Tracking the evolution of a small food venture on social media networks was pretty impressive. I have always felt that there was something special and different about Brisket. It was not the fancy edited pictures of nicely plated menu items posted on their social media pages that caught my attention, but more of the simplicity, originality and authenticity that each picture carried. For Ali Mortagui, it is never about money, fame, or being one of the best in the field, it is only the satisfaction that he gets from making people happy.
Brisket: the neighborhood’s kitchen!
Right around the corner, in a place that no one thinks of turning into a restaurant, Ali was able to change what seemed to be less than 30 m2 into a place that serves smoked brisket ribs, perfectly cooked burgers and gourmet steaks. “I don’t need a spacious restaurant or a large menu! At Brisket, we serve a couple of items with ultimate attention to every detail in the preparation and cooking procedures of our main ingredients.” The passionate owner picks the ingredients himself, making sure that everything is according to his standards. “I am very hard to satisfy, and I cannot compromise!” Ali adds. He explains that they had to shut the operation on a certain day, as he was not satisfied with the outcome of the smoked briskets they prepared. “ Smoking the briskets is a process that takes around 10 hours, and doing it again in a very short time was impossible. Here at Brisket, we are that serious!” says Ali.
Coming from a marketing background, Ali knows all about customer satisfaction, and he knows how to be unique in a very competitive market. “The idea of having a restaurant that serves specialty food in Amman was unique by itself, and the fact of having this kind of food available for everyone makes it even better.” Explains Ali. Since March 2014, Brisket is slowly gaining a database of loyal customers that are eager to taste the tender and juicy brisket ribs and burgers that they serve. “I am extremely happy upon seeing returning customers, it indicates that we are just doing it the right way!” Ali adds.
The day starts at 5:00 AM in the morning where the trimming, grinding and smoking, with all preparations to serve briskets and burgers take place. “Everyday is just as exciting as the one before.” Ali adds. With four USDA grade premium meat cuts to clean and trim for the burgers, briskets to prepare to be smoked, and homemade sauces to be cooked, Ali gets minimum sleep but ultimate satisfaction with the quality of food he serves at Brisket. “It’s a process that takes from 8-10 hours, smoking is a science!” adds Ali. Using different smoking methods, Ali is mastering this cooking method and he is aiming to create a smoking technique that he hopes will add more value, taste and flavor to the briskets he serves at his humble kitchen.
The fast pace preparations and busy operation that restaurant has is quite unique. I can’t forget the joy of the sizzling sounds of the meat being grilled on the flattop grill, the flowing of the eager customers and the ongoing orders that keeps all of the staff including Ali and his helpful wife busy. I sat at the counter and ordered the signature burger that Brisket is famous for: the BOB! “It is the best! You will experience the taste of the tender smoked brisket and the juicy premium meat burgers with the addition of our smoked brisket gravy and house-made sauces all in one!” says Ali. The humble owner takes pride in his signature burger where he hopes that the BOB (Brisket on Burger) will be granted recognition in international cooking competitions.
Next time you think of having mouth-watering burgers or tasty gourmet steaks, you know where to head, because for me it will always be the casual dive around the corner!
*Pictures courtesy of Brisket