At Manah va-Khetzi [Hebrew: portion-and-a-half], loyal patrons join a fast-moving line to order shawarma, the house specialty, with trimmings of their choice — served with signature local hospitality and blaring radio.
Manah va-Khetzi is sandwiched among small low-cost fast-food shops on Yohanan Ben Zakai Street, on the edge of Jerusalem's southwest Katamonim (neighborhoods built in the 1950s for Jews who made aliya [ascension] to Israel from Arab countries and Iran).
My friends Judith and Jeff drove us straight to the kosher certified eating place after we left the joyous, deeply moving 90th birthday celebration for Rabbi Jack J. Cohen at its conclusion. They were hungry (at 11 PM!) for a taste of pure Israel, for better or for worse — shawarma.
I had no desire for food of any kind at that hour. Yet I quickly developed a hearty appetite to capture the scene, and aimed my camera at the black and red decor, brown and red meat, and mostly silent eaters exchanging token words on selections, condiments, and payment.
A perfect ending to a perfect evening.
Watch the video (2:33 minutes).