Tag Archives: Fries

Bandora Shawarma is Really onto Something!

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Bandora Shwarma

Who would have thought that someone could reinvent the shwarma? Well the owners of Bandora shwarma did. Bandora (Badatz beit Yosef) is a new shwarma chain that has been around for less than a year and has really made an impact in the fast food world of Israel. The concept of theirs is to cook the shwarma open a horizontal fire pit. Just like in south american BBQ style. Over an open spit slowly rotating and letting the fat drip so the smoke really penetrates the meat and enhances the flavor of the meat. Unlike your standing shwarma joints who all do the same thing, they really have a winner here.

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Every Bandora shwarma is franchised with guidance from the home office so wherever you go it will taste the same, and I can tell you, that is absolutely true. I have eaten their shwarma in Kiryat Gat in the south and in Jerusalem as well, Everything is the same. The layout, flavors, service all the same.  So far I have tried two of the ways they prepare the shwarma. One is right off the spit into a pita or laffa bread, the other is where they cut it off the spit and give it a real nice kick with some heat.

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Let me explain a little more about the shwarma, the meat has a real nice smoke flavor to it, the laffa bread is very durable and is able to hold the generous portion that they give each customer. The condiments are made in-house, not the hummus though, but the schug, tehini and all the sides are prepared in-house. The pickles have a great crunch, the cabbage is sweet with a touch of vinegar and the fries are industrial, but no ones perfect right.

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I have to declare that Bandora shwarma is definitely one of my top 5 shwarma joints in the city of Jerusalem. Every Bandora around Israel is Kosher! Everything is just great there from the way they present the food, to the take away even. It is a bit on the pricier side on the shwarma circuit, but it’s definitely worth the money. So if you find yourself in the area with a branch and are looking for a fast bite, I highly recommend it!

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Sovah really is filling Shwarma in Bayit Ve’Gan

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I went yesterday to visit a family relative of my wife’s in Bayit Ve’gan who is recovering from a light heart attack and thought, maybe I should take things down a notch with the food. So across the street from the apartment, there’s a bakery, a bank and a rec20151116_125525ently re-opened shwarmah joint called Sovah(kosher mehadrin, badatz, shmita lechumra). So obviously, heart attack=shwarmah so I went there to get a shwarmah for my wife and myself.

While ordering I saw them prepare their own shwarmah pit. I have to say, it was very impressive. Most shwarmah joints just order the meat ready to go on a spit and everything, so seeing them do this in-house was very impressive. Not only was it marinated in-house and stacked up nicely, they only use beef. almost everything there was prepared in-house, and for a greasy spoon in Bayit Ve’gan, that’s pretty impressive.

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When I buy a shwarma, I judge it in a couple of ways: First off is flavor of the meat. Is it dry, flavorful, spiced well. Then by the laffa bread: How thick is it, is it fresh. Then I check out the condiments, are they fresh, prepared in-house. Then the fries; are they store-bought or made in-house. And finally the girth of the whole thing. I mean is how they pack it up, the meat to condiment ratio that the meat has to be even or more than the sides going into the laffa, And lastly, if I can hold it in one hand or in two. Not many places hold up to my standards, but if you do find a place  like that, go back for another because you won’t find many like that around.

So I ordere20151116_133357d myself a classic shwarma; chummus, salad, pickles, coleslaw, tehini a hint of heat and hand cut fries from real potatoes and of course the meaty goodness, and boy did they stand up to my expectations. The meat was seasoned perfectly, it was moist and full of flavor. the salads and condiments were really good and fresh and the laffa was very light. The only downfall of this was like in most shwarmah joints that cut their own fries is that they only fry them once. It’s disappointing because then the fries are limp, soft and soggy. All they have to do is fry them again and it makes such a difference. Otherwise it is a great shwarma and one of Jerusalem’s best in my opinion, and there a are a lot so that’s saying something. The guy’s behind the counter were nice and it was a really great lunch experience.

 

Sovah, Hapisga 17 st. Bayit Ve’gan, Jerusalem

A Dinner for two at Tommy’s

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Tommy’s is a small and cool venue located on Keren Kayemet st in the heart of Jerusalem. The reason I found this little joint is because I happened to have stumbled upon a Facebook contest that they where holding. And I won a dinner for two at the restaurant, So the one night me and my wife had free, (literally) and went to check it out.

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Tommy’s is a small hole in the wall type of joint that make most of the food in house, like the salads and sides. The seating area is located outdoors but there is still an element of privacy because there are no seats on the street, mainly on the patio.

So we looked at the menu, and it really emphasized the name of the place” sophisticated street food”. Everything they serve has a little twist and isn’t your run of the mill fast food joint. The menu is composed mainly of grilled meats, but also have different types of dishes on their specials menu. The chef also made it clear that they cook their hamburgers on the flattop, and that got me excited!

