“Butchery is a restaurant for celebrations,” explained Rafi, owner of the Beersheba landmark.
One of the finest quality restaurants in Beersheba, it is priced accordingly. A good portion of the diners come to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary or other significant events. But looking around the restaurant we saw tables filled with locals just out to enjoy a good quality meal. We chose Butchery to celebrate our grandson’s successful completion of his first year at Ben-Gurion University. Nothing is more celebratory for a young student than a high-end meal with his grandparents who are not on a student budget.
Now in its ninth year, the restaurant is known for its quality meat, fine service, and old-world ambiance. This is not an eat-and-run restaurant. Slow down. There is plenty of time. Savor every last bite of the amazing fare.
Trying to provide the best kosher meat in the world
Butchery, Rafi continued, was tasked with the job of providing a quality dining experience and the best kosher meat in the world – no matter where it had to come from. He and his partner Izo scoured the land, from North to South, choosing the best meat suppliers. The meat at the restaurant comes from the Golan, from Nebraska, and South America as well as other sources. According to Rafi, if it is quality, they’ve got it. The meat is aged at the restaurant while carefully monitored, sometimes for as long as 38 days. It is then grilled over coals for that delicious BBQ flavor. Meats are under the hashgacha of the rabbanut and there are usually three or four choices of glatt meats.
For a warm-up we started with meat-filled and vegetarian empanadas and a platter of grilled eggplant. Then onto the serious business. The young man had the Texas Burger: 250 gr of entrecote meat sourced from Ramat Hagolan, served with a side of smoked beef slices, a sunny side up egg, and crispy French fries. This generous portion was attractively presented on a wood board with chips and fresh cut vegetables (NIS 94).
A few big bites later the burger was gone, and the young man’s attention turned to his grandfather’s meal. The Hunters combination platter consists of 300 gr. of grilled meat and some grilled vegetables: Butcher’s cut (hanger) steak, goose breast and lamb chops (NIS 136). The meat was served on a tabletop charcoal grill laden with the sizzling meats. This was an overwhelmingly generous portion with a good variety.
Grandpa went straight for the large lamb chop and ate it down to the bone. Next came the goose breast, covered with a thick layer of fat. Both were tender and delicious. Just a taste, said the young man, as his knife severed a healthy chunk of each type of meat. With his help not a scrap remained. We all agreed that we don’t remember a meal as satisfying as this.
A restaurant should focus on what it does best, and clearly, meat is Butchery’s specialty. Desserts are sourced from Biscotti, the folks who know desserts. The only one of us who could eat a dessert without opening our belt buckles was our student, and together we agreed to pass.
While the city of Beersheba continues to grow both horizontally and vertically, the downtown area has retained its quaint and folksy atmosphere. Narrow but well-kept streets and low buildings contain a fair amount of history.
The restaurant is located in a heritage building constructed in the 1930s. The architecture was modern at the time, with straight lines instead of the classic arches of the day. In 1948 the majestic building became the home of Michael Hanegbi, the Israeli Military Governor of Beersheba, and was thus dubbed Hanegbi House. Refurbished and then refurbished again, Hanegbi has housed restaurants for the past two decades.
The current Butchery restaurant has the vibe of a quaint European bistro. Simple wood tables and chairs are nicely spaced in the two-room dining area. Black & white photos and posters of Israel of yore and others from the 1960s decorate the walls. The high ceilings, original wood windows, and elegant chandeliers top off the decor. Butchery is on a large property with a spacious garden that can accommodate events of up to 200 guests, including weddings.
Our bill for this delicious and satisfying meal crossed NIS 400 including tip. Ask for the English menu.
Butchery HaHistadrut St., 22 BeershebaKashrut: Rabbanut Beersheva. Some glatt meatHours: Sun-Thu 12 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday: 12 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Saturday 9 p.m.-midnight.Closed Shabbat.
The writer was not a guest of the restaurant.