Today was the Muslim feast of sacrifice (Eid al-Adha). All over Jaffa you could see slaughtered lambs being taken apart for the big evening cookout. Near Abu Hassan I saw an old grandpa extracting what he could from a lamb's head, with the rest of what used to be the lamb piled before him, while chatting with his toddler grandson. My childhood was nothing like that.
Some of you may find this odd or even revolting, but that pile of lamb looked really good to yours truly. Meat, like anything else, is best consumed raw. I bought 50 sheqels worth of entrecote today for a stir fry and while waiting for the onion to brown, couldn't resist having a bit of it "au naturel". Jaffa butchers deliver quality that allows you to do that. Hinnawi and Abu-Hilwe are the best known. They can always be trusted and the Arab raised livestock from which their meat is derived is not at all your typical industrial farm fare.
I also bought a fresh palamida (Atlantic bonito) from across the street for the dinner's starter and went for it sashimi-style while cutting it into the curry. Rawness is simply such a gift and again - reliable vendors are the key to a good life. That palamida was still wet with sea water when I bought it. The one fillet I have left will still be good for an avocado and grapefruit ceviche tomorrow morning.
Life in Tel-Aviv metro is being kinder and kinder to lovers of raw. Steak Tartar (also known as "filet a l'Americain" although very few Americans would regard it as food) is now available in at least three places: the Brasserie, Joz Veloz and Yoezer Bar Yayin. The sushi scene is crazy, with sushi bars competing with falafel stands for domination of the streetscape. Onami on Ha'arba'ah Street is considered the finest in town.
Sticking to fine meat is similar to preferring cigars. It's expensive and thus not consumed in high quantities. It is more fun and its consumption doesn't contribute in the same way to a disgusting industry as does eating run of the mill meat/smoking cigarettes. Sure, this isn't vegetarianism, but there's some value to it. Pulling on an unlit cigar, however, is nothing like eating a steak tartar. This is where my analogy dies.