One does not usually associate top celebrity chefs with hamburger joints, but in the case of the Black chain one has to make an exception, as Tsachi Buchstater is the man in charge of the food.

The chef, who is instantly recognizable from his many television appearances, was solicitous in his concern for our welfare and enjoyment when we arrived at Black Burger Bar in Petah Tikva for a tasting.

The décor is all black and pink, the lighting is dim, and in the restrooms one can barely see one’s hand in front of one’s face, but the crowd of journalists assembled was not bothered, anticipating a good meal in the company of their peers.

It must be said at the outset that Buchstater does not stand at the grill and flip the hamburgers. He is actually a partner in the chain and is mostly responsible for the menus.

The dishes arrive from the kitchen in quick succession, and they are all variations on the circle of chopped meat and onions universally known as a hamburger.

As one might expect, they are perfect: juicy inside, crispy outside and have a great combination of spices that makes them exceptional. They also come with a variety of sauces, fresh salads and tasty chips.

One journalist brought his eight-year-old son to give his opinion on the children’s meals and, interestingly, the boy was not overly enthusiastic. Perhaps having a gourmet chef direct the preparation of kids’ food produces tastes that are too sophisticated for them.

However, the adults had no complaints and tucked in happily to the hamburgers, kebabs and sausages, schnitzels and steaks that appeared in abundance.

One of the original ideas we sampled was the Inigo Montoya, named for the swordsman hero of the film The Princess Bride, which consists of five small hamburgers impaled on a skewer. This came with a salad and several dipping sauces (NIS 55).

Interestingly for a hamburger joint, there is an extensive wine list with a choice of exotic cocktails. It is difficult to choose, as they all sound so appetizing.

The Black chain is aware that during the Nine Days observant people do not eat meat and introduced four grilled fish dishes, including a specially invented fishburger, which was served in the kosher branches during that time, one in Jerusalem and the other in Petah Tikva. This is a thoughtful decision and shows how far the chain is ready to go to satisfy the customers’ needs.

They have also started serving a Fourth of July hamburger, which is available during July and August. It consists of a massive 200-gram hamburger and side dishes, which they say is enough to feed five people (NIS 139). It seems a very reasonable price to feed a whole family.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Black Burger Bar
Kosher
18 Hasivim Street
Petah Tikva
(03) 919-1891
Open every day except Shabbat, from 10 a.m. till late. Friday closes at 3 p.m.

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