Good meat on the Kinneret

All of the main courses come with the salads, fresh bread, and a choice of a side dish of rice, French fires, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.

El Rancho Steak House (photo credit: GILAD HAR SHELEG)
El Rancho Steak House
(photo credit: GILAD HAR SHELEG)
Many of us pass through Tiberias on our way to and from northern Israel. I used to have a favorite restaurant in the area, Roberg, in Moshav Livnim just above Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee). Unfortunately, it recently closed, so I needed a new restaurant in the area, preferably one that would not break the bank.
I found it in El Rancho Steak House, opposite the Leonardo Club in the center of Tiberias. I must have driven by the sign for El Rancho at least a dozen times in the past few years, but I had never gone in. This time I was glad I did. Like most grill restaurants, a selection of salads is included in the price of the meal. But unlike most grill restaurants, these salads were all homemade and incredibly fresh.
My favorite among the dozen salads was a baladi eggplant and tehina, with chunks of smoked eggplant. There was also an excellent cabbage salad with vegetables, and another with greens including celery studded with craisins. The hummus was not made in-house but was tasty, topped with olive oil and paprika. There is an option to order just the salads with bread, a good option for vegetarians or light eaters (NIS 32).
My dining companion and I were offered more extensive first courses including empanadas stuffed with meat, mushrooms, corn or chicken (NIS 21), stuffed mushrooms (NIS 32), or cigarim filled with salmon (NIS 32). Unfortunately, and believe me when I say unfortunately, I’ve just started a low-carb diet, so I had to decline. I even said no to the hot fresh thin-cut French fries that came with the meat.
The main course menu is extensive. There are hamburgers (NIS 69) which my husband had on a previous visit and said were excellent. All of the main courses come with the salads, fresh bread, and a choice of a side dish of rice, French fires, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Other choices are chicken liver, chicken breast, schnitzel, lamb or veal kabob (each NIS 69), a 250-gram sirloin steak (NIS 99), or entrecote (NIS 110).
There are a series of platters, each of which includes several kinds of meat. We went for the most expensive one (NIS 269 for two), which includes butcher’s cut, entrecote, fillet, and a milk-fed veal chop. The meat of the platter has a total weight of 800 grams.
Butcher’s cut is taken from the lower belly of the animal. It is juicy with very little fat. It is called butcher’s cut because the butcher often saved this part for himself. It is one of my favorite cuts, and is not sold in many restaurants. Our meat was served a perfect medium rare, and I enjoyed every bite of this small steak.
The piece of fillet mignon was also delicious, soft and juicy, but full of flavor. The entrecote was also excellent, but at this point I was so full I couldn’t even finish it. There was no veal chop on our platter, but I couldn’t have eaten it anyway. In the center of the platter were a few roasted potatoes and some delicious charred zucchini and onions. On top was a fresh sprig of rosemary that had also been charred on the grill.
There is a children’s menu (NIS 39) with a choice of kebab, schnitzel, hamburger, pargit (spring chicken), chorizo or chicken breast, served with salad, fries, and even dessert. The menus are available in both Hebrew and English.
Virtuously, we did not order dessert, but they offer churros, hot chocolate souflee and a pavlova. All desserts are 32 NIS.
El Rancho Steak House
Hakishon 1, Tiberias
Sun-Th: 12 noon-last customer
Fri: 12 noon-3 p.m.
Sat night: Until last customer
Phone: 053-809-4609
Kashrut: Rabbanut Tiberias, all meat is mehadrin.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.