This whole trip is basically a food lover’s paradise, but this morning’s adventure was a highlight. We began the day with a tour of Levinsky Market, a glorious strip of food stalls, guided by Gil Hovav, the wildly knowledgeable and entertaining Israeli food writer and TV host, who is a friend of the bride. (He was stopped along the way by several locals who approached asking to take selfies with him.)
We began at one of the many stalls that are full of dried fruits, nuts and spices. I purchased dried Persian limes, ginger and grape tomatoes — something I’d never seen in dried form before.
(They took a little figuring out, but if anything will convince you that tomatoes are fruit, it’s these sweet, bright beauties.)
At our next stop it became clear that a theme was emerging among our pack of American wedding-goers: shots for breakfast. At a craft-beer bar called Beer Bazaar, we were given samples of a series of local beers.
It was time to put something substantial in our stomachs, so Gil led us into a wonderful old bakery to sample marzipan and the most amazing almond and merengue cookies.
The owner informed us that sadly, he was shuttering the place shortly, which will be a loss for Levinsky.
Our next stop was a bakery famous for bourekas — flaky, pastries filled with cheese, mushrooms and other savory things. They’re traditionally served with hard-boiled eggs, and Hovav demonstrated what he said was the Israeli way of cracking them by smashing one onto the forehead of a surprised member of our party.
As the sun moved higher in the sky, we found the next stop to be a perfect place to land — Levinsky 41 is a beautiful little stall full of fragrant herbs and bright fruits, all used to make the most refreshing and ravishing drinks. (There was also much-welcome espresso.)
Having sampled as much of the bounty as we could on Levinsky, we headed home to rest up for our next meal. Check back tomorrow for more of my culinary adventures.
Liza Schoenfein is food editor of the Forward. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @LifeDeathDinner