Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #117 - Ah, the luxuries I’ve left behind!

Steak used to be my easiest stand-by dinner. Even if I had no steak. I could call the butcher from my car in the middle of carpool and have steak brought to my window as I drove by. We could be eating dinner within 15 minutes of arrival home.

Israel has steak…or some such item
I once ordered steak from the midnight delivery butcher and it came frozen in a round tub. Six round steaks stacked in a round tub. I’d never seen round steak before. The kids didn’t like it so I never ordered it again.

How the mighty have fallen!
I miss steak. And so, I searched the freezer section of the makolet the other day for a round tub of meat but, alas, I could find none. Then I realized the schnitzel section of the makolet is equal in size to the meat section. Maybe it’s even bigger. And I’m not talking about chicken or fish. Vegetable schnitzel. A mainstay of Israeli daily cuisine on the level of milfafonim (cucumbers) and lachmaniya im shockolad (roll with chocolate spread).

There is the ever popular schnitzel tieras (corn schnitzel), schnitzel yirakot (vegetable schnitzel which is really just schnitzel tieras with some peas in it), mushroom schnitzel, broccoli schnitzel, zucchini schnitzel, purple cabbage schnitzel (I’m not making this up), schnitzel that tastes like hamburgers, schnitzel that tastes like falafel and then there’s something that’s not schnitzel at all but it’s got a spot in the schnitzel section nonetheless – pareve hot dogs. Of course, each schnitzel variety comes in cutlet size and in nugget size. And so, I didn’t feel so bad coming home with no steak, opening my freezer and heating up an assortment of pareve schnitzel cutlets and calling my family to dinner. I felt quite Israeli.

Schnitzel can only take you so far – then, Baruch Hashem, there’s Burgers Bar
Where you can order a lamp warp (lamb wrap) [TIME OUT: how can I still make fun of misspelled menu English when I myself am so totally illiterate in Hebrew? I am inviting bad karma!], chicken cutlet or schnitzel and, of course, real meat burgers. There is a steak sandwich but I couldn’t imagine it would be the steak experience I’m craving. The burger did just fine.

I picked up a package of maybe 6 organic chicken thighs in the health food store this morning thinking how proper roasted organic chicken for dinner would be. 98 shekels. I’m now working on menu plan B – a choice between pancakes, eggs, salami, and now, schnitzel.


  1. Have you tried going to a good butcher here? I made my first steak ever-- and it was DELICIOUS-- here, no frozen round steaks involved. :) They sliced each steak for me on the spot. (I think they were rib-eye, but I'm not really sure about my steak varieties.)

  2. there's the legend of the good butcher on derek aza in yerushalayim. i'm hoping to get to him soon!