Friday, September 26, 2008

Wisdom of the "Natives"

I was so proud of myself, ages ago, when I introduced Treppenwitz to the Pe'air bakery. It's nice to have little insider secrets about what's good in one's city, which one only finds out after living there a while.

Last week, my brother-in-law was in Israel for business meetings, and we spent an afternoon together, shopping for gifts for my sister and eating out, catching up on news at home, etc. It was up to me to choose where to eat; his only criteria were "not dairy, and must be inside and air conditioned."

My first thought was Cafe Rimon, but when we got there, we looked at the menu they've set up outside, and it didn't look appealing. They don't have a business lunch, and spending 50+ shekels on food that I wasn't in the mood for just didn't do it for me.

So I led my brother-in-law through the labyrinth which is the Ben Yehuda pedestrian square and Yaffo Street, and then suddenly made a right through a gate in the street, down a dark alley.

"Are you sure this is the place?" Luiz asked.

"Trust me."

And suddenly, the dark alley became a quaint, old-fashioned courtyard, with restaurants lining each side.

We ate at Eldad VeZehoo, which I'd heard from others is one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem - and they were right. The service was good, the decor was great, and the food - YUM! (And yes, they have a business lunch deal.)

"I never would have found this place on my own," Luiz said. "For some things, you really need a native."

After five years, it's nice for someone to think of me as a native!

For those who want to share in the secret: The alley is at 31 Yaffo Street.

Shabbat shalom.

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