loiter long).

We had brunch planned at Manta Ray, a restaurant along the tayelet that Doug and I often ran by.  I’m not sure if it was the obviously amazing view, the renown of the restaurant, or the achingly delicious smell we inhaled every time we ran by, but we knew we wanted to take Doug’s parents there (check out my post about Manta Ray for more details about the food).

Manta Ray in Tel Aviv

After a meal enjoyed overlooking the tumultuous Mediterranean Sea on an overcast day, we strolled north along the tayelet.  Doug’s dad had some leftover seafood from his meal, which we took to go in the hopes of feeding stray cats.  We told Doug’s parents about the monster cat countless times during their short trip and were hoping they would be able to see him.  Unfortunately, the monster cat was not in his usual area (he was probably busy ordering his henchmen to off disloyal cats).

Nevertheless, we weren’t disappointed.  Cats crawled out of every crevice and nook along the tayelet once they smelled the food.  They descending on Doug before he even managed to open the leftovers box and dump the contents on the ground.  While several cats went for the food once it hit the ground, one of the monster cat’s henchmen (black and white like the monster cat, but smaller) batted them away.  He feasted alone while the other cats watched anxiously.  Three black cats ringed him, waiting for their turn, while the rest of the cat colony sat further away.  Once the henchman cat had his fill, the three black cats had their turn (I like to think of them as the second most powerful clan in the colony, often challenging the monster cat’s clan).

The cats of the Tel Aviv tayelet colony were racing to get a taste of the seafood leftovers

With our new perspective on cat dynamics, we continued our walk along the tayelet.  We stopped for a cup of tea at a café along the beach.   While there, we replanned our evening.  We initially planned to eat dinner at Raphael’s, but we decided that our big breakfast, followed shortly after by Manta Ray, left us far too full for a big sit-down dinner.  We decided to grab pizza for dinner instead.  Doug and I promptly concluded that HaPizza would be an excellent place for a light pizza dinner, so we began our stroll down Bograshov.  We enjoyed a nice, quite dinner while reminiscing over the previous days’ events and lamenting that their stay was so short—Sunday was going to be their last day in Israel.  We couldn’t believe how quickly the time flew by.

After dinner, Doug’s mom was hankering for dessert.  Remembering that a well-known ice cream store was just down the block, on the way to Doug’s parents’ hotel, made ice cream the natural conclusion.

We walked over to Vaniglia and enjoyed a fair number of samples before picking our sweet treats.  It was a lovely way to end our last full evening together in Tel Aviv.

Sunday

Check out Doug’s upcoming post about the visit to the Rabin Memorial and the Eretz Yisrael Museum, the final destinations his parents visited before returning to Ben Gurion Airport for their flight home!

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Top 5 Sabich in Tel Aviv

Despite my Iraqi roots, I only recently discovered the wonder of sabich.  What is sabich, you ask? A pita stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, tahini, Israeli salad, amba (a spicy pickled mango paste), and parsley.  Some places even include a potato.  It was invented by Iraqi Jews who fled anti-Semitic violence in the 1940s and 1950s.  It is traditionally eaten on Shabbat, when no cooking is allowed, as the ingredients can be prepared in advance.  In recent years it has also become a popular Israeli fast-food item.  But sabich isn’t just about a combination of specific ingredients, it’s also about how it’s constructed.  Here are the top five places in Tel Aviv that have mastered the craft of sabich making.

The majority of photographs (aka all the good ones) were taken by the very talented Samantha Bearman.  Check out her site!

Sabich Tchernichovsky
Tchernichovsky 2, Tel Aviv
Sunday-Thursday (10:00-20:30), Friday (10:00-15:30), Saturday (closed)
17 shekels

While on the more expensive end for sabich, Sabich Tchernichovsky is definitely worth the extra few shekels.  This hole-in-the-wall sabich joint makes sabich so delicious that it rivals my grandmother’s.  From the moment you walk in, you know you’re in good hands.  Despite the ever-existent line, the employees take their time constructing each and every sabich.  Each ingredient is layered artfully in the perfect pita, providing the ideal combination of flavors in every bite.  The delicious eggplant is thin and crispy, packing a flavorful kick with its unique and unidentifiable seasoning.  It combines well with the soft creaminess of the boiled egg and pickled flavor of the amba.  Sabich Tchernichovsky also includes red cabbage, a wonderfully crunchy addition to the stuffed pita.  You also have the option of ordering your sabich with a cheese that is both gentle and tart, balancing the smoky eggplant and flavorful egg yolk.

Carefully constructing my sabich. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Masterfully constructed sabich. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Unique feature: They have a sign behind the counter that reads, “No sale of sabich without eggplant”—they’re obviously serious about their sabich but they still have a sense of humor.

