Nov 1, 2010

Halloween in the Holy Land

Halloween night with Taste TLV at Mezcal

 By Laura Goldstein

Spending Halloween in Israel as an American you miss the carved pumpkins and crisp fall air that usually characterize the holiday. Halloween is not a big deal in Israel as the night of costumes and debauchery is the holiday of Purim in the spring.
The Bar at Mezcal during Halloween
As we walked from my apartment to the Taste TLV Halloween party my friend and I were conspicuous in our costumes. She dressed as a Greek goddess with a wreath of flowers on her head and I was a fairy, wings and all. We got some weird looks at my wings and her flowery headdress. Then we finally found Vital Street, it was alive with revelry with many bars overflowing with Halloween parties.

Once inside Mezcal, which is the only restaurant in Tel Aviv with real authentic mexican cooking, we felt better about being dressed up in the company of others wearing silly costumes. There was a festive atmosphere as latin music was pumping and the inside of the bar was full to the brim. The homemade decorations added to the atmosphere. Mezcal’s usual Mexican theme was enhanced by orange streamers and cut outs paper ghosts and spiders with googly eyes. Impressive, considering how little there is available in Tel Aviv in terms of Halloween kitch.
Bar at Mezcal during the Halloween Party
As part of the entrance to the party we got a shot of tequila, burrito, and glass of beer. First, we chose to order from Mezcal’s wide selection of tequilas. My friend was very excited to find that they had her favorite tequila, the Mexican brand Milagro, a rarity in most bars. We toasted L’chaim, to life, licked the salt off our hands, took the tequila shot back, and then sucked on the limes provided for us. A Hebrew toast with  Mexican liquor on an American holiday, only in the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv!
After warming our bellies with the shot of tequila, we had our burritos. They were not the monstrosities that you find in chains like Chipotle. The burritos were a convenient size, smaller and more authentic to their Mexican origin . They were the perfect size for eating at a bar, you could hold the burrito in one hand and hold your beer in the other. The choices of burrito fillings were beef, chicken, and veggie. I opted for the beef burrito, it was delicious and perfectly satisfying. The burrito was filled with warm tender meat nicely spiced with genuine Mexican flavors.

 As we were drinking our post-burrito beers we started talking to the other people at the bar. At the bar there was a good mix of Israelis and foreigners. It was the first Halloween for some of the Israelis we met! What a great way to experience your first Halloween!
The night was a success and we went home not minding that people were still looking at us strangely because of our costumes. We had the satisfaction of having spent another night in Tel Aviv sharing good food and drink with new and old friends.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post Laura! I loved reading about your experience and your clever perspective- "drinking Mexican tequila, toasting on an American holiday in Hebrew." GREAT !