Wednesday, January 6, 2010

01/05/2010: Leaving Israel...

Woke up late from the wild night of partying, the remaining 6 of us decided to walk to old Jaffo. Arriving at lunchtime, we found ourselves on a quest to locate the elusive Abu Hassan hummus we had heard about during our visit to Tel Aviv over a week ago. There is a Hazan vegetarian restaurant that has hummus one the menu, but while chatting with the pushy host, something didn't seem right.

Me:  Is this Abu Hassan's hummus?
Him:  Yes we have hummus dishes on the menu (points at menu)
Me: Is this Abu Hassan?
Him: This is Hazam, Hassan is my friend
(start walking away)

We eventually found Hassan's in an alley of old Yaffo. It was just past 1pm and he was no longer selling hot dishes, which is perfect because it left us to sample his hummus plates (layers/rings of hummus, hummus mixed with something that seems like a ground baba ganoush, chickpeas, olive oil, and some herbs), fresh pitas, and Israeli black beer (tastes like a cross between root beer and Italian Chinotto). This place was well worth the wait!

Continued roaming around old Yaffo, going through galleries and artisan jewelry shops. One standout was Adina Plastelina, who makes jewelry by taking polymer clay, making a very large size item, smooshing it down by hand, and then baking it in a toaster. When you're done, the earring/necklace/cufflinks/etc have shrunk down to about 10% the original size a la shrinkydinks. All it took was the question "who owns this shop?" to set the owner off on an excited tour of the artifacts discovered during the various renovations of the building, including ancient coins, countless Turkish pipes, and one of Napoleon's cannonballs!

We headed back by way of the Carmel Market, and strolled through the twice-weekly craft fair on Nachalat Benyamin Street. I worked with Art-Goldberg to design a belt from the various art and components available, and it is the most comfortable belt I have ever had, and reasonable priced too.

For our very last outing in Tel Aviv, we had dinner and drinks at The Brewhouse on Rothschild Ave. I have to agree 100% with the manager of Dancing Camel: the food is pretty good but the beer is pretty bad. I tried the Moonshine (dark beer), Quantum (golden beer), and the cherry-vanilla -- I have to say the Quantum had a very nice aftertaste, and the other two were just bad. Although disappointing, it was still a nice experience. Apparently there is not too much of a beer scene in Israel, with the Dancing Camel being a rare gem, and the Brewhouse being slightly better than the mass-produced Maccabee and Goldstar and the strangely omnipresent Carlsberg and Tuborg.

Please follow Olga's continuing adventures on her blog:

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