Thursday, January 10, 2013

Best of Travelife 2012: A fastfood shawarma in Tel Aviv



On my last day in Israel last September, I took a breather from sightseeing to just relax around Tel Aviv and see how the locals lived – and also to get some shopping done!

My friends had gone to Haifa for the day, but I just felt like hanging around Tel Aviv on my own for a change. So I took a cab to the Azrieli Center shopping mall at the other end of town, in the middle of a neighborhood of skycrapers, for a few hours of "exercise" around a typical Tel Aviv mall with a mixture of foreign brands and local brands.

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I can get the international brands anywhere, so I wasn’t so interested in these.

But I did pay close attention to what was on sale in the local shops as these were worth checking out and buying in Israel.

THAT LITTLE RED DRESS



At one local store, I found a nice little red dress on sale for a shockingly cheap price. It was short and flirty, and not the kind I usually ever wear – but when I tried it on, it made me feel really good.

Then I found a pair of fire engine red platform sandals. Wow. Again, I never wear such things; but I was in Tel Aviv and this is my year for change and trying new things, so I took out my credit card and bought these on a whim and a lot of faith.

CANCEL LUNCH!


For lunch, I had actually booked Tel Aviv’s supposedly best restaurant, and it was right by the sea. But at 130 PM, I was still in the mall, so I decided instead to eat a local shopping mall lunch.

The next problem was where to go. But it wasn’t hard to find a good place to eat -- all I had to do was follow the crowds and the lines. Just my luck, it seemed that everyone was lining up at a shawarma place named Diana that had a sign in front saying it had been in business since 1958. It was exactly what I wanted to eat on my last full day in Israel.

Scroll down to read about a really good shawarma...


THE HANDS SAY IT ALL



Unfortunately, most of the staff at this shawarma place couldn't speak English. But by a mixture of sign language and following everyone else, I eventually got what I wanted: a shawarma sandwich with everything on it, and rice on the side.

They started making the sandwich
by heaping all kinds of vegetables
on a spread of hummus on some pita bread

Then they heaped on the chopped up meat.
Yummy...

I had to wait awhile for my turn, though, as all the shawarma sandwiches were made fresh for everyone upon ordering and paying. So I stood there in front of the counter for a good 10 minutes or so until they called my name -- I had to give my name when I ordered and paid -- watching in utter fascination as a guy made everyone's shawarma sandwich.

...and topped it off with a generous drizzle of garlic sauce.

Finally my turn came. I had everything on it and when the guy gave it to me, he said: "Welcome to Israel."

It was positively scrumptious and worth the wait -- and the price. I paid 48 Israeli shekels for this, which didn't really sound cheap to me for a fastfood joint shawarma. But, boy, was it good.

Just another day in our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.



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