God Bless America

Five spots to celebrate ‘Merica this month

Tasting Freedom

With July comes America's Independence Day. To celebrate July Fourth, The Diner has launched a pop-up menu honoring all-American treats. Inspired by classic American diners, the staff will be decked out in fun outfits and cheerful music will add to the joint's already upbeat atmosphere. American cuisine is a synthesis of different traditions from around the world, adapted as each new flavor arrived with immigrants – resulting in a melting pot of recipes. And Americans either go big or go home, so much of what The Diner's Chef Eitan Sasson created for this special menu will be supersized – appropriately named ‘the XL menu.’ Hungry? Try the Philadelphia sandwich with entrecôte, onion and gouda. Or go classic with wings in hot sauce. Going all out means the mega- decker burger – larger than the triple-decker – with a round of french fries (challenge accepted!). Make sure to try the giant XL milkshake. Then hit the gym.

Special XL menu Jul 3-7, Sun- Wed- 12:00- 00:30, Thu- 12:00- 01:30. The Diner by Goocha, 14 Ibn Gabriol St, Tel Aviv (03-6911603/thediner.co.il)

Wingin' It

Two words: Kosher. Wings. These two words have rocked the worlds of Tel Avivians and non-Tel Avivians alike, coming for great Kosher food or delicious wings and staying for both. Situated on Herzl Street at the edge of Rothschild Boulevard, Wings attracts crowds looking for hearty dinners or just a munch after a night of drinking on a Thursday. For owners Eytan White and Robert Ben Or, the idea was simple: to show Tel Aviv what it truly means to eat great, American-style wings with the bonus of being Kosher. The menu lists 13 different sauces for their chicken morsels – ranging from classic buffalo, to zesty chili and exotic Asian-inspired options. Each of their flavors pairs well with beer or hard cider, as well as their exceptional sweet potato fries with a perfectly paired yellow curry dipping sauce and crispy onion rings.

Wings Tel Aviv, 12 Herzl St, Tel Aviv (03-6708010)

The Diner, photo courtesy of PR
The Diner, photo courtesy of PR

Breakfast of Champions

While everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, nobody knows it better than Benedict – serving breakfast all day long with recipes from all over the word. Inspired by a variety of international breakfast favorites, Benedict incorporates a variety of global flavors and adapts them to the local Mediterranean palate. From a classic New York diner breakfast to Texan eggs, Benedict offers a fusion culinary experience like no other breakfast place in Israel. They even put the "City of Brotherly Love" on their map of a menu, with their Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. For California kids jonesin' for some Hispanic spice, Benedict also offers Mexican breakfast tacos and a savory dish of stir-fried chorizo with peppers and a poached egg served over polenta.

29 Rothschild Blvd, Tel Aviv (03- 6868657); 171 Ben Yehuda St, Tel Aviv (03-6868657); Sarona Market, Tel Aviv; 1 Ramat Yam, Herzliya (03- 6868657)

Benedict, photo by Nimrod Sanders
Benedict, photo by Nimrod Sanders

Deluxe Dining

Food trucks are still not as popular in Israel as in other countries, but that hasn’t stopped the owners of Truck Deluxe, who simply installed their truck in the middle of the restaurant. The food itself is a carnivore’s dream, allowing you to mix and match meat cuts made using a plethora of cooking techniques: smoky, slow-roast brisket, juicy strands of pulled pork, spare ribs and trailer trash burgers (an oversized burger slathered with bacon and melted cheese in a brioche bun). The sides include comforting mac & cheese, cheesy corn on the cob, fries and homemade sauces and just about every other classic American foodstuff you can think of (yes – they even have crack pie). Ravenous beachgoers will love the brunch, which includes brisket benedict, fresh cornbread and a hybrid of other classics.

13 Ben Ami St, Tel Aviv (03-6295353)

The Big Easy

Get swept off your feet at charming New Orleans-style bar French 57, whose name is a combination-homage to the classic cocktail French 75 and the bar's address on the corner of Brenner and Allenby 57. This happening drinking joint, by renowned and detail-oriented mixologist Oron Lerner, possesses a large and roomy bar and a secret garden outback with sizzling soul music and an energetic “big easy” vibe. The comfort food menu has French, Caribbean, Creole and American influences, with hefty Po’ Boys – traditional Louisiana sandwiches that are bursting with shrimp. They also have crab cakes that are the “real deal,” not to mention fresh oysters. For a sweet craving, try the cheesecake beignets – sugar-dusted doughnuts filled with an oozing cheesecake filling. Stop in for the daily happy hour from 6-9 pm with NIS 30 drinks.

2 Brenner St, Tel Aviv (050-7347452)