Wolfnights, 67 Ibn Gvirol, Tel Aviv2013-06-29
There is A Full Moon Out
The saying “why go out for burgers when you have steak at home” is obviously not taking into account the gourmet burger places in Tel Aviv.
Wolfnights is that place. And that’s not code for a stripclub, since I fully admit that idiom stated above is usually reserved for telling a man to not cheat on his wife. That is if your wife made burgers like Wolfnights. On the other hand Wolfnight’s does sound like a pretty awesome name for a gentleman’s club. I am a sucker for things with the name wolf in it, particularly: Air Wolf the incredible 1980’s helicopter TV show, Wolf Blitzer a guy I’d probably like to go to a stripclub with, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart whom by all accounts I’m sure knows how to party, but is likely the last person you’d want to be with given all his mood swings.
Creative types, so unpredictable. I think I’m getting off topic.
Wolfinights is a small burger joint by Rabin Square that blends fancy and casual in the same breath. The small restaurant inside is very chic, with its pillar of ketchup bottles, open kitchen and expert ordering system, but most of the seating is outside in cafeteria style tables and chairs. That’s why this place is such a juxtaposition. You do everything you would at a In N Out Burger except you are paying sit down restaurant prices. Welcome to the world of paying more in Israel.
But it is worth it, on occasion. I’m not going to get into the debate on whether Wolfnights is better than Agadir. I’ve eaten at Agadir – and they have some mighty fine burgers with an exceptional amount of gourmet toppings. But you pay for it. For slightly less money, at Wolfnights you can get a similar tasting burger without the hassle or stress of so many toppings to choose from.
I headed there fairly late and met my friend Neil, who has enjoyed Wolfnight’s offerings. He was quite happy to go again. That’s always a good sign. He orders the standard hamburger with fries and a coke. Very American of him. I’d call it a combo-meal but I don’t want to lessen the prestige that is Wolfnight’s. It was originally named Wolfgang’s after that composer. (I’m not sure what that has to do with ground up meat in a puck form, but the burger was music to my tastebuds—gosh did I really just say that?!)
No Soggy Bottoms
I ordered the Wolfnight’s Special. I really should double check my Hebrew. I didn’t realize the burger comes with cheese AND bacon. Cheese I don’t mind, but I’ve been brought up not eat bacon. I want to be clear that I’m fully able to eat bacon and have had it in the past, but when you are surprised by it, it’s kind of hard to just accept that it isn’t a trick played on you by the devil. I went to Jewish school, I know that Satan and God had their running bets – temptation, lust, gluttony, etc etc.
I skillfully removed the bacon and placed the tomato, pickle and onions on the burger. I have to respect a burger joint that separates the veggies from the meat and bread. Making a hamburger is a delicate balance, one that can be quickly ruined by soggy buns and sad vegetables. (I may have also just described my last and only trip to a stripclub I went to in Northern Ontario.)
Neil and I proceeded to do what anyone would do once they start eating Hamburgers – we talked about hotdogs. Now I could go into how hotdogs are supposedly the worst food in the world, but Neil will have me believe that Frank’s (also owned by the same company as Wolfnight’s) provides some really tasty bratwursts. Bratwursts I’m told are not hotdogs but hotdogs much cooler and tastier cousins.
First off Bratwursts are usually made with pork but you can find your veal and beef varieties (good luck). Neil insists they are worth me violating my “no-pork” policy, something I have been indoctrinated since a pig killed my uncle in a bizzarre farming accident.
(Wait did you think it was because I was raised in a kosher household? Seriously?!?! Let’s just say Charlotte’s Web and Babe were unwelcome forms of entertainment in my home.)
All I’m saying is that the burgers were good. The place is very casual and it’s nice to go in small groups or in a pair. It’s fun to get into the debate of whether or not Agadir is better. My theory is, if the burger doesn’t give you e.coli poisoning then you done good.
Save yourself the trouble and split the fries between the two or three of you. Fries are in fact one of the worst foods (along with the lips/assholes that are in hotdogs, and I don’t want to know what’s in a bratwurst) and it’ll save you a few bucks. By Israeli gourmet burger came to about $17Cdn. But it’s a good time. It’s right by Rabin Square so it’s also a nice place to go on a date. That way you have someplace to walk off the meat-sweats you’ll get from eating something so delicious.
- Hamburger, Fries and Coke 56NIS
- Wolfnight's Special, Fries and Water 62NIS