Harvey's BBQ in downtown Jerusalem is incomparable

Harvey, who ran Gabriel on nearby Shimon ben Shetah Street for a dozen years before turning it into Harvey’s, says he’s pleased with the new location – and on the night we went, it was buzzing!

 HARVEY’S HAS a wide range of mouthwatering deep-smoked meats and homestyle sides.  (photo credit: LIRAN MAYMONI)
HARVEY’S HAS a wide range of mouthwatering deep-smoked meats and homestyle sides.
(photo credit: LIRAN MAYMONI)

Harvey Sandler, who hails from Canada but makes the best American BBQ in Israel, moved his popular Harvey’s Smokehouse to a new downtown Jerusalem location in June: 33 Jaffa Road, just behind Mike’s Place.

Harvey, who ran Gabriel on nearby Shimon ben Shetah Street for a dozen years before turning it into Harvey’s, says he’s pleased with the new location – and on the night we went, it was buzzing!

Harvey chatted with us over a gin and tonic before dinner.

 HARVEY SANDLER at Harvey’s Smokehouse. (credit: STEVE LINDE) HARVEY SANDLER at Harvey’s Smokehouse. (credit: STEVE LINDE)

“First of all, we use the best quality meat we can find, and we make 98% of our products in-house,” he says. “We really take pride in what we do, and we pay attention to the fine details, and that’s what makes the difference.”

We started off with the Texas BBQ Nachos (Smoked Chorizo, Brisket & Black Bean Chili, salsa roja, guacamole and pickled jalapenos, NIS 45), which tasted just like the real thing!

Also recommended are Burnt Ends (Tender cubes of caramelized brisket in a Kansas City-style BBQ sauce, served with yam chips, NIS 58) and Pulled Beef Tacos (Hickory-smoked pulled beef, guacamole, salsa roja, Chipotle mayo and cilantro, NIS 43).

Harvey then suggested bringing out some of his specialties for us to sample. We readily agreed.

The huge platter of meat that he presented us with included 14-hour Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket (NIS 34), 18-hour Mesquite Smoked Pulled Beef (NIS 32 per kilogram), Mesquite “Smokie” Chorizo Sausage (NIS 28), Smoked Chicken Breast (Glazed with “Jack & Coke” BBQ sauce, served with yam chutney, NIS 96) and Bonfire BBQ Short Tips (Hickory-smoked fall-off-the-bone beef or lamb ribs brushed with a fiery Chipotle BBQ sauce, NIS 156).

 The BBQ ribs are one of Harvey’s specialties. (credit: LIRAN MAYMONI) The BBQ ribs are one of Harvey’s specialties. (credit: LIRAN MAYMONI)

The meat was tender, the sauces incredible, and the side dishes just right. I particularly liked the house fries and the smashed red skin potatoes (NIS 18), the handcrafted onion rings (NIS 28) and the house coleslaw (NIS 12).

Harvey’s allows you to build your own personal BBQ Platter and offers mouthwatering handcrafted sandwiches. (My favorite is called “We’re in Kansas, Toto!” (Hickory-smoked pulled beef, pickles, Kansas City BBQ sauce, Alabama coleslaw and grainy mustard mayo, NIS 64/84.)

If you’re really hungry, the Fillet Mignon (NIS 158), Chateaubriand 500 gr. (NIS 295) and Rib Eye Steak 300 gr. (NIS 156) are supposed to be out of this world.

As my colleague Linda Gradstein wrote in her review of Harvey’s new menu, there are also some fine vegetarian options. My favorite is the Backyard BBQ Salad (Seasonal fruit, roasted peppers and onions, yam chips, purple cabbage, smoked almonds, lettuce and pomegranate date honey dressing, NIS 42). Meat lovers may add grilled chicken or smoked brisket for an extra NIS 22-34.

For fish lovers, there’s also a wonderful Cedar Plank Salmon (Fresh Norwegian salmon smoked on a cedar plank over charcoal embers and served with mango salsa, NIS 129). If you have space for desert, Harvey recommends the Crème brûlée (NIS 32) and Chocolate Soufflé (NIS 36).

As delectable as it was, there was no way we could eat all the food that Harvey offered us, but the “doggie bags” were not only enjoyed by my dog: They kept me happy for another two days!

Highly recommended! As local guide Lola Dadon posted in her recent Google review, “Was a bit hard to find the new address but we did it :) the new place is bigger and decorated very nicely. Love this place and the food here is immaculate! So tasty. If you’re a meat lover this is the first place u should try when u come to Jerusalem!”

Harvey’s SmokehouseKashrut MehadrinHours: Sunday to Thursday, 12 noon to 10.30 p.m.33 Jaffa Road, JerusalemTel: (02) 624-6444

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.