Harvey’s Burger Shack - Burgers well done

Opened a month ago just a couple doorways down from the Jerusalem Interior Ministry branch, the spacious eatery is the latest passion for Harvey Sandler, proprietor of the wildly successful Harvey’s Smokehouse, just a few yards away.

Harvey's smash burger (photo credit: DANIEL LAYLA)
Harvey's smash burger
(photo credit: DANIEL LAYLA)
When I first moved to Israel, the only American-style burger you could get was the paper-thin tasteless discs peddled by McDavid’s – the Sabra McDonald’s rip-off.
Even when Burger Ranch appeared in the ‘90s, followed by the real McDonald’s and Burger King, there was a fast-food low ceiling to how tasty it was going to be.
Fast-forward to today and the capital is exploding with gourmet burger restaurants, with multiple varieties of fresh ground beef, enhanced by toppings like melted (parve) cheese and turkey bacon that kosher-keeping Jews could once only dream of in their deep subconscious.
Joining the pack and quickly leaping to the front lines is Harvey’s Burger Shack, boasting Jerusalem’s only smash burger (more on that later).
Opened a month ago just a couple doorways down from the Jerusalem Interior Ministry branch, the spacious eatery is the latest passion for Harvey Sandler, proprietor of the wildly successful Harvey’s Smokehouse, just a few yards away.
With the same attention to detail and to flavor, his burger shack is destined to become just as popular.
A sit-down establishment with an attentive wait staff, Harvey’s menu is burger heavy. For the purists, there is the smash burger, served in a 125 g (NIS 36), double 250 g (NIS 48) or triple 375 g (NIS 58) options.
According to Sandler, the burger shack is the only place in Jerusalem that uses the smash burger method, popularized by Shake Shack in the US.
“Instead of making hamburger patties, we just roll the meat into a ball, only seasoned with salt,” he said.
“We put it on a hot grill and smash it down, so what happens is that you get a caramelization process which seals in all the flavor of the meat.”
For the adventurists, there are seven burger creations – in both single and double formats – some of which stray from smash burgers into far-reaching territory. Choose between the Classic American bacon cheeseburger (NIS 56/74), the Reuben Burger with pastrami, vegan mozzarella cheese  and sauerkraut (NIS 64/82), the Smokehouse burger with hickory pulled beef (NIS 56/68), the Whiskey Jack burger, a variation on the bacon cheeseburger with Jack Daniels BBQ sauce (NIS 58/76), the Il Salsiccia, made with hickory smoked chorizo sausages (NIS 58/76) and Baja Burger, topped with guacamole, salsa and pickled jalapeños (NIS 46/58) and the Is the Grass Greener, a Beyond burger with all the trimmings (NIS 58).
Any of those selections can be enhanced by nine toppings, including a sunny-side up egg, jumbo onion rings, Portobello mushrooms, baked bean chili and aforementioned vegan cheddar or mozzarella, chorizo sausage, smoked asado bacon and pulled meat for an additional price ranging from NIS 6 to 22.
Choose from one of the four appetizers – Tex Mex Fries topped with  baked bean chili, vegan cheddar and pickled jalapeno (NIS 26), Chimichanga, a beef burrito, deep-fried with chipotle mayo, guacamole and salsa (NIS 28), chorizo sausage (NIS 22) and a Burger Shack salad (NIS 32). And /or add a side – of various fried, onion rings or chili (from NIS 12-26) and you’ve got yourself a meal.
On a recent lunchtime visit, I couldn’t resist the single classic American bacon cheeseburger. It was a great choice – juicy, flavorful and ample. My companion got the Baja Burger, and although less enamored than I was, gobbled it all up.
We both agreed that the taste explosion of the Tex-Mex fries creation was fantastic, as was the side of hand-crafted onion rings – real huge onion circles with breading that didn’t overpower the main ingredient.
With a wide choice of hot and cold soft drinks, beer on tap and bottled, and a nighttime array of cocktails, Harvey’s has something for everyone. Like his Smokehouse, Harvey’s Burger Shack is a keeper.
Harvey’s Burger Shack
Kosher
1 Shlomzion Hamalka St., Jerusalem
Phone: 02-657-1303
Open Sunday-Thursday 12 noon-12 midnight
Saturday nights – an hour after Shabbat until midnight
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.



Tags culture food