This is a post about the best falafel in Israel. And about TRAVELIFE Magazine in Israel and about a miracle in a bus stop.
Lunch in Israel the other day on our drive back to Jerusalem from three wonderful days in the Dead Sea, living a #Travelife, was at a nondescript tourist bus stop.
This is usually the kind of place I try to avoid like the plague even if I know these have decent food because the truck drivers, tour guides and big bus drivers are all regulars here so the bus stop cafeterias must make good food or they won't stop at all.
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NO CALMNESS HERE.
OR SO I THOUGHT.
Still I prefer small restaurants with views and calm, and our guide knew this, but there was nothing else.
So we stopped and I literally had to walk through a huge souvenir shop with about 10 bus loads of tourists bumping into me to grab key chains, Dead Sea salt, tshirts and camel figurines to get to the bus stop cafeteria at the back.
Finally we got to the cafeteria, which after 10 bus loads, was the exact mess I dreaded. It was serve yourself and pay at the counter, and there were food and serving utensils strewn about everywhere.
Think about a party buffet after about 300 people have gone through it.
MIRACLE IN A CAFETERIA
But lo and behold.
Israel is truly a land of miracles, as Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau keeps telling me. Past all this mess and jumble of Formica tables, but still in the same big dining room was a proper table set for us with a starched red table cloth, wine glasses (!!) and matching red paper napkins.
It stuck out like a wonderfully sore thumb, to use a cliche, and we spotted it immediately among the mess.
THANK YOU TO OUR GUIDE
All the efforts of our wonderful guide Mandy, who is 65 with four children and a wife who he proudly proclaims to the world is 50 but who looks 35 (she does!).
Then the food started coming and nothing on our table was from that mess of a D-I-Y buffet at all. Instead the cafeteria chef brought everything out freshly made and so delicious that we were in seventh heaven. Everything was properly plated, too.
Yup, we were in a D-I-Y cafeteria with a cashier at the end but we were eating in it as if this was a Michelin one-star restaurant in the dessert.
THE BEST FALAFELS SO FAR
We had the usual stuff, everything amazingly delicious, and then Travelife Magazine columnist Michelle Barrera ordered falafels and proclaimed them the best falafel in Israel.
I generally don't eat falafels but decided to try this since she was practically writing songs about these falafels and asking our guide to get the chef's recipe written on a table napkin. They were really so good and if I just wasn't on my now 5000-calorie a day diet, I sure would have eaten more.
And just like that lunch in Israel, in the middle of nowhere in the desert, was a truly another memorable experience in this land of milk and honey, living a never-ending #Travelife.