03 April 2008

Queen of Hearts...and Livers...and Kidneys...

My friend Jesse, who is in a Bible class with me at Hebrew U, struck up a conversation with me about Jerusalem Mixed Grill, and was shocked when I said that I like it. A brief conversation led us to make some plans to grab some of the glorious grill together.

I stayed at school doing work and getting stuff done, and then met Jesse for the bus downtown. A quick ride and then walk through the shuk brought us to Sima's. I just read Someone to Run With (amazing) by David Grossman, and the main character ate lunch with one of his family friends at Sima's, and it sounded really tasty. So I was more than willing to go to shuk-land to eat some mixed grill.

What is mixed grill, you may be wondering. Well, let me tell you about my first interaction with mixed grill. It went a little something like this:

[December 2006. Restaurant in downtown Jerusalem. Table is set with pita and little plates of salatim, or Israeli salads, such as tabouleh, beets, tomatoes and cucumbers, hummus, eggplant...waiters come out with trays with skewers of unidentified meat.]

SBB: Hmm, I don't really know what this is. But it tastes good. This piece here is like fat-free steak!
Classmates: This, I think, is liver.
SBB: Mmmm, liver. Pass me some of that!
Professor: This is mixed grill. [pause] That, on your plate, Sara Beth, is heart. That is indeed liver. That's kidney.
SBB: Oh, wow, I HAVE to call my dad! I ate heart and he's a cardiologist! Heart! Cardiologist! Get it?!
Classmates: This is gross. Let's play skewer games.
SBB: OK, after I eat a few more pieces of liver.
[end scene]

Talia holds a skewer of hearts, and I hold livers. Get it? (Davidson Trip 06-07)

I stab Davey in the heart. (Davidson Trip 06-07)

At the restaurant last year, the meat is set up on the skewers in a display.
That's, from L to R, kidney, heart and liver.
(Davidson Trip 06-07)

To be honest, I was a little scandalized, but really, I am such a fan of liver, and chicken hearts don't have a stitch of fat on them. Sure, you can identify the ventricles and the occasional artery, but hey, I'm a fan of anatomy!

At Sima's, the uncooked meat is in bowls, not on skewers, and they throw it on the grill as soon as you order. It's really crazy to see a big, pyrex-ish bowl of hearts go by your table. Sima's salatim aren't as good as the salatim at the grill place off of crack square, from whence the above pictures came, but they do serve the mixed grill with mejadera. I love mejadera. Also, our waiter was really awesome, and he was very interested in our choice of mejadera, instead of chips, pronounced "cheeps", Hebrew for "fries".

Our plates of chicken parts were huge, and after eating a piece of liver, about 5 hearts, and 2 kidneys ("a whole chicken's worth!") I decided to take the rest home. After Jesse and I went looking for a CD he wanted (Ehud Banai) and a book we need for class on Wednesday (a Haggadah, and I almost bought a $50 one because it was so lovely), I made my way home.

And I took my hearts with me.

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