When it comes to Israeli food, your first thought might be hummus and falafel. But another street food delicacy has been growing in popularity in Israel over the years. That would be sabich, an Iraqi-Jewish concoction of fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, fries, salad, tahini, and sauces stuffed into thick pita. Never heard of it? That’s what the Israeli founders of Eggs and Plants want to change.
“Not only did we miss the taste of sabich and shakshuka with no place to get it, this is also a flavor we really wanted to introduce to the American palate,” says cofounder Itamar Shlomo.
The tiny vegetarian restaurant — similar to an Israeli food stand — opened late last year in downtown Seattle. Besides sabich, the limited menu offers shakshuka (poached eggs in tomato sauce), Yemenite malawach (puffed pastry with a hard-boiled egg and tomato sauce), fruit shakes, espresso, pastries, and, yes, hummus and falafel.
The little eatery fills up quickly during lunchtime with local workers, but according to Shlomo, Israelis and Jews turn out on the weekends for the fluffy homemade pita. Shlomo, the master behind the dishes, ran a branch of the Cannibar burger bar chain back in Haifa. He stresses how important it is to make his food an authentic experience.
“We spend a lot of time refining our products, adjusting sometimes on a daily basis,” he says. “We’re open to any feedback from our customers.”
2229 Fifth Ave., Seattle
Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.