In Dizengoff Street, I had met some expats who said that I must go to Old Man & The Sea for Arabic food while I was in Tel Aviv. I’ll plead stupidity when I admit that I didn’t think there were much Arabic people in Tel Aviv let alone Arabic restaurants. I’m glad I was wrong because apart from pho, Arabic food is the best food in the world. And, according to the picture below, I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Despite the huge seating area, both inside and out, the line to get into the restaurant was massive. It’s also torture. As I waited, I had to stand over tables that were feasting on kebab, fish, and meze. I was tempted to pull a Seinfeld Chinese Restaurant and offer to lift a falafel from a stranger’s plate.
Instead, I behaved myself and waited my turn in line. When I sat down, I ordered a bottle of local wine.
When the menu came, I was shocked by the low sticker price.
I ordered the kebab and within seconds the meze was served. It was like the Billboard Chart of every delectable Arabic appetizer.
It was also an obscene amount of food for one person. I felt self-conscious for a moment until I looked over at the couple sitting next to me who had double what I had. #dontjudge
Right when I thought I could not have another bite, the waiter came with the kebab. As I have written, Arabs Fight Over Who Makes the Best Kebab, so despite being full, I was eager to taste this kebab.
While the pictures do not do it justice, I still have to give the award for best kebab to the Persians who add a little something extra to make their kebab more delicious.
Finally, there was traditional Arabic dessert.
The damage for all this (besides to my arteries) was $43 of which $16 was for the bad wine.
You must visit Jaffa, and you must eat at The Old Man & The Sea.
- Address: Retzif HaAliya HaShniya St 101, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
- Reservations are apparently allowed: 2eat.co.il