An American thing

Sara’s Place in Ra’anana serves up kosher dishes with an American flare.

Sara’s Place (photo credit: Courtesy)
Sara’s Place
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It’s always gratifying to see fellow Anglo immigrants who have made it in the Israeli dream. So it was a pleasure visiting Sara’s Place in Ra’anana recently.
We vividly recall when Sara Spiegler, the proprietor, opened up a small hamburger joint in one of the passages off Ra’anana’s main drag, Ahuza back in the ‘80s. With a limited menu and a small space, it was still a fun place to visit for a quick meal.
The expanded Sara’s Place seats 80 now as opposed to 20 back then. It’s decorated with Stars and Stripes, old gramophone records and saucy posters so ex-pats will feel really at home.
We began our meal with a shared plate of chicken wings with hot sweet chili sauce. (NIS 34). The wings had been dipped in crumbs and batter, and then fried, and there seemed to be an awful lot of outside in relation to the actual meat. The home-made chili sauce was very good.
“We make all our own sauces,” said Oren, the manager who was very helpful, as were all the staff.
Moving on to the main course, my companion chose an aged entrecôte steak (350 grams) served with crispy gnocchi, béarnaise sauce and a fried egg. (NIS 128).
The presentation was original. The steak had been impaled on an upright knife together with battered and fried onion rings. The dish was pronounced very tasty, and the steak tender and cooked perfectly. From my side of the table, it looked very rare but was downed with relish.
I’m not at all sure what the egg was doing there. Perhaps it’s an American thing but it seemed superfluous. The crispy gnocchi made an unusual accompaniment.
My choice was Monterey Chicken (NIS 64), a gargantuan piece of chicken breast marinated in herbs, garlic and lemon with stir-fried veggies on the side. Although breast can often be dry, this was juicy and succulent, while the vegetable accompaniment provided a healthy contrast.
Oren came over to point out that neither dish we had chosen was really characteristic of the food served at Sara’s Place. He insisted we try a burger too.
It seemed churlish to refuse and the burger, served with slices of pastrami and vegan cheese, was indeed very good and seemed to be 100% meat with no fillers. (NIS 72).
The only appropriate drink for this meal to our minds was beer, and we each had a glass of the great Jem’s ale which went perfectly with the homey food.
For dessert, we shared a slice of apple pie with vanilla ice-cream, evidently another American classic.(NIS 34). The pastry was light and crispy, the apples tart yet sweet, and the ice cream more like sorbet and not at all sweet so feelings of guilt were minimal.
Sara’s Place does a brisk trade in takeaway, judging by the number of helmeted motorcyclists carting off packages to the far reaches of Ra’anana and beyond.
That’s very convenient but we recommend a visit too – the place has a very friendly vibe.
Sara’s Place
Ahuza 88, Ra’anana, (09)974.4089
Sun. to Thurs. Noon until 22:00.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.