#4: Ridiculously cheap and ubiquitous falafel

Number 5

12 shekels dude. That’s not even $3 for a kosher (BADATZ no less) falafel in laffa bread. Each sandwich contains (no joke) about 18 freshly made falafel balls, as well as the usual stuffings (skip the freedom fries – that’s just overkill), hummus, tehina, chariff, salad etc. and then you can add as much onions, fried eggplant, mango sauce etc. etc. as you like. At the joint we hit, the owner kept passing around a bowl of even more falafel balls. We ate enough to feed a family. The particular joint we hit was at the bottom end of the Machaneh Yehudah market. Look for it if you’re ever there, it’s awesome.

Who’s we? Why pictured above is none other than mobius of Jewschool, me and Harry from the View from Here. Earlier I brought Ariela from Urban Achiever some instant soup because she was feeling ill and met up with our own Alli at Cafe Hillel. Ariela is at Hebrew U. and Alli is doing a short stint at Neveh before starting WUJS.

But yeah… Jewlicious and Jewschool met face to face and only a couple of falafel balls were hurt! Moby was actually pretty cool and he doesn’t know it yet, but I’ll be seeing him again tonight. Harry is unbelievable – the man knows things. More on that later!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Glad you’re making strides toward that “United World Federation of Jewish Bloggers” idea…

    You boys are so lucky to be able to eat whatever you want without dealing with a metabolism-as-nemesis. Although I have to say that even the idea of eating 18 falafel balls in one week, let alone in one sitting, makes me feel like a traitor to dieting women everywhere…

    Which one of you is packin’ the TUMS?

  • Actually, achi, I think an abundance of fantastic kosher falafel at insanely low prices is the number one reason to make aliyah.

    Just think: every time you never get to the front of the line in the bank because you’re not pushy enough, every time some bureaucrat is feeling petulant and decides that they should screw you over, every time an Israeli is so breathtakingly rude to you that you want to cry…just hit up the falafel stand. Total comfort food.

    Anachnu rotzim falafel, anachnu rotzim falafel akhshav!

  • Esther: Tums is for Mama’s boys…

    Michael: You haven’t seen reasons #1-3. So wait before you pass judgement! But yeah – that falafel is good for the soul.

  • I don’t s’pose you want to send some of that yummy flafel to Winnipeg???

    *sigh* I’ve gotta start saving for another trip to Israel.

  • Hmmm. I could do with some of that yummy falafel. But I disagree… A really delicious falafel needs fries! In fact, not telling someone that a falafel joint offers fries as a garnish (not even an extra!) is like grounds for divorce or something…

  • Well, fries can act as a nice filler but seriously, the 18 falafel ball number was an estimate. There was just so much falafel ball goodness that the fries were rendered unneccessary. I mean it was like a giant falafel tsunami in a pita. It was quite something to behold.

  • oooooooooooooooo u guys are making me hella hungry..aswell as desperate to go 2 israel..but i vote the shwarma over the falafel..with auborgines n taboulai in tel aviv..*dreams*

  • I would normally feel jealous of the 18-falafel laffa combo, but my sicky self is happy enough to be successfully downing the “Elite Instant Vegetable Soup – Lite” with the requisite “Shk’dei Marak” (gotta get my carbs somewhere, ya know).

    I will also attest to Harry’s “knowing” of the “things.” He pointed out two new (new to me, anyway) chummus places, each within 5 minutes walking distance from my front door… I’ve already lunched at one of the places (name escapes me) and I was -not- disappointed.

    The “United World Federation of Jewish Bloggers” indeed… : )

  • Falafel? Oy, what tourists! Best culinary things about Israel:
    1) salad served as a side dish with every meal b/c we have the best veggies on the planet
    2) Burger Bar on Emek Refaim-very cheap and extremely thrilling,
    3)Oaf al ha’gehalim everywhere you turn (lots of good chicken in general),
    4) homemade soup on Shabbat because how else does one make soup? From a packet? A can? Has v’halilah!
    5) Good bread, and I have recently discovered where to get Russian bread and Ethiopian bread so extremely good bread
    6) very good and abundant chocolate, including mounds and mounds of parve chocolate.
    7) Kick ass dairy products which aren’t stoked full of preservatives (so they are tastier) and cottage cheese which actually has a layer of cream on the top (yummy!)
    8) and of course, Marzipan rugellah.

