Ali Mortagui, owner/pitmaster, Brisket, Amman showcases his hole-in-the-wall smokehouse, which specialises in great music and high-quality meat dishes in very casual surroundings
What is your professional background?
In my previous life I was a corporate junkie. I majored in marketing and communications, then worked in business management. My previous employers include Unilever, British American Tobacco and LG & Maani Ventures.
Please describe the concept of Brisket?
Brisket is a hole-in-the-wall smokehouse with a very unique playlist featuring Jazz, hard rock and everything in between. Guests can come in, order five-star meat in a casual environment and enjoy the music.
What’s on the menu?
The menu features smoked and grilled prime graded meats in the form of loaded meat sandwiches, and straight-forward steaks.
What is your best-seller on the menu?
Our best-seller is the Brisket on Burger, a.k.a. BOB, which is for extreme meat lovers. It’s a classic four-meat angus prime burger topped with smoked brisket and sauce 21.
Do you plan to expand Brisket to other locations?
I am open to the idea of franchising to those who fully understand the concept of Brisket – Brisket is a lifestyle for its owners. As for our current location in Amman, we might get a little bit bigger in a few years, but I will always see Brisket as a small and very personal place.
What challenges do you face in operating Brisket?
The main challenges are the availability of special cooking wood logs for our smoker to give the proper aroma and taste to our slow smoked meats. And with our 12-hour cooking method, it’s a challenge to pin down the perfect tenderness in terms of meat texture.
How does Brisket fit into the Amman F&B scene?
Like a glove!
What trends are you seeing in Amman restaurants?
There is a saturation of burger joints with many people attempting to smoke the brisket.
Location: Amman, Jordan
Opened: March 2014
Fun fact: Despite running a meat restaurant, Ali Mortagui describes himself as an “extreme animal lover”. He has four dogs, three cats and two monkeys he refers to as “my boys”.