A carnivores dream sandwich at Carne

wpid-wp-1434487103200   Carne Carne is a fun place for foodie who enjoy two things: a great sandwich, and really good beef. Carne has been able to create this match made in heaven. The only competition that I see that they really is Just Meat on the Ben Yehudah Midrachov, but I feel that they are very different in approach and in price. Carne (rabbanut Yerushalayim) is run by two young guys who like to make sandwiches, and make sure the customers are happy. For the full experience you need to let them build you the sandwich, let the artists do their work. Located in an alley between Ben Sira street and Ben Shatach street, the restaurant is very small, not to many places to sit, but you can either sit on one of the 2 tables outside, or on the bar. The menu there is pretty simple: Entricote, chicken, homemade sausages and for those who for some reason don’t eat meat, they have a grilled portobello sandwich as well. The regular sides of fries, potato wedges and onion rings, but they didn’t have onion rings available the day I went. 20150615_122528 I met a foodie friend from my Israeli Foodies group group Neil Gillman who also has a blog, and a great perspective on food and life. We decided to order 2 sandwiches and try the: Entricote and the homemade sausages with a side of fries and potato wedges. I feel that any time a restaurant offers something made in-house like potato wedges, they will always be better than something frozen or processed. We also asked the owner to make the sandwiches with the whatever he thinks is best. 20150615_122250So, how good can a sandwich be? Um, amazing! Well the entricote was amazing. The meat was full of flavor and cooked really nicely, the gepata bun with a nice crunch on the outside, the fresh vegetables and really nice sauces to compliment it all. The homemade sausages had very nice texture but the sandwich itself was lacking. It was missing that kick you get from spice in the sausage, and he didn’t put in mustard. Once we added a bit of heat it took it to a much higher level. Sometimes all a sandwich needs, is a nice kick in the taste buds! The fries were generic but the wedges were very nice. Oh , and the gherkins(the really small pickles) were a delightful compliment to the sandwich as well. The prices weren’t bad as well. To get a very fulfilling and satisfying meal for 60 shekel in my opinion is very reasonable. In my opinion, Carne offers a really great sandwich for those who are looking for some really great street food!20150615_122535

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The Middle Eastern Hot Pocket at Ishtabach

20150608_123041Machane Yehuda market. What a place. So many places to eat! So many new restaurants, new concepts and original dishes offered, only if I had a bigger budget to try them all out! So I found myself at Istabach(Hashikma 3, kosher badatz) this week my companions having lunch. Istabach sells one item, a Shamborac. What is a shamborac? A middle eastern, hand made hot pocket! Originated on the border of Syria and Kurdistan, this meat pocket traveled a long way to find itself in the shuk.   Each filling for the meat pocket is very different and packed with lots of  flavors and very cool textures as well. 20150608_122923After talking to the manager and asking whats good, we needed interpretation for some of the fillings like the siske. Siske is the chuck that has been cooked down until melt in your mouth texture. They have even adapted the fillings to attract a wider audience of food adventurists, like pastrami and brisket slow cooked in beer. All of the fillings looked amazing. So we ordered 3 types; Iraqi kabob, the siske and the brisket. While waiting for the shamborac to be ready, because the bake every order on the spot, all the meat fillings are prepared earlier on in the day. While we waited for the shamborac they served us 6 types of salads: watermelon and basil with radishes, beet tabuleh, eggplant, tehini, carrots and garlic and beets salad.20150608_123417 The watermelon was a refreshing idea, the tabuleh was nice, same as the rest of the salads, but I really got a kick out of the watermelon. It takes a couple of minutes for the pastry to bake but it’s worth every minute. Rated from my favorite to the least, I LOVED the brisket! Before I talk about how amazing the brisket was I need to comment on the herb and pepper mixture that was put on top of each shamborac. It adds another layer of flavor and another unique twist to this meat pocket.  20150608_12472220150608_124726 20150608_124729   Each one tasted different from the next. Let’s start with the brisket, slowly braised in beer to give it that melt in the mouth texture. Then I moved on to the siske, also slowly braised in a beef stock that melted in my mouth. Lastly the Irqaqi kabob which was very nice and also melt in your mouth as well.But the real star was the dough, man it was crispy and baked to have a really nice crunch on the outside without getting a soggy texture. I was really impressed with the whole meal. One of these meat pockets with all of the salads on the side really fills you up and a really great meal outside of the shuk. So next time you find yourself in the shuk, you have to try this place!

A Hamburger that traveled down South

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In searching for the best kosher hamburger in the city I have stumbled on a surprise located on Hillel street. Zesty burger is a hamburger chain located mainly in the north of Israel, have opened up their first Jerusalem location a couple of months back. After seeing a groupon for the place knowing that it’s a new venue, I went to try the hamburger that has come down from the north.

The menu that is offered is pretty straight forward,.burgers wraps or sandwiches, that’s it.

What intrigued me was the variety of burgers they offer: Classic, short ribs, Mergez, Entricote, Goose(??) and many more. The burger toppings are also really cool like they offer: chorizo, goose breast, pineapple and more. They have 3 levels of burgers that define the type of meal you are looking for. They also offer a couples or triplet meals for those who don’t want to spend too much money on going out. While we were debating between each other about what to order, the guy behind the counter was really friendly and patient and we ended up chatting for a while before we even ordered.We took the triple meal (3 burgers, 2 sides, a large bottle of soft drink 109 shekel)and that’s when the dilemma started.

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The menu is packed with so many different burgers that all looked really good so I went on the one I figured would be full of surprises, so I picked the short ribs burger, to be done medium.

My friends took the same as well. Zesty cooks all their burgers on a flat-top which in my opinion is the only way to cook a  hamburger because you get that crust you want on a burger while the inside is cooked to your liking. We also ordered a side of fries and onion rings as well to go with the burger. So when they called us up to put toppings on our burgers, another thing that makes this place really cool are the sauces. The sauces are a bit different from what you would get and much tastier than any other burger chain. For example there is a sauce called Shipkah, which is a crossover of a pesto and chimichuri. Full of flavor and very different.

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So we get our burgers and sides and sit down, and the guy behind the counter gave us an extra side of fries(really cool) with all the sauces Zesty offers. the first thing I notices about the burger was how fresh everything was; the bun, the vegetables and especially the burger. The hamburger  was cooked to a perfect medium and was so tender and full of flavor. What also surprised me were the onion rings, They were full of flavor and really crunchy. The best part were the condiments, because dipping sauces were of the hook!

20150601_133511All in all, For a chain of hamburgers Zesty delivers on all cylinders and is a really, and I mean really good!

Zesty, Hillel 28, Kosher rabbanute yerushalayim.