A prime location

For meat lovers, Papagaio hits every spot – and then some

entrecote311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There are only so many superlatives that one can use to describe a well-cooked piece of meat: tender, succulent, juicy, flavorsome, melt-in-your-mouth. The food on offer at Papagaio, Jerusalem’s established all-you-can-eat meat grill restaurant, is all of the above.
The concept: A huge grill sits at the corner of the restaurant. It contains 35 spits bearing a series of prime cut meats, which are slowly roasted over an open charcoal fire.
Diners are encouraged to order the full all-you-can-eat meal. If you choose this option (NIS 240), then your waiter will proceed to bring to your table a series of giant skewers with a selection of meats and carve them at the table, directly onto your plate.
There are nine dishes in total. The highlights for me were the roasted chicken (crispy skin with soft, meltin- your-mouth flesh); the chicken livers, which were soft and rich and cooked in date honey; the entrecote (sliced wafer thin); and the asado ribs (which made me want to be a Neanderthal for the rest of my life).
The dishes were supplemented by unlimited servings of chips and rice, bread and salads. An honorable mention goes to a crispy sweet potato side dish, which was delicious.
There is a little gadget on each table with two sides – red and green. Keep it on green, and the food keeps coming. Put it on red, and you are allowed a respite from the constant bombardment of meat.
We kept ours mostly on green, and I am almost embarrassed to say we that managed to stay in the restaurant for approximately three hours! The meat at Papagaio was exceptional.
Each offering was more memorable than the next. But it was actually the atmosphere that left a truly lasting impression. The decor was simple (think Cheers meets a grill bar), the music was non-existent, and yet there seemed to be a wonderful, friendly, infectious environment.
This certainly was helped by the wait staff, who entertained us all night.
The place was full, and everyone was chatting, laughing and having a good time. Maybe there is something to be said for eating vast amounts of meat. It seems to make people really enjoy themselves! If you are looking for a well-balanced meal, then I would not recommend this restaurant. We barely sniffed a vegetable all night. If, however, you want to indulge in serious amounts of meat (and judging by how busy the place was, many people do), then Papagaio is truly a dining experience not to be missed and deserves its reputation as Jerusalem’s premier kosher meat eatery.
I won’t be rushing to Papagaio on a first date, but I am sure I will find many excuses to go back.
Papagaio Kosher3 Yad Harutzim, Talpiot JerusalemTel: (02) 674-5745