Their “No sale of sabich without eggplant” sign.  Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Added perk: You can get your sabich in a whole-wheat pita for only a shekel more.

Ovadia’s Sabich
Rashi 22, Tel Aviv
Sunday-Thursday (10:00-22:00), Friday (10:00-1 hour before Shabbat)
16 shekels (sabich), 20 shekels (sabich and lemonade)

Ovadia’s Sabich. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Located on a quiet side street off of King George, Ovadia’s Sabich feels like a secret treasure.  The walls are painted a deep blue, the woodwork is colored pizza-shop red, and a doorway leading to the kitchen is built within a brick frame, creating an atmosphere that feels like a relaxing bar where you’d go to grab a warm slice of pizza and a cold beer, but way cleaner.  Despite its reminiscence of a great local pizza place, Ovadia’s Sabich deals in incredible Iraqi food only.

The nice guy at Ovadia’s Sabich, constructing an amazing sabich. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Their sabich is constructed in a surprisingly thin pita that, even more surprisingly, stayed together quite well and allowed you to really taste all of the ingredients.  The eggplant had a great texture and was layered in with crunchy, fresh salad and drizzled with tahini.  Not only was the flavor of the sabich itself great, but the aftertaste was amazing, too!  With a bar full of stools inside, a few tables outside, and an incredibly friendly staff, I have no doubt that Ovadia’s Sabich gets very busy during rush hours.

Sabich from Ovadia’s Sabich. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Unique feature: They make delicious fresh lemonade and offer a sabich-lemonade combo for 20 shekels.
Added perk: They have well-seasoned and perfectly-cooked vegetable ktzitzot (little fried vegetable patties).

Ktzitzot from Ovadia’s Sabich. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Sabich Frishman
Frishman 42, Tel Aviv
Sunday-Thursday (until midnight), Friday (until an hour before Shabbat), Saturday (opens an hour after Shabbat)
18 shekels (sabich with cheese)

Sabich Frishman

Sabich Frishman tends to be the first place people recommend for sabich.  If lines and smell give any hint as to quality, it’s hardly a surprise why.  My first sabich ever was actually from Sabich Frishman—if my writing this piece now doesn’t clue you in on how quickly I subsequently fell in love with sabich and how amazing Sabich Frishman must be, I hope it’s now clear.

Odds and ends at Sabich Frishman

Despite the ever-growing line behind me, the staff had all the patience in the world in putting together my sabich and talking to me about the ingredients.  I watched as the guy behind the counter masterfully stuffed my pita with amba, hummus, salad, parsley, cabbage, egg, cheese and of course, eggplant.  There’s a super tiny seating area for those who wish to devour their sabich while they’re fresh, but it’s always crowded.  We opted to take our sabich home, where we probably ended up eating just as quickly since it was just so darn good.  The texture of the crunchy eggplant with smooth hummus was fantastic and the flavorful egg yolk, fresh salad, and cool cheese only made it better.  The tangy amba gave each bite a refreshing and addictive kick, making it impossible to put down.

Mid-sabich construction

Sabich from Sabich Frishman

Unique feature: Its location is fantastic.  If, like us, you’d prefer not to wait for a table, you could certainly walk along the beautiful tree-lined Dizengoff Street and enjoy watching people as they dart in and out of the countless stores.
Added perk: Falafel Frishman is located right next door. So, if you’re with someone who would like both sabich and falafel (because let’s be serious, no one would prefer falafel over sabich), you’re all set.

HaKosem
Shlomo HaMelech 1, Tel Aviv
Sunday-Thursday (10:00-23:00)
18 shekels

HaKosem. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

A larger establishment on the corner of King George and Shlomo HaMelech, HaKosem serves up falafel and sabich and has a considerable seating area.  Their pita-construction station had huge heaps of tomatoes, cabbage, pickles, and salad.  After we placed our orders, the staff gave us all a free falafel ball.  We had heard about their amazing falafel, and it didn’t disappoint.  We munched on the warm, crispy, delicious falafel, excited to see if their sabich was as good.

Free falafel balls at HaKosem. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

For a place whose name means “The Wizard”, their sabich was indeed enchanting—it was full-flavored, with a great balance of all of the traditional sabich ingredients.  Unlike in most sabich, you could really taste the parsley in this one.  The addition of tangy pickles really put the pita over the top.

Sabich construction. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Sabich from HaKosem. Photo by Samantha Bearman.

Unique feature: HaKosem put falafel in their sabich.  While I prefer my sabich without, so as to better taste the eggplant, egg, and amba flavors, their falafel is quite tasty.
Added perk: Seating.  Of the sabich establishments in Tel Aviv, HaKosem best combines a large, uncrowded setting with great sabich.

