Holy cow! Kosher steaks in Jerusalem

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It was a late Saturday night before my morning bus ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I was making friends with a few of the local lads, two young Jewish chap named Shaprio and an interesting Palestinian called Taybeh.

The local lads. Shapiro winter ale and pale ale from Jerusalem and Taybeh the only beer brewed in the west bank.

I struck up conversation with the barman and mentioned that I was off to Jerusalem the next day. I asked for recommendations on beers as well as steakhouses. His eyes light up and my ears burned as he mentioned the name “Midnight Steakhouse”. He recommended I try the steaks there as well as the “Jerusalem mix” (a spiced melody of chicken heart, breast and liver).

After a quick bus ride to Jerusalem, where we sat between two soldiers with assault rifles in their laps, we made our way to Midnight Steakhouse (or simply designated “Hatzot” on the windows). We arrived without reservations and were fortunate enough to grab the last available table. Within minutes I noticed a queue forming for the tables, so we were incredibly fortunate.

Within minutes of sitting down, three warm pita breads arrived on the table with an assortment of 12 dips and picked vegetables all in their own little plates. This was both topped up on demand and incredibly, it was on the house. We ordered our mains; I went for the ‘Entrecote’ steak while Will went for the Jerusalem mix. We ordered more of the local craft beer (Shapiro Pale Ale).

The spread. Pita breads and a variety of dips and pickled vegetables were served on the house.

While waiting for the mains we almost filled up on the delicious pita bread spread. I always get suspicious of restaurants offering loads of free fillers; I began to wonder if this meant that the mains would be tiny thinking that they would spare every expense by filling us up on the cheap stuff. However, the mains were sizable.

The entrecote (sirloin steak) was pretty good As expected, it gave a bit of resistance but at the same time was not chewy. There were small bits of gristle, but it didn’t detract from the steak. The steak came with sides of fries and a Mediterranean salad. The salad was good, the chips were the weakest part of the night. The Jerusalem mix was also excellent, various tender chicken parts seasoned with spices. It was intensely tasty, greasy, messy but delicious as well.

A word of warning to those who struggle with chilis/jalapenos (or have zero tolerance – such as myself). I was innocently munching away on my delicious cow carcass, when I ate what I thought was a sweet pepper next to the steak. It was not a sweet pepper, but an evil one. As tears and sweat streamed down my face and I looked for an extinguisher to vanquish the flames from hell that spread throughout my mouth, I panicked pushed past the toilet queue and bombed the toilet bowl with napalm. While the fires in my mouth burned themselves out, and the last droplet of sweet rolled down my forehead, I declared jihad on vegetables and considered a new rule that vegetables should not be served on the same plate as meat.

We spent about £20pp on the mains with drinks bringing the total bill to £35pp. We found this to be exceptionally good value both in Jerusalem and in Israel generally.