Yerushalaim Shel Zahav has yielded some golden results during our Israel culinary adventure. Who said in Israel you can only eat well in Tel Aviv, Moshav Livnim and gas stations outside of Rosh Pina? Although we only scratched the surface in Jerusalem, that was one heck of a tasty surface.
Our guest editor the Hummus Whisperer, who although likes Ikea food and knows only what he reads in the NY Post (old ‘top secret’ joke) knows a thing or 2 about the art of Hummus and should probably skip this post. Just like eating lobster after Maine, hummus in NYC may never taste the same. And we couldnt even get to some of the best Jerusalem has to offer like Abu Shukri and Hummus Lina in the old city. Here are our the highlights from Jerusalem…
Lebanese Restaurant in Abu Ghosh. Friday night in Jerusalem can be a tough draw for foodies so we opted to leave the city for the nearby arab village of Abu Ghosh. This was one of the those meals. 80 shekels (about $20) per person got us more food than we knew what to do with. Before I even adjusted my chair I was looking at a huge array of salads including various eggplant salads and some of the most delicious hummus we ever had. There were 3 types of hummus — with meat, with oil and plain. The meat hummus plate in particular was a memorable one. Outstanding stuff all around! The only caveat was that the meat dishes came way too soon but I noticed similar behaviour in other establishments. The meats were nice chunks of various chicken, liver and lamb kabobs but the highlights were clearly the amazing salads here. Highly recommend the Lebanese.
Abu Ghosh is known for its Hummus and terrific food but not for creativity as far as restaurant naming is concerned. The “Lebanese Restaurant” is not a description. Thats the name. Another one is simply called Abu Ghosh, another one is you guessed it… Elvis Diner. And then there’s the famous Abu Shukri, except that there are 2 other famous Abu Shukris in Jerusalem. Still, I am told this is the Hummus capital of the world. Dont believe me? Ask Rihanna
Adom – I was somewhat apprehensive about eating here I must admit since this is the type of place we dont have a shortage of in NYC. You may even call this ‘American’ with this kind of an eclectic menu. But what we got was another terrific meal.
Started with some nice and salty veal carpaccio with a hint of truffle oil. The “Fresh Pasta” was perfectly al dented Ballerina shaped with zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes white wine. I noticed more of that fresh Ballerina pasta on the streets of the German colony while walking with my new friend and Jerusalem resident Shaul. I really enjoy well made pastas and this was done right.
The highly recommended Adom burger was perfectly cooked, fairly large and juicy. Comes with nicely seasoned potatoes. Succulent sautéed shrimp comes sizzling with the pan with chickpeas, other veggies and oil. The seafood risotto was creamy and a big hit as well with the group but a bit too heavy for me. Adom in this blogger’s opinion would do very well in New York City. Love all the veggies that were served with some dishes. Loved the freshness! Loved Adom!!
The only minor issue was finding Adom. If you look at its location in Google maps its not exactly there. Its about where I marked it in the map below, about a block closer to the old city on Jaffa street. Look for an entrance to a narrow alley (see picture)
Rachmo – This is authentic home cooking cafeteria style dining at its best. From the cafeteria trays, the window where you place your order, and the looks that you get while having your feet on the chair you saving for your spouse so no one would snatch it. This is a popular little spot and I can see why. Some claim this is the best Hummus in the city. Creamy, grainy and very pleasant tasting Hummus with beans, definitely a”best hummus” of the trip contender. Another specialty is the Kibbeh, comes either fried or like doughy dumplings stuffed with meat, onions and spices in tomato based soup. A tremendous lunch. If my school cafeteria served food like this, I would still be in school. Rachmo or Rahmo is a MUST!
Problem is its right near foodie heaven Mahane Yehuda. At least the original Rachmo as they have another location. You want to come at least a little hungry to Mahane Yehuda and Rachmo makes it very difficult.
Other eats: Lunch in Crown Plaza in Ein Bokek (Dead Sea) – surprisingly a fine buffet. Nice Sabich-like sandwich at a cafe in Israel musuem. Beef kabobs from Eretz Bereishit – a biblical experience that involves midlife crisis camels and biblical characters with Australian accents.
Mahane Yehuda – Like a kid in a candy store, Like Mike Tyson in an Orecchiette factory (orecchiette is baby ear shaped pasta – get it?). Amazing melt in your mouth fresh Halva (Halva king has 2 locations). Hairy fresh Baklava (Kataifi?), not so hairy Baklava (I prefer no hair :roll:), Israeli seeds, figs, dates, fresh pasta and much much more. I will let the pictures do the talking…
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That article has given me a serious craving for Middle Eastern food! I love the comment about the restaurant names. So true.
Thanks Katie! We are still trying to recreate some of that experience here in NYC. Failing miserably each time 😉
Aaahhwww now I want to go back there! Mahane Yehouda is so special! We had rented an apartment just blocks away from the market, which was a genius idea considering how many (many!) times we went back and back again to buy stuffs for lunch, snacks, tea time, and for bringing back home as well! I Neuilly am more into savory than sweet, but in Mahane Yehouda I was just into everything!!!