Tuesday, January 11, 2011
"על נהרות בבט, שם ישבנו ושתינו
(On the rivers of Babette, there we sat and drank)" ~ Sign on the wall of Babette
Near Ben Yehudah street, on Shammai, if you are not careful, you could walk right past this tiny little hole in the wall. That would be a shame. Once you locate Babettes, you might need to shove your way through the door, especially in the winter when the door is closed. If you manage to get inside, you'll need to work your way towards the counter by fighting through the crowd around the tables and chairs that line the back and side wall.
What is your reward for getting through the craziness?
There are very few things you can order at Babette. Your choices include some coffee/espresso, other soft drinks, and waffles. But this is no breakfast place, oh no. Oh no. In Israel waffles are a dessert item because you not only get a waffle, but you also get any amount of sweets poured on the top. My personal favorite is to have butterscotch on top of whipped cream. Some of my friends like to get bananas and chocolate, or any great variety of toppings.
I was surprised to hear about waffles for dessert, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Waffles are a lot like a cake, especially when they are dripping with dulche de leche sauce. It is worth the walk slightly off the beaten path of Ben Yehudah towards towards Shammai, but be ready with some napkins, they can get really messy.
The food is not the only reason to stop in to Babette. The staff there are great! They are all really friendly and it's always fun to watch them interact with the customers. I wish my Hebrew was better than it is so I could join in with the joking. Alas, it's not and there's nothing I can do about it.
If you have the chance, pop in for a dessert. If you are going to be in Jerusalem for a long period of time, they have a "club card" that gets you a free waffle after you buy nine. They won't tell you about it, but if you ask for it, they will grab one for you.