Not elegant but blissfully indulgent, El Gaucho presents a tasty and satisfying dining experience.
By SHAWN RODGERSPublished: JANUARY 28, 2011 16:49Advertisement
Ameat lover’s haven, Jerusalem’s El Gaucho eatery specializes in Argentine-style grilled meat, cooked over the coals behind the many cuts of fresh meat on display for all to see. The decor here is ranch style, and many of the chefs are from South America.For starters, we chose chicken wings in a sweet marinade; then came the chorizo sausages and veal sweetbread. Overall, these dishes had the quality of a well-done, professional barbecue. We also had another South American dish – empanadas, a sort of pastry filled with meat. These were tasty and hot, with a light, crispy pastry, although the filling did not include ingredients that I had imagined to be an integral part of empanadas: olives and hard-boiled eggs.For our main course, we ordered a mixed grill for two. This consisted of entrecote, asado and a choice of chicken or sirloin.Your meal is served at your table on an individual mini-grill with simmering coals. This keeps your food warm while preserving the special grilled flavor of the meat. I don’t normally enjoy meat served this way, as it carries on cooking, but I must admit that the quantity at El Gaucho justifies it. The steaks were well aged and flavorsome, especially with the classic Argentinean chimmichurri herb sauce served alongside. The side dishes of vegetable pincho and grilled half potatoes were satisfactory.The desserts, sadly, were a bit of a disappointment following the delights that had come before.Overall, the atmosphere of El Gaucho is pure steak joint. This is not an elegant dining establishment. It is a place for serious meat eaters. Forget the chicken; get the beef.The writer was a guest of the restaurant. Kosher El Gaucho, 22 Rivlin St.,
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