Israelis have a love-hate relationship with America. We love to pretend that we're better than Americans. We call them Amerikakis (Ameri-doodies) and view much of American culture as idiotic. Yet, we'll watch The Polygraph, an Israeli version of Fox's detested Moment of Truth, and, along with the increasing amount of violence in our schools, it seems that we're just one step behind those Amerikakis.
Also, it's safe to say, we love shameless commerce, part of the reason why Israeli restaurants celebrate the Fourth of July. But it's nice. Americans can feel a bit at home and us Israelis can feel a bit American - taking a day off from our regular scheduled condescension of that great nation. Surprisingly enough, rather than feast on just the usual American crap food (did any someone say Twinkie filled with s'mores?) Independence Day is celebrated the same way we celebrate Yom Ha'atzma'ut (Independence Day) - with meat on the grill. Though Israelis prefer the Arab skewer method while Americans go for German hamburgers and frankfurters.
In Jerusalem, the stellar establishment that is The Colony, serves a free Goldstar with every burger you order. 7 Beit Lehem Rd., Jerusalem (02) 672-9955
The New York-style restaurant and bar Edison, in Ra'anana, serves the aged house burger with eggplants pistachio and cashew alongside fries or home fries (NIS 52). You can top the burger with onions (NIS 6), mushrooms, cheese, or avocado (NIS 8). 282 Ahuza St., Ra'anana (09) 774-3131
Even further outside the white city, chef Guy Ben Asher's Gaya, in Binyamina, offers tribute to the New Orleans kitchen with such specials as: Cajun asado with French fries (NIS 78), New Orleans Gumbo with shrimps (NIS 69), chipotle burger (NIS 39), and porcini and truffles burger (NIS 39). New world wines and bourbon-based cocktails are available for NIS 39.
Ha'aman corner of the station, the train industrial zone, Binyamina (04) 618-1818
Hudson in Tel Aviv pays tribute to Adam Sandler with its Sloppy Joe. Consisting of ground grilled-meat stewing in rich sauces, you can choose from an entrecote version (NIS 56), the BLT Sloppy Joe (NIS 54), or the classic Joe (NIS 48). All are served with fresh vegetables and French fries. If only they had a lunch lady spatula them onto your plate. But wait! From 10:30 p.m. Sloppy price drop to NIS 36 and for NIS 45 you can get a third of Tuborg alongside your Joe. 27 Ha'barzel St., Ramat Hahayal, Tel Aviv (03) 644-4733
The Dancing Camel Brewery is holding a barbeque at their weekly Kallabat Shabbat. In addition to the brewery's own delicious beers, Sam Adams and Miller are available for those who are less concerned with the freshness of their brew. Furthermore, anyone with an American driver's license gets a free pint of Dancing Camel and anyone who brings an American license plate gets a Dancing Camel 4-pack in exchange. If your name is George W. Bush you get a free keg and a beating - but bring ID. Think of the keg, George! 12 Hata'asiya, Tel Aviv (03) 624-2783 (kosher)
Avantgarde, the American-style diner in Ramat Hahayal goes all out with an Independence Day Party. A DJ will play American hits, the restaurant will be decked with American flags, and the staff will dress as cowboys. The classic American menu includes the Capitol Hill, a mountain of beer-battered onion rings served with barbeque, sweet chili, and honey-mustard sauces (NIS 39/49); barbeque buffalo wings served with blue cheese dressing (NIS 49); Philly cheese steak (NIS 49) and, of course, their classic beef burger (NIS 32). Starting from midnight all American label alcohols are available for NIS 10 per chaser - so try 'em all! 3 Habarzel St., Ramat Hahayal, Tel Aviv (03)-648-0082
Fat Meir's Kitchen over in Bat Yam is a project that serves hot meals for children in addition to offering kids a place to stay after school and help with their homework. On July 4 at 10 a.m. the Indian restaurant Indira's chefs are holding a cooking workshop for charity (NIS 125). All proceeds go to feeding and helping the children. Indian food might not be the best way to celebrate America's Independence Day, but helping children might be, so either attend or send money. 67 Daniel St., Bat Yam (03) 507-1614
Whatever you end up doing, have a happy Yom Ha'atzma'ut - you Amerikakis!