Falafel Gina
22 Schocken, Tel Aviv (they also recently opened another branch on King George off Allenby)
Sunday – Friday (10:00 – 17:30)
072-240-1392
16 shekels in a pita, 21 shekels in a laffa or baguette, 24 shekels in a plate, 10 shekels for a mini
http://www.falafelgina.com/

Falafel Gina

Falafel Gina is a relatively large sabich-enjoyment spot. There are tables both inside and outside and it’s always busy.  Despite the red-yellow sidewalk paint that indicates no parking by the curb, cars park precariously all around the restaurant while patrons quickly order their meals.  While named for its falafel, the sabich here is solid in more ways than one.  Its flavor was good and the pita held up, despite tight ingredient packing.  The eggplant was very creamy and had tons of body.

Sabich from Falafel Gina

Unique feature: They dress up the falafel balls they give out with a dollop of tahini and parsley so it looks a little like a head with hair.
Added perk: The staff isn’t just friendly, but they’re also incredibly entertaining.  The guy who put together our order put on a show of miscellaneous antics throughout our meal.

The staff at Falafel Gina really put on a show for us

View the locations of the Top 5 Sabich Restaurants in Tel Aviv here!

The Strangest, Least Enjoyable Hummus I’ve Ever Eaten

Abu Dhabi
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hummus
Not Kosher
81 King George
03-525-9090
Sunday – Thursday (11:00 – 12:00)
Friday (10:00 – 5:00)
Saturday (11:00 – 12:00)

After spending four months living near Abu Dahbi hummus and hearing tales of its glorious hummus, Doug and I figured we should check it out before moving out of Tel Aviv to Nof Yam.  Although we had leftovers in our fridge that needed to be eaten before we moved, we intentionally went out to eat dinner.  To be honest, I wish we hadn’t.

The restaurant is Rastafarian themed, complete with tie-dye color-schemes, Bob Marley photos, and hippie-esque waiters.  The staff was incredibly friendly, and, sensing our indecisiveness, let us sample some fresh hummus mashoosha.

Abu Dhabi

At Abu Dhabi, you can purchase a used book for 20 shekels. Saving the world, one recycled book at a time.

What is hummus mashoosha, you ask? It’s hot chickpeas mixed with garlic, lemon, and tahini.  The warm hummus had a tangy taste from the lemon and a nice bite from the chunks of garlic.  There was just enough tahini for the flavor, but not too much to overwhelm the hummus.  The chickpeas were super soft and disintegrated into the hummus once it touched your tongue.  It had a grainy porridge texture I’ve never experienced in hummus before, which set it apart from all other hummus.  All in all, though, it was a rather plain dish.  Unique, but plain.

Hummus mashoosha at Abu Dhabi

After much contemplation, we decided to order the plain hummus.  The other offerings were intriguing, but none sounded quite as good as regular hummus.

While we waited for our order, we munched on some olives.  Unfortunately, they were of the bitter and sour variety.  I love olives, but I prefer those that are meaty and easy to bite, not the type that are tough and thin.  Abu Dahbi’s were much the latter.  They also tasted alcoholic, in a way.

Pickles and olives at Abu Dhabi

Our hummus arrived, beautifully arranged with a handful of whole chickpeas, a hard-boiled egg splayed out, and paprika, parsley, and olive oil sprinkled on top.  Sadly, the dish didn’t taste as good as it looked.  The whole chickpeas were firmer than those in the hummus mashoosha, but were entirely tasteless.  The hummus itself was incredibly creamy, like a yogurt.  It was so smooth that it seemed airy and insubstantial.  As the hummus-loving daughter of Israeli hummus lovers who are the children of Sephardic hummus makers, I’ve eaten a ton of hummus in my lifetime—Abu Dahbi’s hummus did not taste like any I’d ever eaten before.   By the second, confused bite, I missed the grainy texture I’m accustomed to in hummus.  Whatever we had in front of us just didn’t seem like hummus.  To add some flavor and excitement to the dish, we mixed in some schkug they gave us on the side.  It was hotter than schkug usually is, but the creamy egg yolk was able to cool the burn.

Regular hummus at Abu Dhabi

I left Doug to finish the hummus.  He wasn’t a huge fan of what he considered chickpea-flavored yogurt, but with the schkug and a pita, it was filling enough.  When he finished (which for once in his hummus-eating life didn’t mean wiping the plate clean), the waitress brought us espresso shots.  We sipped them, spending the time trying to figure out how Abu Dahbi made such (overly) smooth hummus.  The espresso was strong and flavorful and, contrary to most espressos from my perspective, drinkable.

While the hummus definitely didn’t satisfy our hummus cravings, we were happy that the bill was only 21 shekels.  Cheap, if not good.

Abu Dhabi