I have been very lucky to be able to travel to Israel many times since graduating college. On a trip in the spring of 2013 I celebrated my last night in the country with an epic dinner (and shots!) at Saba Jebetto in Beer Sheva. During my visit last week, I returned to this local watering hole for a lunch that most definitely required elastic waist pants.
I am obsessed with the decor in Saba Jebetto. Right when you walk in there is a line of zebra print chairs, each pressed up against the windows overlooking the outdoor patio.
How awesome are these light fixtures made from violins?
When we sat down we were greeted by a super friendly waitress. She brought me an English menu, which I so appreciated. Many of the English menus in Israel have terrible, inaccurate translations. Saba Jebetto's menu has translations with a sense of humor. For example:
There was no question I was having one particular drink, a limonana. This drink is super common in Israel. It's lemonade and fresh mint, served frozen, like a slush.
I am not exaggerating when I say I dream about this drink. Here you can see my pure euphoria as I was reunited with my all-time favorite Israeli beverage.
Honestly, I cannot understand why Americans don't put mint in lemonade. Once you've tasted it, it seems so obvious!
To begin, my friends shared a side of veggies and a cup of the "legume stew."
After a few spoonfuls of the stew, one friend commented, "This was really yummy and also hearty. I wasn't expecting it to be blended, but down at the bottom there were some whole chickpeas which was a nice surprise and added texture."
All three of us shared a plate of Saba Jebetto's signature French fries, which are thick cut, steak fries. They come with three dipping sauces - mayo, ketchup and something delightfully spicy.
The restaurant is best known for their sandwiches, especially their ciabatta bread. My friend went with a sandwich called the Mad Cow. It's crispy ciabatta bread, rib eye, roasted onions, roasted peppers, tomato, lettuce, pickles, mayo and four spreads (sweet pepper, olive, basil and eggplant). How do they fit all that in one ciabatta loaf?!
I selected the eggplant ciabatta, which was stuffed with eggplant, boiled eggs, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions, mayo and pesto.
The sandwich was busting at the seams!!
This was the perfect choice for me because I like eggplant, but not when it's the star of the dish. This had just the right amount of eggplant taste. The bread was crunchy (audibly so) making you feel like you were biting into something substantial. Superb vegetarian sandwiches are pretty hard to come by, but this one was top notch.
Now, both of us also added some of Saba Jebetto's house sauces to our sandwiches. Once you place your order they plop down this carousel of choices. I became addicted to squirting more and more of the garlic and dil aioli onto my sandwich before taking each bite. It really took the sandwich to the next level.
If you have a big eater in your family (I have quite a few) then you've got to bring them to Saba Jebetto to take on the challenge of trying to finish one of these monster sandwiches. I tapped out around the 70% mark, but I know if my dad or brother-in-law was with me, they would have finished!