Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’


I retuned from Israel on September 4th and lucky for me, I was able to feel like Israel was right here in Toronto due to an event held by Ezer Mizion.

FYI….Ezer Mizion is Israel’s largest Health Support Organization Specifically, Ezer Mizion’s diverse line-up of services includes the world’s largest Jewish Bone Marrow Donor Registry and specialized programs for children with special needs, cancer patients, the elderly, and terror victims.

I was all to happy to find out that this incredible organization was recreating in Toronto one of my favourite markets: Mahane Yehuda.

I knew the event was going to be popular and I was right!! Wychwood Barn had  a massive line up outside (even though people had purchased tickets) right from the start.  It would not surprise me (at all) if this event will take place in a bigger venue next year and perhaps over a Sunday/Monday of a long weekend!

I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw my favourite vendors from Israel right here in Toronto. Seeing this vendor, really made my day!

It was also a pleasure to meet Norene Giletz, who was selling her famous cookbook, Second Helping Please.

Naturally I had to buy these incredible Rugelach from Marzipan Bakery. I didn’t even blink when I found out the price. I overheard someone say: “I can’t believe the price” and I replied “Well they had to get here from Israel” and she came back with a pretty funny line: “They must have flown first class”. I had a good chuckle.

I understand from facebook that they are still available at Kosher City Plus #justsayin’.

Seeing the Halva King also brought a smile to my face (and my tummy too).

Congratulations to all the volunteers who organized this event. Looking forward to next year’s Shuk.

For more information:




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I’ve kind of been missing in action these days as I went to Israel and Italy for two weeks.  To say I was busy would be an understatement. I seemed to have visited 6 cities in 14 days…Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Florence, Venice and Rome.

So please bear with me as I’m going to dedicate a few (just a few..LOL) blog posts about my travels. As you know, I’ve been to Israel before, but this trip was special for these 3 reasons:

1. I had the opportunity to celebrate my 50th birthday on the Tel Aviv beach.

2. I  got the chance to spend time with my daughter who is studying in Jerusalem, since Jan 25th.

3. I was able to celebrate the Passover seder with my amazing daughter and amazing cousins.

This trip was by no means a “touring trip”. I was there to see family and friends and eat. LOL.

What really blew my mind about this trip is how different it looks from 3 decades ago. For example, their airport is one of the nicest airports I’ve ever seen. I could NOT have said this 30 years ago.

israel - airport

Plus there’s no shortage of modern buildings either. Take for example, this modern building in Tel Aviv.

israel - building

I was only in Jerusalem for a day but I made sure to see the Western Wall, Mahane Yehuda (their famous food market) and go to my favorite restaurant (Caffit) for their insanely delicious Sweet Potato Salad. (36 Emek Rafaim, Jerusalem)

israel - jerusalemAfter my short stay in Jerusalem, I went to Tel Aviv. What did I do there? HANG OUT ON THE BEACH AS MUCH AS I COULD. LOL

israel - tel aviv

Naturally food was a big part of my trip and I tried to eat Shakshuka as much as I could. I discovered that not all Shakshukas are equal. In fact, I still think the Shakshuka at Dr. Laffa  (3023 Bathurst St) right here in Toronto is the best one!!

israel - food

Israel is indeed a special place for me and I can’t wait to return.

What a great 50th Birthday present. Thanks MOM and Dad!




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I’ve done food tours in New York with Urban Oyster and knew that I would love to go on a food tour in Israel. Thanks to Twitter and @funjoel – my cousin and I had the opportunity to have a food tour thru Mahane Yehuda with Joel.

Please meet Joel!!


Joel is originally from the New Jersey and is now a licensed guide in Israel. He’s also a foodie and knew exactly where to take us in Mahane Yehuda, which is a popular food market in Jerusalem.

Here are the highlights.

Jachnun Bar: (30 Ha Egoz) This is a Yemenite restaurant that recently opened in the market.  I ordered a Fatut salad and would order this again in a heart beat. I loved the texture and the originality of this dish. What is Fatut? small pieces of malawach fried with egg, cheeses and toppings. Joel brilliantly described it as “kind of like matza brei”.

jerusalem - fatut

Halva King: (10 and 72 Ets Hayim St) These guys sell a gazillion types of halva (pure halva – not sugary, processed halva) AS WELL as a gazillion flavours of tehina. I was so impressed with how they make the tehina (see the photo) – that I purchased a container of tehnina to take home!! This is indeed AUTHENTIC tehina.

jerusalem - tahinni

Manou Bashouk. At this restaurant we enjoyed a sliver of some meat pie. I say a “sliver” cause we were so full from lunch!!

jerusalem - meat pie

Oozi Eli: At this store, we were introduced to some interesting combination of natural juices. i.e Gat juice, Almonds and Dates, Lemon Mint and Etrog, Passion Fruit and Goats Milk and more. We even shmeered some lotion on our necks in the hopes that we stay young and youthful forever!!

jerusalem - necks

We even visited a family member of the Dr. Laffa owners. What a small world!

jerusalem - laffa

My cousin has lived here for 4 years and said (early on in the tour) “I would have never found these places”. Clearly Joel was instrumental to our  tour thru Mahane Yehuda. It would not have been the same visit without him.

I am also eager to connect Joel with many of my foodie friends and other friends who visit Jerusalem on a regular basis. Fun tour guides are hard to find and Joel was definitely fun and knowledgeable. Once again, I’m thankful to twitter!!

Our night ended at a restaurant that was suggested to me by three separate Toronto foodies (@rosieschwartz, @abeworno and @foodie411). Once again, my twitter friends guided me to the most amazing restaurant in Jerusalem called MachaneYuda (10 Beit Ya’akov St) The menu changes daily so I’m not going to list exactly what I ate as there is a good chance that it wont be on the menu the next time!!  What I can tell you is that the flavours, execution, presentation, service and atmosphere will be flawless!!

jerusalem - dinner

There is a reason why this is one of the top restaurants in the country!

Sadly my trip to Israel has ended.  I’m really really sad about leaving but know that I will be saving my loonies for another trip soon!   However my  vacation continues and the next blog post will be about my food adventures in Barcelona! Stay tuned.

For more information:

Joel can be found on twitter (@funjoel) or on facebook and has a great website too.



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Background: I went to Tel Aviv University and lived in the dorms for four years. (1984-1988). I returned to visit in 1996 and in 2009. On my last visit I went to a restaurant in Jerusalem that left such an impression on me, that it was the first thing I did in Jerusalem on my current visit. I went directly on a bus from the Central Bus Station right to Caffit, which is located in the German Colony.

Actually that’s not exactly true, I ordered a beautiful cappuccino from Aroma Espresso, that was perfectly located at the Central Bus Station and THEN got on the bus that would take me to Caffit!!

aroma - israel

I knew exactly what I was going to order when I got to the restaurant. Check out the ingredients in this Sweet Potato Salad. 

kafit - menu


When the salad arrived, it looked and tasted exactly like it did in 2009. Our friendly waitress told us that this salad has been on the menu for the last 12 years! I hope it’s on the menu FOREVER!!


Sadly I didn’t order anything else cause I was too full to have anything else!! Infact, 8 hours later – I’m barely hungry even though TWO of us didn’t eat the entire  salad.

If you visit Jerusalem, please put this restaurant on your list. Pretty Please!!

Caffit, Emek Refaim 35, Jerusalem, 02-563-5284

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