Ruben Restaurant, Ashdod
Fun facts: The Ruben sandwich was invented in a New York delicatessens in the mid-1920s. After some tweaking for the Israeli palllet, the Ruben sandwich became the restaurant's signature dish. Over the years Ruben Restaurants have upgraded their burgers and meat sandwiches to the best in their class.
The most popular menu items are indeed the burgers in a variety of shapes and sizes. But there are also other high-end meats that you should not miss. You must try the steaks, asado, starters and specials from the smokehouse.
Ruben is an all-kosher chain of meat restaurants. Ruben Asdod is under the hashgacha of Rabbanut Ashdod. There are some dishes with glatt meats available. Ask at the restaurant.
Ruben offers three kinds of main dishes: burgers, meat sandwiches and smoked meats. The burgers range from the classic to the specialty concept burgers. They all come in various sizes, with single and double patties and a variety of add-ons. The classic burgers are the most basic and least expensive. You can soup these up with additional vegetables and meats.
I always go for the upscale Concept burgers, of which there are no less than ten configurations. These are multi-story burgers, each containing at least two layers. The most popular burgers seem to be the ones with the fried egg. My favorite is the Double Decker Concept Burger. Open wide for this sandwich. It has a layer of steamed corned beef above the burger as well as stir-fried onions, cabbage and garlic aioli.
As you can figure, the higher end concept burgers are more expensive than the classic burgers, but you get what you pay for. We consider them a good deal compared to other restaurants that don't have as wide a selection of burgers.
The Rubin meat sandwiches, chock full of sliced meats. are famous. But I love smoked meat so on my most recent visit to Ruben I indulged in the Ruben Spare Rib platter, the Rubens' flagship dish in the smoked meat department. I was pleasantly surprised to find such a delicious meat dish at a nominally hamburger restaurant.
The spare ribs are smoked overnight. When you place your order, the smoked meat is placed in the oven coated in a specialty barbecue sauce, for the final touch. The oven stage takes a while, so be prepared to wait about 20 minutes for your order. But it is worth the wait.
The meat on the spare ribs is crispy and tasty, and easily comes off the bone. This is a great dish, if you don't mind a fattier cut of meat. It comes with green beans, a grilled potato, garlic slivers and some condiments. I skipped the potato in favor of their crispy crunchy French fries. There is a trick to these fries. They make them in house from fresh potatoes. They coat them with tempura and corn flour to get the crisp and crunch before frying.
Beer on tap tops off this meal that comes highly recommended.
Ruben, this temple of meat, also offers some vegetarian options for non-meat eaters. These are marked on the menu. There is a variety of soy burgers that parallel the meat burgers, so that non-meat eaters are not short changed. Veggie shnitzel is made of Portobelo mushrooms. Note that the vegetarian burgers are grilled with the meat so would be considered meaty. Chips are fried with the Schnitzel, so are also meaty.
Before you choose your meat dish, take a look at the creative starters on the Ruben menu. It is really hard for me to pass up the wings but wings but this dish should really be shared at the table. Goose liver, a specialty, is not available at all the branches all the time, but if it is available it would be a good choice for a starter. and meat filled cigars.
The eLuna discount coupon is valid on the whole menu (save discounted meals) from 3pm - 7pm. There are a number of deals at other times of the day. There is a combo that includes a burger and a beer for NIS 79. The business lunch is offered from 12 noon till 4pm. Note that not all the dishes are available in the business lunch.
Night owls and those who eat really late will enjoy discounted foods on the Night Shift menu, after 10pm.
Ruben gives an extra discount to Israeli soldiers. Thumbs up.
From the menu:
Chicken wings starter (12 units) NIS 46.
Goose liver starter NIS 89
Ruben Classic Burger 160 gr NIS 52
Good Friends Concept Burger 225 gr with goose liver NIS 116
Double Decker Burger 225 gr with corn beef NIS 74
Childrens menu (burger/schnitzel + chips) NIS 59.