Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem (with More Falafel and Pomegranate Juice)

Fresh Persimmon Juice In The Old City of Jerusalem

When we met our tour guide for the Old City of Jerusalem, Nurit Lessem, she was surprised to hear that we hadn’t had lunch yet, but was more than happy to take us to one of her favorite falafel places for a break. I knew right away we’d found the right chaperone!

SP and I wouldn’t normally go in for a guided tour, but the historical complexity of the Old City made it seem a shame to go around with our nose stuck in a  guidebook. Nurit wasn’t the type of guide where you felt as if she was simply going through the same old script. She clearly has a passion for the history of Jerusalem and has learned about it from many angles. She shared her depth of knowledge everywhere we stopped and engaged with us in lots of fascinating discussion and speculation. She also knew well hidden viewpoints and out of the way nooks and crannies that we wouldn’t have found ourselves. So I can highly recommend her services. You can reach her at 972-54-654-3006 or nurit_lessem@yahoo.com. She speaks fluent English, French, and of course Hebrew.

Now about that falafel. Nurit took us to the Fountain Coffee Shop, in Suq Afthemos, Dabbagha No. 62, which is right around the corner from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Just another incredible falafel sandwich with a few fries, pickled vegetables, and tahini. Man, eating in this country is tough!

Also on the way through the souk we stopped for a glass of fresh squeezed pomegranate juice. It was kind of phenomenal to watch the gentleman slice open and squish 5 or 6 of the fruits and squish them in a manual press, right into my glass. I guess I’m used to thinking of them as almost a luxury fruit, so it was eye opening to enjoy them this way. The flavor was nothing like the Pom brand juice in US stores. It was much lighter, and mildly sweet with little hits of the bitter pith. Awesome.

Fountaingrillfalafelstand

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Friday, September 7th, 2007 in Travel.

6 Responses to “Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem (with More Falafel and Pomegranate Juice)”

  1. September 8, 2007 at 3:46 am #

    Amazing! Next time we are in Israel, I am keeping my eye out for that falafel and pomegranate juice place. I remember being in that exact spot, but mostly panting for survival in the crowded shouk, only coming upon the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by total chance.

  2. September 8, 2007 at 3:02 pm #

    I like pomegranate juice, it tastes great! Too lazy to juice it myself, so sometimes bought the packet juice but of coz it isn’t that good Very nice blog. Cheers from Fruity

  3. Tofu Mom
    September 9, 2007 at 12:52 am #

    I am loving the reports of the trip and every detail of onformation you’ve shared. I’m such a foodie-head.

    But more than that I have to thank you for turning me toward your wife’s blog and her incredible writing about the trip as a whole. I am fascinated by every word and keep checking for the latest “installment” from both you guys! GREAT JOB!

  4. molahs4
    September 12, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    There is no street food better than an Israeli falafel. I could eat one daily and be a happy man. I don’t know if it’s the balls or the incredible assortment of fresh salads that make them so special. I’m leaning towards the salatim.

  5. anon
    September 3, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    Just FYI: The phone number should be listed as +972-54-…. and not +972-054-…. The zero at the beginning of cell phone numbers or when calling different zones in Israel – or various other countries – is used to leave your current zone. This is similar to our use of 1 before US phone numbers to call long-distance. When you’re making the international call, you leave your country (011 for the US; 00 for many/most? other countries) and enter the country code (972). As you are not located in Israel, no additional preceding zero is necessary, and you can dial the number of your desired zone directly (2 for Jerusalem, 3 for the Tel Aviv area, 5-something or 6-something for cellphones, etc.).

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