The top five steaks in Jerusalem
Jerusalem is a long way from Amarillo, and Israel ain't quite Texas - the pocket-sized country just doesn't have the space for big-time ranching, so lamb and chicken tend to occupy the space reserved for beef on tables more decidedly Western. But don't despair: our globalized era has made sure that even in Jerusalem, 5000 miles from the nearest cowboy, you can tuck into a juicy steak.
It might not be a 72-ouncer, and it won't be dry-aged USDA Prime, but with a variety of inspirations and styles, Jerusalem's persity of steakhouses can still delight the visitor. Read on for GoJerusalem.com's guide to the best steaks in the Holy City.
Entrecôte a point, s'il vous plaît
Lots of steaks in Jerusalem take their inspiration not from the land of char-grilling, A1 and PBR, but rather pan-searing, duxelles and vin rouge. For reasons not entirely understood by science, Israelis are uniformly mad for entrecôte, a meaty French cut of steak that corresponds roughly to the "New York strip" or the "rib-eye" in American butchery.
And where does one go to get the perfect Parisian bistro-style steak? You can't go wrong with classy kosher bistro 1868's 28-day aged entrecôte, French-Med institution La Guta's grilled entrecôte with charred mushrooms or sirloin, or Gabriel's mighty Chateaubriand for two.
Filete con patatas and/or file com fritas
The Hispanophones and Lusophones alike of the grasslands of South America seem to delight in constructing great towers of made of grilled meats and hubris - and with Jerusalem reaping the rewards of a wave of South American immigration (not to mention waves of Israelis returning home from backpacking sojourns in those parts), you can now savor genuine South American-style steak all over town.
For pampas-fresh Argentinian steaks jacked with chimichurri, look no further than La Boca or El Gaucho. And for delightfully gluttonous churrascaria brasileira with its nonstop procession of all-you-can-eat flesh, it's gotta be Papagaio.
Put it on a skewer and set it on fire
Old-school Middle Eastern style steak is cooked neither rare nor rarefied - instead of slicing into perfectly-pink-on-the-inside fillet, it's all about gnawing on hunks of crispy-fied meat skewered on sharp, pointy sticks. Naturally, this can exert an enormous primal appeal when the mood strikes.
Rub shoulders with the Israeli working man in the shipudim (skewer) palaces of the still-a-bit-grungy Machane Yehuda neighborhood: Sima, Sami and Shipudei HaGefen. All serve delicious kebabs and other grilled meat items. And Middle Eastern grilling is given an international, highbrow twist downtown at Angelica.
Steak, but avec vision!
As it has been said, any man can cook a steak, but only a chef can make it cost $50. All kidding aside, however, tasty cuts of meat have long been a preferred canvas onto which creative chefs can exert their own personal culinary vision.
To see how the star chefs of the new modern Jerusalem cuisine handle their meat, check out Adom's filet of beef in green peppercorn sauce, Scala's various beef dishes alight with locally-sourced ingredients, or Canela's grilled 300 gram sirloin.
Just a steak, dammit
If all this foreign mucking about doesn't ring your cowbell, there are a few places that aspire to (if not always successfully arrive at) quality, no-nonsense platters of American-style steak, served good and bleeding (or that other, wrong way people order steak).
You won't forget about porterhouse, martinis and a postprandial Montecristo, exactly, but you should find something close to what you're looking for at Red Heifer, which caters to a mostly American crowd; Joy Grill and Beer, which serves a mean aged sirloin with a side of bone marrow; or Buffalo Steakhouse.
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