Yesterday I arrived in Tel Aviv for a long-anticipated vacation that’s centered around a dear friend’s wedding. This morning, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the day than to belly up to the bar of an open-air eatery in the Carmel Market called Shuk Shuka.
At the restaurant, a few minutes walk from the apartment I’m staying in with my son Teddy and a big group of friends, we ordered shakshuka, the quintessential Israeli breakfast dish of eggs cooked in a thick tomato-and-pepper sauce, along with classic chopped Israeli salad. Before the main event there was fluffy seeded bread with tahini and spicy pickles.
“Where are you from?” asked the gregarious owner, possibly amused by this bright-eyed, excited gaggle of hungry Americans. We told him that we came from New York and that we’d just arrived yesterday. Next thing we knew he was pouring bright pink liqueur — fruit-juice-spiked arak — into shot glasses, which he presented to us, saying “Welcome to Israel!”
Now that’s how to kick off a vacation.
Stay updated on my culinary adventures — I’ll be posting regularly from the field.
Liza Schoenfein is food editor of the Forward. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter, @LifeDeathDinner