Our Last Meal in Israel

Got in so late from our 23 hour journey to Petra that we fell into bed and slept straight through til 9am. Had to try breakfast in the David Citadel so we hurried down to a beautiful buffet. There was a predictable selection of salads, shakshuka, halvah, baked goods, hot and cold cereals juices, and fresh fruit. There was also kefir and yogurt. The dining room is pleasant and light and service was acceptable. Cappuccino was not great, but it was certainly drinkable. We are disappointed to discover that the food at breakfast is no better than the food we were served at lunch the day before, which was mediocre at best. We talked to several people that morning from various places and they, too, thought the food was just adequate. Compared to some of the other, less elegant, places we stayed that had much better food, we were truly surprised. Oh, well.

After breakfast we began to pack and soon got everything ready, including the new menorah, which we hadn’t opened since we bought it two weeks earlier and had been toting around everywhere. We decided to go to the Mahane Yehuda market to see if I could find the famous Kingdom of Halvah, which so many people had recommended. Finally, we found it, and it was an amazing place: filled with more than 20 flavors of halvah, and the vendor was willing to slice off a bit of every one if I wanted to taste them all. Even for me, that was impossible, so we ended up buying plain, pistachio and Lotus (Biscoff cookie) flavor, approximately four pounds. He cut big slabs and I wasn’t paying attention, which we had been cautioned we needed to do, so we didn’t end up with so much. It was all nicely boxed and wrapped, so at least it could go in my packed luggage and the vendor said it would last at least a year!

We had been invited to have dinner at Happy Fish at the Mamilla Hotel next door to the David Citadel. It is a charming, tiled restaurant with warm wood accents and a summery vibe. We had been told to ask for the manager, Amit, and he welcomed us cordially and offered to pick things for us, as he and Ronit had already talked about what we might like. We thought that would be a great idea, but having already had the experience of way too much food in restaurants, we asked him to keep things light. They prepared a delicious drink for me made with tequila and some citrus juices and pomegranate which was yummy and we started with a huge array of expertly-prepared and delicious appetizer dishes: eggplant, hummus, tahini, cucumbers and tomatoes, falafel, cabbages, carrots, etc. but differently done than in other places. Then, we were served a carpaccio of salmon with a parsley-pesto that was out of this world, plus freshly-made bread. We were worried after all the appetizers that more food would come, as by then we were very full. Our server suggested that we end with one serving of their lemon pie – it seemed an odd thing to serve in Israel but it was awesome. The crust was a cookie-type with something crumbly on top, then a swirl of creamy lemon mousse, covered with a tasty meringue. More than enough for two and that’s how we ended our last meal in Israel. It was a delight, to be sure.

Back to the room to pick up all our stuff and meet Alberto for the $100 ride in his car to the airport at Tel Aviv. United Airlines was on time, but the flight was super-full and only because we paid extra to board early, were we able to find any overhead bin space. We will not fly United again, definitely uncomfortable, plane not clean, and diffident employees who were unwilling to engage or help in any way. We much prefer Lufthansa or even Delta! Will arrive at SFO at 5:30am and will not deplane until the airport opens at 6am. L’hitraot! The beautiful menorah didn’t make it in one piece – it shattered and we have to throw it away. Such a shame as it was never put in luggage but apparently had not been packed carefully enough.

Scroll to Top