Branching out

With several new outlets, the Agadir burger restaurant has not spread itself too thin.

Agadir (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The original Agadir burger restaurant on Tel Aviv’s Nahalat Binyamin Street has become somewhat of an institution among gourmet burger lovers since it opened in 1997. Building on the success, a number of branches have been opened throughout the center of the country. Having already been to the original establishment near the Carmel Market, it was time to see if the branch at the Tel Aviv Port matched the very high standards.
It is often a concern that once a popular restaurant opens up a number of branches, the quality and intimacy will be ruined. The Agadir Hotel restaurant at the port is certainly not as intimate as the original. The ceilings are high, the furniture is grand, and the atmosphere is fast-paced.
My friend and I took our seats on a very comfortable red velvet couch, which wouldn’t look out of a place in a Parisian-style boudoir.
Our waitress was extremely keen to help and very attentive. She explained all the specials and convinced us to try some of the special summer cocktails that were on offer. I went for the Brazilianinspired caipirinha, while my friend had the watermelon cocktail. Both were very well appreciated on a hot summer’s night in Tel Aviv after spending hours trying to find parking near the port.
After asking a lot of questions about the menu, we placed our order, sat back and relaxed.
While neither of us wanted to fill up too much with starters, we were treated to some of the most popular choices on the menu, which included merguez sausages on a bed of tomato and onion salad (NIS 29), Moroccan cigars (NIS 29) and spicy chicken wings (NIS 31). While none of these were starters that we would usually order, especially before a big burger, each was tasty enough in its own right. If we had to pick one as a winner, the prize would go to the merguez for combining tasty meat with a refreshing salad.
It was then on to the main course. It did cross my mind at one point to order something other than a burger just to see how the other dishes matched up, but I just couldn’t see the point. To me, it’s like going to Paris and having a McDonald’s. After a lot of deliberation, I went for the Diana burger, which is a mix of beef and lamb served with aioli sauce, tomatoes, green onion and cured lemon (NIS 55). At Agadir, it’s all about the toppings. With about 15 to choose from, I finally selected the smoked goose breast (NIS 11) and fried onion (NIS 7). Being a big Agadir fan in general, I was not disappointed with my choice.
Good quality meat, tasty topping, interesting sauces. What more could you want from a burger? At Agadir, the price of the burger does not include a side dish. This can make the whole operation quite expensive once you decide on a side and add a couple of toppings. We decided to share a portion of chips (NIS 19).
My friend, ever the adventurer, decided to explore the bottom half of the menu, the part that includes the non-burger options.
He ordered the sliced steak sandwich, which came with mustard, mayonnaise, rocket leaves, tomatoes, pickles and onion (NIS 56). Often with these kinds of sandwiches, the quality of the meat is substandard and the sauces dominate. However, with this sandwich, the top-quality meat took center stage, and I was only able to manage a quick bite before my friend wolfed it down.
We both could have very easily stopped after the main course, but we were convinced by our everpersuasive waitress to try some of the desserts. The flagship Agadir candy (NIS 23) was well worth the calories. The layers of butter cookies, chocolate mousse, nougat crunch and vanilla brulee were covered in milk chocolate and wrapped in special tin foil, making it look like a candy bar. Delicious.
We also tried the malabi, one of that evening’s specials. The Middle Eastern dessert was done to perfection.
While you can’t beat the authenticity of an original restaurant, the Agadir branch at the Tel Aviv Port is perfect for a lazy summer evening date, something to fill you up following a trip to the beach or a late-night burger after a hard night partying.
Whenever you decide to visit, expect good quality food and friendly service in a funky and lively environment.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Agadir (Not kosher) 3 Hata’arucha Street, Tel Aviv Port Tel: (03) 544-4045 Open every day from noon until 6 a.m.