Israeli hamburger restaurants use innovation in their menus

Distinctive delivery hamburgers from Agadir/Cafe Nelson and Burger King.

Agadir Burger (photo credit: ELINOR OZ)
Agadir Burger
(photo credit: ELINOR OZ)
Hamburgers are such a common, everyday food that it is rare for them to be the focus of a restaurant review on these pages. Once in a while, however, an eatery will come up with an idea to make its burger stand out from the rest. Coincidentally, this month, two of Israel’s popular chains have launched versions of burgers that are noteworthy.
Agadir has been featured here before on the occasion of their introduction of a burger made from famed Wagyu beef, imported from Japan. Their latest foray into exclusivity is a sabih burger, combining the universally popular hamburger with the trendy Israeli snack of Iraqi origin. The idea for this combination actually came from Cafe Nelson, a neighborhood culinary institution in downtown Givatayim: The sabih burger is available weekdays at the cafe itself, and at the adjacent pop up Agadir food truck on weekends.
The sabih burger brainchild is a real mouthful: a 220-gram beef patty topped with all the main elements of sabih – eggplant, soft-boiled egg and cabbage, enhanced with amba and hot chili sauce as condiments. The second half of the burger bun is understandably served separately, with slices of cucumber, tomato and onion, since no mere mortal could possibly fit the entire completed sandwich into one’s mouth.
I am sure the inventors tested their product before releasing it, and I am happy to report that their experiment was successful. The proportion of quality ingredients is just right; and using a knife and fork, you can measure the size of your bite just the way you like it. The succulent result begs the question: Why has no one ever done this before?
The sabih burger on its own is priced at NIS 79, but an even better value is upgrading to the sabih burger meal. For an extra NIS 10, you get a soft drink and a nice portion of addictive waffle fries, in the shape of discs, with a McDonald’s-style ratio of salt and fat.
Agadir Food truck/Cafe Nelson
Not kosher
33 Katznelson St., Givatayim. Phone: (03) 571-1338
Delivery menu (Hebrew):
BK’s Mountain Burger
The Burger King chain is so ubiquitous and well known that it could easily just rest on its laurels. But not to be left behind as competition for delivery and takeaway heats up, BK has also come up with its big idea – and it actually is giant. The eatery has gone for quantity, introducing the “Har Burger” – literally, “mountain burger.”
The mountain burger is a “stack your own” tower of beef patties layered with cheddar cheese (vegan cheddar in the kosher branches), topped with smoked turkey bacon, and served on buns moistened with BK’s special “king” sauce, along with lettuce and slices of jalapeño pepper. The burger starts as a hill, so to speak, the double (two patties), then progresses to the triple, the quattro, and finally the cinco. Naturally, the price escalates accordingly, starting at NIS 30 (NIS 45 for the meal deal, including either fries or onion rings and a soft drink), and rising to 37/52, 44/59, and 50/64. (The burger may be ordered without cheese, although the prices remain the same.)
The mountain burger is made using the same basic ingredients and methods that grew BK into one of the world’s largest franchises: 100% beef patties, always flame-broiled. The result is an ultimately satisfying burger, while the quintuple cinco – at only NIS 10 per burger – represents quite good value.
As long as I was finally at BK, I was invited to try some of their other relatively new additions to the menu. These included the Angry Schnitzel Bacon King (NIS 41, meal deal 55) and the Veggie Burger (available as a sandwich or in a tortilla wrap: NIS 28/44). The former is a schnitzel sandwich topped with the aforementioned turkey bacon (available also not in the “angry” version, which adds slices of hot jalapeño pepper). The latter is a vegetarian burger made from mushrooms; both sandwiches are acceptable alternatives to the usual hamburger.
Finally, in addition to the usual condiments, there are no fewer than five rather intense dipping sauces (NIS 10 each).
Burger King
Kosher and not kosher. Dozens of outlets throughout the country.
Phone: *2566.
Online menu (Hebrew):
English delivery menu:
Each menu is lacking in one respect or another, but together they are complementary.
The writer was a guest of the restaurants.