Revised December 2016
Hatzot Steak House is part of Jerusalem's history. This landmark family restaurant was founded by two brothers, Abraham and Michael Ajami, in 1970, in what was then, the center of Jerusalem. The location on Agripas Street, is between the Machne Yehuda Market and Nachlaot, one of the older neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
Legend has it that Meurav Yerushalmi - the favorite Israeli mixed grill
dish - was born at Hatzot Restaurant. If so it is a shame that Hatzot does not have royalties because this is a favorite dish served at all steak houses throughout Jerusalem and much of Israel.
Tables joined together for a group
Our Visit to Hatzot (December 2016):
It is really important to have a reservation at Htzot. From the look of it, everyone wants to eat at Hatzot at every hour of the day. We were passing by the restaurant at about 6pm, early for the dinner crowd, so we decided to try our luck. To our surprise the restaurant was packed. They found a way to squeeze us in, but it was just lucky.
For many who grew up in Jerusalem or spent a lot of time there in the 1970's, a visit to Hatzot is a nostalgic trip into their past. Even back then, this was the place to be. Well known personalities from Jerusalem, political figures and celebrities have dined here. Enjoy a walk down memory lane at this classic meat restaurant as you examine the photographs of old time celebrities that decorate the walls. Can you name the guy in that picture? You'll know how old you really are, when you recognize them all.
We love the retro look of this restaurant. The second generation Ajamis renovated, updated, and modernized the restaurant while retaining the retro feel. The Middle Eastern flare still remains and of course so does the Meurav Yerushalmi and the many other delicious foods.
I think those are original Jerusalem tiles on the floor. Simple wooden tables and old fashion fans on the super-high ceilings. Then there is the classic foods and the photographs. Deja vu.
About The Hatzot Menu
Hatzot is a classic Israeli Steak House, with a great selection of homemade salads, meats, some organ meats and the famous Hatzot meurav Yerushalmi
The meal at an Israeli Steak House starts with fresh hot pitot and a selection of salads. If there is a competition between steakiya restaurants as to who can present the most unique and enjoyable salads, Hatzot wins. The salads are so good, they can make a whole meal. If you go this way you will miss the delicious grilled main courses that made the Hatzot reputation.
In addition to the starter salads
Hatzot has several other starters that are worth considering. We were wowed by the dish of quartered pitot toasted on the grill and sprinkled with zaatar and oil, served with a bowl of tahina in the center (shown in photo). This is a traditional Middle Eawstern dish that we were not familiar with. Majadara, another starter, is a Middle Eastern lentil dish with rice and fried onions. Rice and beans is a popular Eastern combination (you see this in Turkey). Baladi Eggplant, roasted or cooked with meat and served with techina, is essential on every menu. Goose liver on skewers is another of the specialty dishes.
Main courses at Hatzot are primarily grilled meats. We enjoyed the grilled pargit (boneless chicken thigh), smothered in fried onions. There is a small selection of fish and even one or two vegetarian dishes. But an Israeli Steak House is largely about meat. Meats are grilled a la plancha at 480 degrees Fahrenheit (250 Celsius), and are seasoned as only Hatzot knows how to, capturing the colors and aromas of the Middle East. Here's where you will want to try the classic Meurav Yerushalmi - mixed grill that made Hatzot famous. A word to the finicky: be aware that this dish contains some grilled organ meats.
The Ajamis did not stop at Meurav Yerushalmi.
In addition to the grilled meats, Hatzot offers healthy meat salads such as Chicken salad and Entrecote salad. Hatzot is a family restaurant so bring the kids. There are size-appropriate childrens portions.
Hatzot is a great spot for celebrations. Ask about their special party menus. On our visit to the restaurant we saw several groups. Order in advance and the tables will be ready for your group. Take out is available for delivery in Jerusalem.
From the Menu: Starters: Platter of home made salads NIS 30 per person. Goose liver skewers NIS 75. Majadara NIS 25.Spicy Merguez Sausages NIS 38.
Meurav Yerushalmi (Mixed grill) NIS 79. Mallard duck breast skewers (2) NIS 100. aged Entrecote Steak 330 gr NIS 135. Chicken salad NIS 63. Childrens meals: hot dogs schnitzel NIS 50. Main courses include starter salads and two side dishes.