Monday, October 23, 2006

The Funny Man

My father is a funny man...

What does this have to do with chocolate cake? Well, we checked into the Austrian Hospice in the old city of Jerusalem and the first thing he looked at was the menu for their cafe. The rooms didn't interest him, nor did the amazing view from the roof. What caught his eye was their menu.

For the rest of the day, as we meandered through the bazaars, shouks, alleyways and passages; as we made our way around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; as we made wrong turns and ended up at the right destinations, every time that I mentioned food or made a comment about any of the incredible looking edibles displayed everywhere we turned "oh that looks yummy" he would say "yes, but did you know that I ate Sacher torte at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna?"

Or he would make silly jokes about the earlocked men praying at the wall not getting Wiener Schnitzel for dinner, or that the bewigged women wouldn't be getting Mozart Kugel from their husbands.

I could tell he only had one thing on his mind... dinner.

And we hadn't even eaten lunch yet!

When we did eventually stop for lunch we went to "our usual place", which means Abu Shukri, a famous hummous joint. I have to admit that now that I live in Jaffa I am a bit (ok, very) spoiled when it comes to hummous and its related glops.

For instance the masabacha (it's mashawasha if you are in the north), or breakfast hummous at Ali Karavan, is out of this world. It is so good that it even converts confirmed hummous haters. Since my last visit to Jerusalem I am no longer a neophyte when it comes to hummous. That meant that even though my dad thought Abu Shukri was wonderful, I thought it was merely passable. It is too much of a tourist trap now and the food standards have slipped, nothing to make me swoon.

My afternoon tea was actually rootbeer, something that I have never seen before in Israel, and a craving recently spawned by a few recent blogs by Toast. Boy was it ever good.

At the end of the day I indulged my dad and we returned to the hospice, ordered a couple of beers, sat in the garden and had Wiener Schnitzel, potato salad and Sacher Torte with Schlag.

A typical Viennese dinner, complete with chocolate cake
in the middle of the old city of Jerusalem,
how surreal.


burekaboy — said...

ha ha, and i was looking for a potato in the mozart kugel...duhhh.

that food looks so damned good. sigh.


how many different kinds of hummous are there? i know there are a few different ones like the m'sabacha.

aja said...

Well, it could have been a noodle instead?!? After a day wandering in Jerusalem dinner tasted great!

As to hummous - well, there is your basic smoooooth kind; with tehina mixed in; with whole hummous mixed in; with pinenuts; and then there are all the additional bits and pieces that can go in and on, other than just basic olive oil - harissa, s'chug, ful, tehina on top, and then there are all the local variations - Acco, Abu Ghoshm Jaffa, Jerusalem, Givata'im, as well as the commercial variations. Hummous here is a thing of a million disguises - some good, some great, but most disgusting!

burekaboy said...

u would think all hummous would be spectacular in israel but as with any [popular] item, there is a range in quality. best to hunt down those that are a cut above the rest.

thanx for the info.

aja said...

any time... 8^)