Savta Sandwich Shop
As I bite into the Sleazy sandwich at Savta in El Raval, it’s instantly clear that I am in the wrong physical state for this sandwich. To really appreciate it, I should either be hungover or actively drunk. Only then will the true beauty of this beast of a sandwich: carb-heavy, mayonnaise squirting out sloppily, pickles and tomatoes striking high notes of acidity – shine through. There are three kinds of meat! Pastrami, salami and bacon. And Gouda cheese. And caramelized onion. It’s a thing of excessive beauty. The kind of sandwich that would keep Marie Kondo up at night (which can only be a good thing).
Savta is an Israeli import, the name means grandmother in Hebrew. With two shops, one in Haifa and one in Tel Aviv. I once went to New York with an Israeli friend of mine, and she spent the whole trip telling me that there was a better version of whatever we were eating in Tel Aviv. The menu mixes up the best of the US and Israel. So there is a Philly Steak sandwich, burgers, and vegan sandwiches slathered in tahini and salsa verde, both of which can make styrofoam taste good.
The fried potatoes. Oh, the fried potatoes. They are cut horizontally into millimetre thick discs. Fried so there is crispy and yielding and accompanied by a homemade sauce in one of those paper cups that they serve coleslaw in, in the US. I couldn’t tell you what is in that sauce, but it made me want to keep going.
And because Savta seems to want to flex all its muscles, there are cookies. Three. I try the chocolate chip cookie and the Bomba (walnuts, almond butter, dates and pistachios). They are cracked at the corners – delicious.
The combination of calories, carbs, gluten and meat means I am the only person over the age of 25 (and over 30 and over 40) to be eating here. While I struggle, pleasurably, to reach the end of my sandwich, the table of young Frenchies behind us orders extra chicken nuggets.
There is plenty of outdoor seating appropriate for the times we live in, and Savta is far enough from the skateboarders of MACBA not to hear the clattering, but it’s close enough so you can still enjoy that vibe. Oh, and it’s next to Flax & Kale, so you can always nudge the non-believers over to them.
Savta Sandwich Shop*
Carrer dels Tallers 76,
08001 El Raval
*I was invited to eat here. My views remain my own.