Whether you’re craving creamy hummus, cheesy burritos, Indian dahl, grilled calamari, Druze pastries or fresh fish, eating well in the Holy Land doesn’t have to cost you much. We’ve compiled a list of where to get the best bite for your buck. From Israel’s northern border to its most southern tip, learn where to find delicious, hearty, local, homemade, and budget-friendly options, all for under 60 shekels (less than $17). It turns out foodies can be frugal, too.
Sabich HaNegba street 16, corner of HaRoeh street, Ramat Gan
The dispute over who made the first Sabich – fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, tehini, hummus and salad stuffed in a pita and drizzled with amba (the Iraqi version of mango chutney) – in Israel is well known to Ramat Gan-ners and Sabich-lovers alike. The employees here and anyone else who grew up in Ramat Gan, claim the word Sabich originates from the name of the deceased Iraqi owner of this spot, Sabich Chalabi, who first made and sold the glorified sandwich in 1961, now considered a national gem. His ID card is proudly laminated on the wall of the place to prove his claim to the patent. True or not, this is the place for sabich.
If you’ve never heard of the dish, you’re certainly in for a life-changing vegetarian treat for the whopping price of 18 NIS. Half portions are also available. This may be a messy feast so devote yourself to the experience, don’t wear elegant clothing and you might even enjoy it when the first drop of tehini stains your shirt. Warm, simple and filling — you’ll never go back to falafel or shwarma. A small tip: if you don’t plan on smelling like you’ve just bathed in yellow curry, skip the amba — although I swear it’s worth it.
During the hot summer months my mother had a few standard Shabbat-lunch salads. There was a Carrot Pineapple salad made with crunchy sweet carrots cut into matchsticks and mixed together with a syrupy can of crushed pineapple. Also in her repertoire; a leafy green salad with chopped chicken and a dressing that I swear tasted like lemonade. Looking back on it I can’t blame her for her haphazard combinations, she just wanted to get back to her beloved rest-day ritual of devouring a good book or two.
Like Mom, I recognize the merits of a thrown together Shabbat salad. For me it is a celebration of non- cooking, an opportunity for creative re-assigning, and an invitation to experiment. This summer of Saturday Salads began with a Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Salad, which featured leftover cornmeal crusted chicken strips on a bed of shredded lettuce, a scattering of minced chili peppers, cubed avocado and diced tomato and topped off with crushed tortilla chips. It was flavorful and full of texture, but not so impressive on the “lite ‘n healthy” scale.
The Nosher’s Shabbat recipe round-up includes a recipe for fig taleggio pizza and roasted peaches served with lavender ice cream. If you’re cooking this for Shabbat, we would love an invitation! [My Jewish Learning]
Take a tour of Jerusalem’s Machneh Yehudah market in photos. [The Kitchn]
This summer Food & Wine Best New Chef Bradford Thompson will fire up the stoves at the soon-to-open Jezebel, a “Modern American Kosher” in Tribeca. [GrubStreet]
An organic milk company in Maine called MOOMilk is being sued by the Orthodox Union for using its kosher symbol without authorization. [Boston Herald]
If you’re anything like us, your idea of a beach read includes sumptuous descriptions of meals in Paris and books on beer (to be enjoyed while drinking a cold one, of course). Here are some summer reading suggestions for food lovers. [Eater]
A perfect way to celebrate the warm weather, Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. [The Daily Meal]
Falafel and shwarma are so ubiquitous in Israel and in the American Jewish cuisine that it would be easy to think that there are no other iconic sandwiches of Israel. For those who think this – I am supremely sorry that up to this point, you have been deprived of sabich.
A sandwich made in pita or laffa (a baked flat bread), stuffed with fried eggplant, hummus, salads, a hard boiled or baked egg and topped with tahina and amba (a tangy bright orange condiment made from pickled mango) – sabich is a intriguing and delicious blend of textures and flavors with bites alternating between the tang of amba and the sweetness of silken fried eggplant, with the crunch of fresh Israeli salads thrown in.