Street food in Tel Aviv

Author: , February 27th, 2014

If you’re into food, restaurants, new tastes and exciting adventures, Tel Aviv should definitely come across your culinary travel plans. Israel, being a country of immigrants who came here on different times, from different countries and continents, has a unique kitchen; a blend of cultures, tastes, flavors and traditions, which, all together, created the Israeli taste.

The best way to get to know the genuine roots of the Israeli kitchen (assuming you don’t have relatives in here, who can cook you traditional food) is to wander around gay Tel Aviv streets and markets, and to taste everything you can.

First timers in Tel Aviv should start with tasting the popular street food Israel excels in. The first step you be, without a doubt, a warm, tasty, plate of Hummus. These mashed chickpeas blended with tahini and lemon juice, are a divine delicacy, with a high addictive risk. The pious eat it for breakfast, but you can eat it whenever you want. You can find hummus place everywhere you go, the city is packed with small homey Hummus restaurants, but the holder of the title “best hummus in the world” is Abu Hassan in Jaffa.

Hummus is often served with Falafel (another famous Israeli dish) – small fried balls of minced chickpeas, and with Pita bread. The entire Hummus meal is cheap, vegan, healthy and delicious.

HUMMUS

The second step is to taste a good dose of Shawarma. Shawarma is made out of turkey, chicken or lamb (you can also choose a mix dish) grilled on a vertical spit for many hours, served in Pita bread or Lafa bread wrap, with hummus, tahini, vegetable salad, fries, and hot peppers. It is so good, you will devour it in a few minutes, and then you’ll need to rest for a while.

The last kind of famous Pita bread delicatessen is called Sabich. No one really knows the origins of the name, but there are many theories, and many Sabich vendors who claim to be the best. Sabich is, as said, Pita bread filled with hummus, eggplants, boiled egg, tahini, amba sauce, parsley, white cabbage and vegetables salad. And yes, it’s that great. Best Sabich place is on Tchernihovsky Street; just on the junction with Allenbi and a few minutes walk from Brown hotel (a beautiful boutique gay hotel in Tel Aviv) and from the beach.

That was just the first introduction to Israeli street food… to be continued!

Purim Carnival in gay Tel Aviv

Author: , February 2nd, 2014

One of the most fun, happy, colorful times in Israel is when Purim carnival is on; it’s when the only Mitzvah (command) is to be happy, joyful, and drunk.

The origins of Purim are commenced way back, in ancient times, at the great Persian Empire, when Haman the evil (The Persian King’s secretary) had a master plan of annihilating the entire Jewish people living in the Persian Empire. He held a lot, (in Hebrew- PUR- therefore the name of the holiday) in which was decided that this mass murder shall happen in 13 of Nissan (Jewish month). Luckily, the vicious plan was thwarted by Mordechai and Esther the braves, turning Ester to the queen of Persia.

Ever since, on each 13 of Nissan (according to the Jewish calendar, that’s why each year the dates are different, but it’s always somewhere around March), Jewish people, from all around the world, celebrate the happy ending of that plot while practicing the main traditional customs: exchanging Mishloah Manot (food presents), dressing up in fine, funny costumes, reading the Megillah (the Biblical book where the story was recorded), and basically, partying, drinking and eating for 3 entire days.

PURIM

 You can only imagine, therefore, how fun it is to be in gay Tel Aviv during that time! The city get overcrowded with thousands of people in disguise, there are even more parties than usual, including a street masquerade, and a gay infamous after party (starting at noon till very late in the night) by Shirazi – Tel Aviv gay nightlife scene’s king, to which you must dress up in order to get in (and yes, it’s even wilder than you think), everyone is cheerful and happy, and for 3 entire days, the city gets a magical vibe and atmosphere, giving you, and all the rest, a chance to be whoever they want to be.

 Considering the fact that the Israeli climate is relatively comfortable all year’s round, and that there’s not a real winter in here, Purim time (this year it will be celebrated on March 13-17) can be a great break from the cold European or American winter, in which you can stay at one of the many gay hotels in Tel Aviv and enjoy this colorful, happy, time in the city. There’s even a slight chance of catching some sun!