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Travelujah_ / Food & Drinks - Posts
The historic restaurant 1890 in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem is an authentic Palestinian experience.
"Up the hill, down the hill and it's on the right," exclaimed Georgette Habashi excitedly, co-owner of the historic 1890 Restaurant. The Palestinian family-style restaurant, at two years old, is only a few minutes on the road leading out of the biblical town of Bethlehem into the neighboring village of Beit Jala.
Despite the small size of Bethlehem, it has a reputation that far exceeds it. As the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the church of the Nativity is one of the city's most popular destinations. In modern times, the city changed hands from Israel to the Palestinian Authority in 1995 and has three refugee camps. The highly contentious separation barrier that runs between Israel and the West Bank is accessible from Bethlehem and is a museum of graffiti art and a history of the conflict.
But walking into the 1890 Restaurant is to leave all politics aside and truly take a step back in time in the history of the city. The restaurant is in the historically renovated residence of the Dar-Abu Eid Palestinian family. Built in 1890, the restaurant occupies the ground floor of the three-story home, an area that was used for seasonal food storage of cheese, olives and wood. Today, the arched-barn doors lead into a cavernous expanse warmed up with candlelight, cozy seat
To think that Israel would play host to MTV food anchor Maria Brown and lifestyle guru Martha Stewart would have been unthinkable a few years ago.
But something is happening on our Holy Land food and tour scene. What is it?
Try great food.
As detailed in Tali
Friedman's The Culinary Story of Jerusalem, what gastronomes find so appealing about the food scene
here is its sheer variety of exotica. Thanks to Israel's ingathering of the
exiles, visitors can sample authentic and delicious cuisine from places you may
not have even heard of - such as Tashkent, Tikrit, Sanaa, Fez or Gondar. Many
but not all are kosher; similarly many are downright bargains of the
hole-in-the wall type. We know that deciding on where to eat can be overwelming so Travelujah decided to put together a list of our favorite "fast" ethnic foods in Jerusalem - and the best places to enjoy them. Bon Appetit!
Top 10 Jerusalem fast foods and the eateries where
The Israeli wine industry has grown exponentially over the last several years and visitors from abroad are invited to participate in any number of special wine festivals that are planned for this summer. To help you plan your visit, Travelujah's wine authority, David Rhodes, has put together a list of the top summer wine festivals. L'chaim!
White Red Nights Festival 2012
When: June 4th-7th, 2012
Gates opening: 19:00 PM.
Cost: 99 shekel. Ticket includes unlimited wine tastings through the various compounds.
Where: Tickets could be purchased at the Museum box offices or at "Leaan" Box Offices: www.leaan.co.il *8780.
This is an international festival, focusing on wine, music and cuisine.
The Eretz Israel Museum in Tel-Aviv complex will be divided into seven different compounds according to world regions:
Italy compound; Spain compound; Israel compound; Chile-Argentine compound; France compound; New World compound that includes the USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand; and the Sweet Nights compound.
Each compound will offer a huge variety of wines, food stands and artistic attractions and a comprehensive cultural experience of culinary, wine and music. Wineries slated to appear: Dalton Winery, Pelter Winery, Golan Heights Winery, Luria Winery, Tulip Winery, Amphora Winery, Arza Winery, Tabor Winery, Kadesh Barnea Winery, Tzuba Winery, Mony Winery, Ella Valle
As a recent Jewish immigrant to Israel and wine consultant, I tend to focus my own sojourns on sites that have more to do with the history of the Jewish people and the local wine industry. Yet, Christian shrines do intrigue me and they have a significant place within the history of Israel and are an important part of the landscape in this land. Consequently, when I recently had the opportunity to tour some of the Christian holy sites and wineries for Travelujah, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about Chrisitan holy sites in Israel.
Domaine du Castel Vineyards; photo courtesy Travelujah
Within a fifteen minute drive southwest of Israel's ancient & modern capitol, Jerusalem, we stopped first at the Church of John the Baptist in the lovely village of Ein Karem. This ancient site is thought to be where Jesus's most influential disciple was born and raised in the house of his parents Zachariah and Elizabeth. Initially a Byzantine church was built on the site in the fourth century as a tribute to St Elizabeth before being destroyed in the seventh century by conquering Muslim hordes from the Arabian peninsula.
Nazareth will always be the Galilean city famously known as the residence of the world's most celebrated figure, Jesus Christ, but over the last five years the city has developed an eviable reputation as a culinary hotspot.
Local residents have been instrumental in redeveloping this Galilean capital, home to Christians and Moslems and Israel's Ministry of Tourism has also allocated some funding in this hilltop city.
The result - a wonderful culinary scene for all appetites. The city boasts wonderful spice shops, sweet stores, cafes and a medley of restaurants offering interesting Arabic fusion foods along with other delicacies.
A recent Travelujah article entitled "Nazareth is Worth a Day or Two for All Tourists" - focused on many of the interesting on and off the beaten path sites in Nazareth and the surrounding area. Now, the New York Times, has offered up a culinary expedition for those interested in the city's burgeoning food scene.
Tishreen Restaurant; Photo Courtesy - Travelujah
Where to go for a special Christmas dinner in Jerusalem?
The American Colony Hotel if offering both Christmas dinner for $95 per peron plus VAT and and Christmas Day lunch buffet for $75 per person plus VAT. Reservations are required. Please let them know that you were referred by Travelujah!!
American Colony Hotel Christmas Eve Dinner
Stuffed salmon mousse with crab meat
La Rotisserie, the understated 80-seat upscale restaurant at Notre Dame has finally reopened its doors after a four-year hiatus and a substantial renovation project that added a new bar, among other things. Historically this restaurant was considered one of the finest restaurants in the city, if not the country. The restaurant has been significantly renovated with wide new windows, extensive lighting, muted furniture, a new European chef, Rodrigo Ganzalez-Elias, was brought in from Spain to oversee the fine dining experience which includes fabulous foix gras, smoked salmon, fish, meats and other European specialties. A prominent yet inviting bar promises to be the new after work destination for NGO's, journalists, tourists and consuls and business people. While visiting the restaurant diners included the Nuncio and the Latin Patriarchate as well as others from the local Catholic community. At a recent reception there, we mingled with H.E. Archbishop Aris Shirvanian, Director of the Ecumenical & Foreigh Relations of the Armenian Patriarchate, representatives of the Custody, the Slovanian Consul, the Chilean Counsul, as well as a number of local Palestinian Christians including Habib Khoury, Mazan Qupty, Issa Hebesch, the General Manager of the American Colony Hotel, and local Israelis. Average check for food is 200 shekel per person.
La Rotisserie is located at Notre Dame, the 145-room guesthouse situated directly across the street from the New Gate.