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!

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