After browsing the menu and talking to the chef about what to order, we ordered a hot pullet salad(pargiyot) salad, an entricote hamburger,  for the sides we ordered a blooming onion that’s made in-house, and sweet potato fries with pink lemonade.

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Because i’m a gentelmen I’ll start with what my wife ordered. The pargiyot saladwas really good. It wasn’t your run of the mill salad with just chicken and vegetable, it came with bulgar, arugula, sweet potato,  and the chicken itself stood out by being packed with flavor. One of the better salads I’ve had at a fast food restaurant. The entricote burger was done like I asked, medium. It was very juicy and full of meaty goodness. I asked for some coleslaw on the  side and it made the burger taste even better. The sides were a bit dissapionting though. The blooming onion was a mess and very hard to eat and lacked seasoning. The sweet potato fries weren’t crispy, it needed to be fried twice like a pomme fritte otherwise it just gets soggy, like in our case. what really rounded out the meal was the pink lemonade that was perfectly mixed and had a great balance between sweet and sour like a good lemonade should have.

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All in all it was a very good experience and you will find me returning there to enjoy another meal. but trying  different things too!

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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.

 

A Trip an Irish Pub in the Heart of Jerusalem

1483049_660846857310405_1822876640_nI usually spend every Sunday night in the center of town in Jerusalem, and finally tried out O’Connell. They serve over 40 types of Irish whisky there so it was pretty impressive when it came to the drink menu. But the reason I was there with friends was to try out the food. Everyone I had asked had told me that the food is legit, heck I even recommended about it in my post to theculturetrip.com. And well everyone the trip was worth it.

20150308_221113The food was legit. Pricey, but legit. We ordered a couple of different dishes to the table and they were all spot on. I personally ordered a hamburger medium, a fishn’chips, a chicken salad and a steak sandwich. The service took a while and a bit slow during the service itself but the food really made up for it.

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The hamburger was cooked to a perfect temp and full of flavor. the char was perfect and the bun was toasted as well. But i still hate that when I order a burger they give you the vegetables on the side and I need to compile my burger. That wasn’t the case here though. A solid burger full flavor and fries to go with it. The fishn’chips, the fish was flaky and the coating was crunchy just like it should be. A bit pricey but worth the investment. The chicken salad was seasoned right, and the salad had a nice vinnagrette to compliment the salad. The steak sandwich was a bit disappointing though.  It needed like a sauce to give it another element but it was lacking, otherwise it could be a great sandwich.

20150308_220919All in all, a great way to spend the night out with a group of friends with some great food, on a street that is overloaded with restaurants as well.

 

A Magic Burger At Rabin Square

20150217_125625Spending the day in Tel Aviv can be very tiring. Why you ask? Because if you aren’t a native, and don’t know the bus system, you are going to end up walking a ton like I did.

After having a meeting in south central TLV, I called a friend of mine to meet up for lunch. Problem is, it’s very hard to find a good kosher burger in the city of TLV, let alone a great one.

The trend in Tel Aviv is that a lot of restaurants are going kosher but in baby steps. So after looking online we found a kosher fast food burger joint called Magic Burger(Ibn Gvirol 64, Tel Aviv, Rabbanute Tel Aviv). Located next to the very popular and famous shwarma joint Dabush(also Kosher) where the Israelis have been fascinated by the robotic shwarma cutter for those who didn’t know that. In addition, the shwarma is spot on as well.

20150217_125429Back to Magic Burger, after walking up an appetite, I checked out the menu and it’s pretty straight forward. Hamburgers, Lamb Burgers or Chicken breast sandwiches. The place has been opened for a while and they have tried to mimic the classic american hamburger joints across america. the design is very simplistic and straight forward as their menu.

Back to the food. We both ordered hamburgers, I ordered a 400 grams which came as 2 patties stacked high, with a side of fresh cut potato slices.. I had a whole conversation with the owner about the place while taking my order about why he put’s wights on the burgers. He was claiming it speeds up the cooking process while I was saying, it pushes all the juices out of the burger. In the end he didn’t flatten our burgers and it took a bit longer but it was worth the wait.

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20150217_131931The sandwich was very big. Fitting in the two patties into the paper to hold the thing together was a challenge for the cook but he did a good job. My burger looked like it was going to eat my plate of fries! After glancing at this sandwich while adding lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and raw white onions it was a great and flavorful burger from start to finish. only problem was they didn’t toast the bun and it got soggy very fast, but the flavor was their all the way through. The potato slices where crispy and fresh which really took the meal to the next level. But it really is all about the burger at Magic Burger.

If you are going to go there, and try it out, first of all I highly recommend it, secondly plan your trip ahead of time because I ended up walking to the Bursa to catch the bus home and worked of that delicious lunch. So If you are traveling to Tel Aviv or are a local and have never been, try it out, it’s worth the trip!