Let's meat up North

Haifa's Meat In & Out knows their stuff when it comes to all things beef.

Beef dish 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Beef dish 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For most of us there comes a time when we are really in the mood for meat. Not the casual roast beef sandwich but a good cut of beef grilled to perfection. Haifa’s Meat In & Out provides everything that the real meat seeker loves.
Upon entering, one is immediately struck by the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant. It consists of a main dining room, a courtyard bar area (where we were seated) and an upstairs VIP dining room that offers menus and privacy for any function.
We had a chance to sample a wide array of dishes from the enticing menu. First to arrive was the sirloin carpaccio. Accompanied by roasted Portobello mushrooms, rocket salad and Parmesan cheese, the tender slices were thinner than tissue paper, which is very impressive. Unfortunately, with meat so thin, it’s hard to taste the meat beyond the salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.
Strangely, the big winner in the appetizer category at this hardcore meat restaurant was the Brugge salad. It consisted of Brugge goat’s cheese, cherry tomatoes, basil, parsley, mushrooms, red onion and young leaves on top of homemade focaccia, and we were impressed by how refreshing it was.
Meat In & Out serves only the best cuts of meat that have been aged on the premises. Some are smoked in a special smoker in the eatery’s wellmaintained courtyard. These include sirloin, entrecote and asado ribs. Smoking meat is an indirect cooking process in which the food is not prepared directly over the heat source. It is done at lower temperatures than grilling, with the cook maintaining the internal smoker temperature at about 100º Celsius. Despite the lower temperatures involved, the goal is to cook the meat to a normal and safe degree. It takes longer to get there, but a perk of the system is that wood chips used in the process can impart a special flavor to the meat. The meat at Meat In & Out, needless to say, tastes delicious.
As main courses we were presented with a 300-gram entrecote feedlot, as well as a very rare piece of meat known as the spider (called aranita in Spanish because of the shape of the fat that covers the piece). We were told that the steaks would be served on castiron dishes to keep the meat warm and that they would be cooked medium-rare. I don’t normally enjoy meat served this way, as it continues to cook, but I must admit that the quantity at Meat In & Out justifies it. All was delicious, the meat tender and tasty, with the side dishes providing excellent accompaniment.
However, the cherry on the top came in the form of the asado ribs. Perfectly tender, the meat fell right off the bone. These ribs made me want to get up and kiss the chef right on the nose. I would love to know what the special marinade is, as it greatly enhances the meat without detracting from its natural flavour.
We ordered hot drinks and took another breather. Then came dessert. We opted for the apple crumble and the chocolate souffle. We both really liked the crumble, which was both sweet and tart, with a crunchy topping and a sorbet that came in a cute little jar.
In short, a really pleasant eatery with good food. It’s a little on the expensive side, but you can expect these prices at a speciality restaurant with guaranteed top-quality ingredients and excellent service.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.