    Hmmmm…this all gets me thinking what I should make for this weekend’s predicted “Jerusalem snowed-in Shabbat”. Soup and ruggelah and apple crisp. Lots and lots of ruggellah. One needs the energy, you see, to deal with the cold.

  • I think I’m gonna cry. I had shwarma the other night but it doesn’t compare to the real thing. Never mind the rest of the yummies in Israel.

    /me gets ready to set up a budget to save for that trip.

  • Muffti wants to know if you can find huevos as good as Cinquo de Mayo’s.

  • So, back to my issue. Let’s say your special someone takes you out for falafel laffa and neglects to tell you that fries are a topping (this is not a given since the setting for this little story isn’t Israel). And then you find out about the fries when special someone bites into a big, fat, juicy fry-filled laffa that makes your laffa look wimpy and lame. Grounds for divorce, or what?

  • And then you walk out in a huff, and smash your ketubah with your wedding ring, all because he didn’t tell you about the tchipsim.

    …Sounds about fair, actually.

  • Whoa…don’t jump to conclusions here. Were they American style tschipsim, which are crispy and good or Israeli style, which are soggy grease laden potatoes and completely nasty? If he does not tell you about the first, it is cruelty, and grounds for divorce. If he does not tell you about the second, it is chivalry, and grounds for him deserving…ahem…thanks.

  • Daphna: Holy cow! Sounds delish! Just remember before you go off about the culinary delights in your home … I know where you live and I am still in town.

  • CK, you are more than welcome, especially since not only do I have a vase which needs to go up onto a high shelf *but* I also have a lightbulb that needs to be changed. (You know, your height has to be good for something.) And the menu is veggie chili and apple cobbler….

  • oooh, sounds yummy…i’m none too tall, but maybe you have a floor that needs to be swept?

  • Laya, you are more than welcome; get my number from CK and I won’t even make you clean the floor. You see, men need to feel useful. And I try to help them in that regard. Think of it as my mitzvah of the day.


  • daphna
    A friend from Jerusalem came to my wife’s shiva house with some Marzipan rogellach and I promise you that the family forgot they were in mourning for the time it took to empty out the box. I could not think of a greater mitzvah at that moment.

  • Whoa! I haven’t seen Alli’s name on here in a while. Glad she’s back.

  • Feeling Left Out and In the Cold (Literally..It is Freezing Here!)
    It is bad enough I am currently in Germany, but now all of you guys are getting together behind my back?
    Oh, the inhumanity of it all!

  • This is the second post I’ve seen in as many days where Marzipan rugelach were mentioned. (See Ariela the Urban Achiever for the other one.)

    And not to be a grammar beeyotch in a second language, but isn’t “tschips” already plural? What gives with the “tschipsim”?

  • It pays to know your Hebrew grammer! Tschips, tschipsim! Falafel, falafelim! Incidentally, issue’im is understood by Israelis as well (only comes in plural though). I know this b/c it is a standard word whenever one talks about men. See, now you have expanded your Hebrew vocab.

  • yay! I thought that was Harry I saw in that picture! talk about less than 6 degrees of separation! I saw him when I was in Israel too!

  • dave, remember that time you made fun of me for sporting a trucker cap.. over a year ago? and then you told kenny, whoever wore trucker hats probably batted for the other team? well i see now why you guys are sitting so close. im happy youve finally found your soul mate, and that you still wear your nike cap.

  • lolo, that was a wonderful comment. Him and trucker boy do make a nice couple. I’m glad to know that I’m am not the only one dave has picked on…I’m always hearing stuff from him like “i loooove your crazy, insane hair” or “that’s the weirdest pair of pants ever” or “what are those earings?”, all said with a his sweet smile…See, I’m onto him, and his fakey compliments. And really, should someone in a frayed, skanky nike cap even be allowed to comment on anyone’s appearance??? NO.