Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Visit to the Food Festival

A few night ago, we made our way to the Jerusalem Food Festival as seen in the previous post here. We started the night off at the Jaffa Gate where there were dozens of vendors selling cheeses, wines, and a variety of different snack sized delicacies, including meatballs, burekas, and a plethora of cultural hallmarks. The scent of fresh food, cooking, filled the air:



Throughout the streets in the Old City, you would find street performers (with crowds gathered around), pottery makers, artists, live music bands dressed up in costume and making their way through the streets (kind of like in New Orleans where you will find a lively band parading down the street, attracting the attention of passerbys):



After strolling through the Armenian quarter and being drawn past our dinner reservation (the food festival had several restaurants in the Old City draw up special menus for the occasion), we ended up in the Jewish quarter, where there was a carnival-type atmosphere, with booths for popcorn, drinks and food and an accompanying live jazz band attracting a large crowd:




Although we had heard there was supposed to be something going on at the western wall, it looked pretty normal to us once we arrived. Perhaps  that was another night! Still, the wall at night (or anytime) is always something to behold:

Onward we went into the Arab and Christian quarters, which had quieted down for the night. People do live here after all! Though they didn't photograph well, we found ourselves peeking into several courtyards and surprisingly beautiful buildings throughout the area:



And then we found ourselves at the Austrian Hospice directly on the Via Dolorosa, which allegedly had stellar views, a lively cafe and a really serene and beautiful interior. We were very surprised with what we found, both in the exterior and interior, and I will definitely be returning there for a future visit. 

Austrian Hospice (via google images)



(Here are some daytime pictures of the Austrian Hospice and its beautiful grounds):





And of course, all of that walking left us very, very hungry. So, as the food festival was closing its doors (we managed to still get in a handful of snacks and drinks before the vendors closed up shop), we decided to head over to Tsunami (across from Mamilla Mall, located on 26 Ben Sira Street) for their all-you-can-eat sushi night (Tuesday nights) for just 89 shekels (hint hint: Sunday nights are  all-you-can-eat dim sum for 89 shekels and Monday nights, students get a 20% discount). Needless to say, we got our fill, as was the intention of attending the food festival in the first place.



Now, looking forward to the upcoming arts festival, to be highlighted in a future post. If you didn't make it to the food festival this year, I hear there's another type of food festival on its way this summer.