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Traveling - veggie plates and food prices

16 years ago

I'm on a business trip in Israel. On the way, a mechanical delay resulted in missing my connection in Frankfurt and the next plane was more than 12 hours later - the joys of travel. United gave me a voucher for a day room and meal at the airport Sheraton which helped.

It's asparagus season in Germany and apparently they go all out for it. The restaurant had a full page of asparagus menu. The waitress said that asparagus in Germany is almost always white. I ordered the asparagus plate - 500 grams of asparagus with boiled white potatoes, a rich sauce and a few bites of fish (there were other choices on the menu to replace the fish or one could get just the asparagus with potatoes).

If you think food prices in the US are high, these are astronomical. The menu prices looked about right for dollars but this was in Euros. The 30 Euro voucher didn't cover the meal and I had to kick in some.

The food in Israel has been great! Lots of veggies and salads - and more reasonable prices. On our meeting breaks, the food is closer to a meal than a snack - so its like 5 meals a day. And they have someone running an expresso machine for cappuccinos/lattes If I'm not careful I'll need a seat belt extender on the flights home.

My colleague and I arrived in Eilat at 3 AM and rented a car. Drove to Jerusalem, walked through the old city to the Western wall. Then had a light breakfast at the home of another colleague before driving to Eilat. Stopped at Ein Gedi Spa for a good soak in the Dead Sea - very relaxing and a good antidote for all the hours of flying and the time shift - but that salt really stings on any small cut or rough skin patch. Another stop for Masada (we took the cable car up - I've climbed up by the snake path before and its not for a hot afternoon). Then on to Eilat.

For dinner our first night in Eilat, we went to Achlat - a grill place with all kinds of kebabs and other grilled meats. For 14 shekels per person (about $3.50 US), we got Israeli salads and pita bread to accompany the meal. 16 small plates of different salads and veggies were brought to the table. Salad plates were replaced as soon as they were emptied. I can't list them all but they included spiced cooked carrots, pickles, tabouli, an eggplant spread, a very spicy vegetable spread, cabbage with a vinegar dressing (kind of semi pickled), red cabbage with a creamy dressing, corn, beets. The pita were a different style - very big and more toasted - almost more like Indian nan (though this was a meat restaurant so they didn't have yogurt like nan would). I had a lamb kabab and young chicken with garlic kabab.

I haven't checked out the entire breakfast buffet yet. There are more salads, fruits, breads. Morning break yesterday had salads, cheese borekas and baklava. Afternoon break had soups. This morning's break had little sandwich triangles with the crust trimmed - I had a salmon one and decadent desserts - I had a tart with a chocolate shell, a layer of pistachio filling, whipped cream topped by fresh raspberries.

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