Blue, white and red

Israel's 61st Independence Day is upon us. If you're still asking, 'where's the beef?' then read on and eat up.

It is well known that on 5 Iyar, 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the independent State of Israel. It is less well known, that on that same fateful day, Ben-Gurion, who went on to become Israel's first prime minister, also declared, "Let my people eat meat." And so, in recognition of the Old Man's wishes, we eat meat - and lots of it. The following are some places that will help you, as such, to be a good Israeli. Rishon Lezion's Meat Ball is making its seasoned meats available for take-out so you can make their famed burgers at home. The beef mix costs NIS 50/kg, lamb goes for NIS 5 more for the same amount and beef with chipotle peppers is a cool NIS 65. 8 Maccabim St.; (03) 964-6468 Over at Moshav Mazor, Como Catering's Eyal Finkelstein is offering a meat workshop to be followed by a feast of the food prepared by the participants. So bring your A-game. Plenty of wine will flow in accompaniment. Among the dishes to be taught and eaten are roast beef with potatoes and shallots, pullet rolls filled with spinach and mushrooms, a lamb and Portobello pastry. Sadly, the desserts, pears in red wine sauce and coconut sorbet, are meat free. The workshops take place on April 22, 26 and May 3 at 6 p.m. for NIS 199. 5 Hashachar St.; (052) 290-4804 Ramat Hahayal's Avantgarde is an American style diner celebrating Israel's independence with a special feast of meats and six types of beers (NIS 161/couple) that includes two lamb chops, two veal sausages, 120g pullet and more alongside salad and side dishes. The music will be solely Hebrew and like most other places, Israeli flags constitute the décor. 3 Habarzel St.; (03) 648-0082 Wine and More, the Hinnawi-owned butcher shop and wine store is offering a variety of their exceptional meats and wines at reduced prices. Among the quality meats on offer are the legendary kebabs (NIS 50/kg), Porterhouse (NIS 112/kg) and sirloin (NIS 80/kg). On the wine side you can find Flam Classico for NIS 75, Lambrusco for NIS 25 and Chillag Cabernet Sauvignon for NIS 87. Furthermore, if you simply can't cook your own meat, Hinnawi now offers their special team of expert grillers to come to your home for NIS 860, which includes all the equipment but not the meat. The flagship store is located at 180 Yefet St., Jaffa; (03) 507-5618; Doris Katzavim (Doris Butchery) is offering a free mangal (grill in Hebrew and a word you must know this time of year) with every meat purchase. Their high-quality aged meats come from Golan-raised cattle. Cuts offered include New York Steak (NIS 102/kg), Porterhouse (NIS 109/kg), T-Bone (NIS 102/kg) and lamb kebabs (NIS 82/kg). With locations in Tel Aviv, Rosh Pina and Tsemach; 1-599-500-021 Jaffa's renowned Yoezer Wine Bar is celebrating with a barbecue stationed in the alley outside the restaurant. Special courses include entrecote steak served in a pita, mixed lamb and sheep face parts and their famous warm corn beef sandwich. All dishes are priced between NIS 28-68. 2 Yoezer St.; (03) 683-9115 Jerusalem's Angelica Fine Grill commemorates Israel's sixty-first with three special courses for NIS 61: chicken breast stuffed with Swiss chard in coconut milk, fish with apricot and pepper chutney and potato gnocchi with tomatoes and wild mushrooms. 7 Shatz St.; (02) 623-0056, kosher. Joy, another Jerusalem mainstay, is serving a special grill platter of entrecote, lamb kebab, pullet medallions and beef skewers for NIS 190/couple, which also includes the chef's starters and house bread. 24 Emek Refaim St.; 1-599-530-033, kosher. Saloona Bar in Jaffa celebrates with the best of Israeli alcoholic beverages (not including the notorious Sabra liqueur). So basically, this means Goldstar and, somehow, Arak - both at reduced prices. 17 Tirtsa St.; (03) 518-1719 After numerous failed attempts to develop a meat-based ice cream (psych!) the Shaked Espresso Bar & Gelateria came up with a special blue and white ice cream of vanilla and the nostalgic blueberry Alma gum (NIS 12/scoop; NIS 22 for 3). Kaf Gimel Yordey Hasira at Tel Aviv port; (03) 546-5858 Tita, a brand new ice cream parlor in Tel Aviv, has us Israeli vegetarians in mind. If you'd like to tap into the carnivorous Zionist feeding frenzy they're serving skewers of vanilla and strawberry ice cream covered with chocolate, made to resemble meat. 23 Bograshov St.; (03) 525-5040 And finally, Tel Aviv's Dancing Camel Brewery is opening up their doors at 9 p.m. for a night of blue and white proportions. Starting with Hebrew karaoke (this is the time to test your chops if you're an embarrassed Anglo) followed by an all-Israeli music DJ set. Come dressed in a costume of those ubiquitous colors, winner takes home a full case of the Dancing Camel's magical brew. And, the evening's cocktail is the Herzl (NIS 15). "You can drink 'em till it Herz!!!" But not if you're going to drive, that's a little too Israeli. 12 Hatasiya St.; (03) 624-2783, kosher;