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The Poleg industrial zone, near Netanya, is not necessarily the place where one would think of going to for fine dining - especially not for really good meat.
So, Av Basar, which translates to thick meat, is a real find.
The decor of the seven month's young eatery is reminiscent of a kibbutz dining room, with its refectory style tables and chairs. However, there are some interesting extra touches.
The walls are lined with black and white photos of the owners' families taken between the '50s and '70s. The menus are set in antique painted white photo album boxes again with family pictures on every page. Trouble is, the menus are so entertaining, offering a nostalgic glimpse of a time gone by, it takes a long time just to get through them.
After perusing the menu (and pictures) for a very long time, one of my fellow diners, an Israeli, exclaimed that he used to wear shlaykers (suspenders), exactly like a pair seen in one of the pictures. Much laughter ensued.
We finally decided on the eggplant with tehina (a very large helping and very delicious), the orange - the color, not the fruit - soup (not too thick and nicely spiced, made of sweet potatoes and carrots) and the beef carpaccio (not too thin and also nicely seasoned, NIS 39).
But of course, we had come for the meat. We ordered an entrecote (NIS 105), a sirloin (NIS 105) and the house kebabs (NIS 59).
We were not disappointed. In fact, we were more than impressed. The meat was better than in many more established restaurants in the Sharon area.
Normally I opt for entrecote, as the meat is tastier and more tender than sirloin due to the marbled fat. But, I have to admit that Av Basar's sirloin was the tastiest and most tender that I've eaten in recent memory.
That is not to say that the entrecote left anything to be desired. In fact, it was quite the contrary - as equally as delicious as expected.
Both steaks were grilled and served rare and accompanied with a marrow bone. Also on the side were some rather greasy and soggy fried potato wedges - best left untouched. The house kebabs, served with rice and relish, were wolfed down.
After all this meat, we decided to share one dessert between us, choosing the "snickers." With a crunchy base and two chocolate layers. It was so creamy and delicious that it was hard to believe that it was non-dairy.
Moshe, one of the owners, then informed us that there is a separate dairy kitchen where the desserts are made.
Av Basar is definitely worth the trip for the steaks. But, there is still something for every taste including lamb chops, schnitzel, grilled chicken, fettuccini, fish dishes, salads, vegetarian dishes and much more. Other desserts options include chocolate fondant, chocolate Ã©clairs with ice cream, pies and sorbet (NIS 34-36).
There is a business lunch (a main course, salad and cold drink) and a NIS 39 children's menu, as well. And the bar is well stocked with a decent selection of beers and wines to whet your whistle.
Av Basar is located at 1 Hamachsev St., Netanya in the Poleg industrial zone, (09) 885-9599. It is open daily from noon to midnight; Not kosher. The writer was a guest of the restaurant.