israel, part two

tel aviv

if the farm was just one of those things like a couch that could be strapped to a u-haul and moved to another place and if with some crazy effed up futuristic wizardry, the spot where i'm sitting right now just vanished and minnesota went missing and we were forced to relocate where would we go?? what would we do? could i bring my little town and all of its cozy winters?

would we go to montana? maybe!

asheville? when we retire.

tel aviv?????? right now??? yes.

that place is the tits! i have never felt more at home in a place that was so far from my home. sure, the food is great, the sun is always shining, there's a party every night, etc., etc., but what really made this place more than just a hummus-y beach vibe backed by the sweet sounds of matkot and hydration via shoko b'sakit was the people. everybody that i met was so welcoming and nice. not just nice in a pleased-to-meet-you/that's-a-pretty-shirt way, but nice in a real honest warm way, like how they all make sure you have somewhere to go for friday night dinner, how they open up their home if you feel like inviting instagram over, and how if you mention that you'd like to sharpen your pita skills, they're there with flour and an oven. 

if i was tel aviv's mum i'd be kvelling. 

i had countless wonderful experiences in my short time there, from making tahini cake and pretzel challah for al hashulchan, to feasting on three courses of the best shrimp i ever ate with naama and lamato l'chaim-ing with so many amazing friends, old and new...

one of these days i'm gonna get on the mic and ask if any of you in tel aviv would like to swap houses for a winter. so get ready, go buy a coat.

here are some things i would like you to know about tel aviv if you're planning to go there:

going on a tour with delicious israel is a requirement if you care about food. inbal, the owner, knows everything about everything and will not take no for an answer if, for example, the special secret spice man at the levinsky market has closed up shop for the day but you're about to board a plane and need an emergency stash of ras el hanout. 

catit is where josh, jeff, and i lost our shit over what was easily one of the top three meals of our lives. it was fancy and beautifully plated and i yelled at jeff for wearing shorts to it, but it wasn't stuffy, it was just so good.

i had a really great almond pulpy cocktail situation at imperial.

yom tov's halva is a *revelation* and their cheese stuffed hibiscus is something everyone needs to try at least twice.

the turkish breakfast at the cookbook cafe is everything i aspire to make for the breakfast table.

bread and co was two doors away from my airbnb and i am positive that if i lived in tel aviv, this is where i would sit every day with my shakshuka in a bread bowl and a cold coffee and morning twitter.

feincook is a very cool hip kitchen studio space with fun cooking classes and the most delightful people.

the freshest, most beautiful sodas in the world may be found at café levinsky 41, and sipped alongside colorful balls of homemade marzipan.

dr. shakshuka, abu hassan, orna v'ella, lehamim bakery, and night kitchen were a few more places that i loved.

mizlala, miznon, north abraxus, eatwith habanot, mashiah, and port said were the ones that got away, but they're at the top of my list for next time.

food pictured in this post: a chocolate chili ganache cake with marzipan hearts and a halva + berry pizza made with the extraordinary bazekalima tahini + fig cake and kashkaval stuffed pretzel za'atar challah which will be in the november issue of al hashulchan, fig + silan + tahini + dukkah toasts, a feta + watermelon + mint cake which, ok, is actually #notacake.