We may be in the middle of a pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you should stop brunching. (Yes, brunching is now a verb). Sababa, one of D.C.’s few Israeli restaurants, has launched a dynamite new brunch menu. You can enjoy chef Ryan Moore’s brunch dishes as take-out or on the restaurant’s outdoor dining patio, which is partially covered and packed with heaters. But back to the brunch menu – here’s everything you need to know:
Sababa still features a series of small plates at brunch, including my favorite halumi dish in town, where chunks of halumi are grilled and served with sweet dates on a bed of charred lemon marmalade. Another highlight of the small plate offerings is the charred eggplant, where cylinders of labne are enrobed with strips of eggplant, which are bejeweled with pink pomegranate seeds and crunchy green pistachios. The kushari is also not to be missed; it consists of a medley of rice, lentils, pasta and chickpeas, all dressed up with heaps of crunchy fried onions. Perfect spheres of falafel come with a dollop of silken tahina, and the Isreali salad, which features tomatoes, strawberries and goat cheese, is refreshing and bright. (In other words, just order all of the small plates to share!)
The new brunch additions, however, are the star of the show. First, eggs Benedict is served on latkes. The latkes are crispy and savory, and the eggs are perfectly poached. The Hollandaise sauce is smooth and rich. Try the sahib benedict, which comes with eggplant and tomatoes. Then, there are the Jerusalem bagels. Jerusalem bagels are light and oval shaped, and are baked rather than boiled like their American counterpart. Dotted with sesame seeds, these bagels are soft and airy, less dense than New York bagels. At Sababa, I am obsessed with the tomatoes, za’atar and goat cheese-topped Jerusalem bagel. It is simple, but it’s the perfect combination for a breakfast meal. The egg and shug butter-topped option is equally as good, and a little more filling if you want something heartier. Shug, a bright green Middle Eastern hot sauce makes everything better. Combine it with butter and you have the combination of the century.
It’s going to be a long winter. Might as well treat yourself to some bagels and latkes!