Tourist Tip #148 / How to Order a Steak in Israel

In Israel, you aren’t going to see filet mignon, rib eye, T-bone or New York strip on the menu. But don’t have a cow; this handy guide will help.

Sorry, vegetarians, but this tip is for those of us who like nothing better than a juicy steak. Israel does indeed offer some delicious cuts of meat, but they go by names that can be unfamiliar to a tourist. If you’re a chow-ready carnivore looking to sink your teeth into some red meat during your visit to the blue-and-white state, it's best to study up on your meat monikers so you know what to ask for.

At a steakhouse or butcher shop in Israel, you aren’t going to see options for filet mignon, rib eye, T-bone or New York strip on the menu. But don’t have a cow; Motti Hai, of Jaffa's Zalman butcher shop, gives you an idea of what to expect:

Entrecote (also known as “steak ayin” or “vered hatzela” in the frozen food sections at supermarkets): This is one of the most common cuts of steak in Israel, and also one of the juiciest and tastiest. It’s roughly equivalent to a rib eye, or for you Brits out there, a forerib.

Sinta (also known as moten): Tender, pricey and not too fatty, this is equivalent to a sirloin.

Fillet This is pretty similar to filet mignon in that it's also a tenderloin cut; this is also where most of the ruby-red meat you see in carpaccio comes from.

Sheitel (also known as kanaf ha’oketz): A rump steak. Good for cutlets, oven roasted steak, and skewered as shish kebab.

Tzlaot Ribs. A fairly straight translation. But don’t expect the barbecue-sauce-dripping, dozen-napkin-requiring variety you might have seen in America. Ribs here tend to be a more civilized affair.
 

Ofer Vaknin