Oct 28, 2010

Since when do you have to be hungry to eat? By Andrea Mann

A little well-known fact about Jews... we love to eat. Put a Jewish family together in a room and I guarantee there will be food involved. It’s no wonder the thousands of restaurants in Tel Aviv continue to thrive.

Another well-known fact (or at least a seemingly true stereotype) about Jews... Jewish mothers and Jewish grandmothers demonstrate their love by relentlessly overfeeding their children and grandchildren. You might not be very hungry, in fact, you’re probably not even the least bit hungry, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be eating.

My family is no exception. We are a classic example of a food-obsessed Jewish family. If you’ve survived sitting through a meal with my family, you have more than likely been a victim of my mother or grandmother's persistent reminder to “eat up because you never know where your next meal is coming from".  Of course, this is far from true. Our days are arranged depending on our meals. We begin deciding our lunch plans amidst our first bite of breakfast and we have a dinner menu established well before the last bite.

Needless to say, with only a 5 hour gap between my parents 10 day Tel Aviv visit and my grandparents 5 day visit, you can only imagine the damage that was done.

See the complete list of our Restaurants in a larger map

Throughout the consecutive long, hot days of touring, we managed to refuel at several delicious restaurants. While I could easily torture you with a detailed account of each meal (they were all pretty damn good),  I will spare you the hunger pains. But just a few of the Tel Aviv restaurants that I highly recommend everyone must check out:
Masabacha from Abu Hassan in Jaffa
  • Abu Hassan is the world's best hummus and masabacha joint. Grab a fork and devour your own bowl of hummus like the locals right in the middle of Jaffa.
  • Manta Ray offers the most exquisite views of the Mediterranean. Indulge yourself in a variety of mezze salads and amazing seafood while sitting right along Alma beach.
  • Yotvato in the City serves huge portions of delicious dairy cuisine right on the Tel Aviv promenade. Menu items are made with fresh produce from Kibbutz Yotvato near Eilat. Refresh with a create-your-own shake from a long list of seasonal fruits!
Sweet Potato Fries from Cafe Kasbah

  • Cafe Kasbah presents an exotic menu of home-cooked items, which includes many unique vegetarian options. With a large wrap around porch, the quaint restaurant hidden within the Florentine streets is a cozy place to hang out, listen to music, and play with the various dogs roaming around.  
  • Ernesto 90 is guaranteed to satisfy any Italian craving you may have. Using only Italian products, Ernesto's Roman flavor is so authentic you'll forget you're in Tel Aviv.
  • Brasserie fulfills your appetite at any hour. This 24/7 Parisian inspired diner has a vast array of seafoods, pastas and meats on its Hebrew and French menu. Check out the weekend brunch as well!

Shakshuka from Yotvato in the City
As my grandparents prepare to leave this morning, my 2-week free eating streak must come to an end.  I met them for breakfast before their 10am pick-up and, after I shoveled in two full plates of the all-you-can-eat Israeli breakfast buffet, my grandma innocently asked, “Do you want to take some croissants home for later?” When I looked at her as if she was crazy she simply replied, “why not? I don’t want you to starve when I leave." Even in the holy land, her Jewish grandmother mentality refuses to subside.

Although I’m sad to see my family go, my belly is happy and full.

ועכשיו, אני בדיאטה  

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