The battle cry of Albert Major (and later, of his son Jackie) of the Jerusalem restaurant, “Tami”, broke free of the capital city’s borders, and entered into the heart of the Israeli lexicon. “Tami” was a workers’ restaurant that opened in the fifties and served homemade stews and simple, satisfying, cheap food. But it gained mythological status thanks to its hummus and mainly due to the owner’s encouragement for the diners to swallow without chewing – that is, to be focused on the food and eat quickly and make way for the next hungry guests, who were already impatiently standing in line (his follow-up phrases, by the way, were “there are no bones in hummus” and the answer to those who asked for coffee at the end of their meal was “go to a cafe”).
“Tami” did not survive its passing to the next generation and was closed in 2019. Tami’s void was filled by its old competitor “Pinthi” and other similar casual restaurants, which focus on hummus and other dishes typical of Jewish cuisine: rice and beans, patties, meat soups, mujaddara, okra and more – exactly what you think of when you hear the phrase “comfort food”.