Sunday, April 25, 2004

It's simply unpardonable! In the 7 years that I have lived in Jerusalem I have unwittingly walked past a tiny gastronomic jewel sitting boldly in the centre of town in clear and plain sight on hundreds if not thousands of occasions without even thinking to cross the threshold. Now having finally ventured through the doorway to a small slice of culinary heaven, I am, as always, in two minds as to whether or not I should keep it to myself or spread the gospel.

Given that the number of people currently reading this Blog is not going to be enough to fill the very limited available seating, I think that it's probably safe to spill the beans! Walking down Rechov Shammai (the parallel street between Ben Yehuda and Hillel), in the last parade of shops on your right hand side just before you hit the Yoel Salomon pedestrian section, there is a sign bearing the legend "Babette's Gaufres et Chocolat Chaud". Those of you who failed French would have good reason to walk on by - I simply have no excuse to offer however; gaufres are waffles and chocolat chaud is hot chocolate - and how could a place with such a narrow menu survive were its products not nectar and ambrosia?

Babette's barely has room for more than half a dozen patrons but this is part of its funky charm. It is not a place to linger but the perfect stop on the way home when craving sustenance that is both sweet and sinfully calorific. We wavered over the menu, trying to decide which temptation to give into. The vanilla cream and chocolate waffle, served freshly pressed just a few minutes later was simply superb and we polished it off with appropriate appreciative sounds. Not yet sated, we opted for a dulce de leche topping which was also divine and consumed in double quick time. I can only eat so much sweet stuff in one sitting so decided to call a halt to proceedings but will most certainly return to try the other toppings on offer, one after another.....

Whenever I pass Babette's, it always seems to be busy. It is not an everyday treat, particularly not for disciples of the no-carb philosophy which is swiftly becoming the religion of choice for the 21st century. For those of you who believe that everything is okay in moderation however, pop in the next time that you deserve to pamper yourself, need something sweet after a few bevvies or require comfort food fast!


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