I first learned about The Silk Road Café in September of 2006, when I was a new US Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the University of Limerick. My colleagues – from universities across the US, now living in Ireland for the year and based at Irish universities – and I all convened at the Irish Fulbright Commission for several marvelous days of orientation and introduction. After a tour of the Dublin Castle, we had a group lunch at this gorgeous café. The food is delicious, authentic, simple and hearty – traditional foods from Afghanistan, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine (and Ireland) are created with skill, happiness and good cheer by the wonderful owner and Jerusalem-born chef, Abraham Phelan. After this very memorable lunch, my Fulbright colleagues and I were delighted to tour the Chester Beatty Library – an Irish treasure. I loved this day of our beginning work as Fulbright Scholars and I designed this day of Maymester for my students with this memory in mind and heart.
I have vegetable moussaka, beet salad, and Israeli salad with feta – and a delicious flourless chocolate cake with fresh cream for desert. The students are overjoyed at the sheer beauty and loveliness of the food and they are happy and content as we prepare for our Chester Beatty Library tour. I am very excited to see their reactions, especially, to this place – one of my favorites.