Bob Wilhemy writes the Dining Out column for The American Israelite.

To see more of Bob’s local restaurant reviews, go here.

Five years in a leadership role is eons. That’s how long the mini tacos had ruled the roost of appetizers at Kinneret Grill. As Karen Chriqui related, the set of four tacos feature either beef or chicken made crispy in the cooking process and are served with salsa and a sweet sesame soy sauce. From the very first, the tacos were the most ordered among appetizers offered by Kinneret Grill. Until recently, that is.
“We added chicken wings, southern-fried chicken wings (not roasted), and chicken poppers. They’re selling like crazy! They are the first things to pass my tacos in the appetizers (group) in all that time. We put the poppers on (the menu) with a garlic aioli and a bourbon barbeque sauce, and everybody loves them.

New chicken Appetizers: Meaty wings done southern fried chicken style, with dipping sauce on the side at Kinneret Grill

Meaty wings done southern fried chicken style, with dipping sauce on the side

“The chicken wings are fresh fried in the fryer; we have our own spicy batter that we make — like traditional wings — so, we don’t bake them. We deep-fry them so they are really crispy. It’s the same batter that’s on the poppers. The wings are jumbo chicken wings, not the nothing chicken wings you get some places, and they’re crunchy and with a kick,” she said, adding that the batter features spicy seasonings that provide the mild punch.
For Jewish diners-out who have experienced wings done in today’s prevailing style, there is a pleasant surprise to be enjoyed with Kinneret Grill’s version of this ubiquitous treat. For me, eating wings is a messy proposition. Generally, they are slathered in sauce of one sort or another. Being finger food, the fingers become sticky from picking up the coated wings. If I escape the eating experience without sauce on my clothes, I consider myself lucky. Napkins (plural!) are a mess as well. All that messiness is taken out of the eating equation with Chriqui’s wings, since they are served direct from the fryer, with bourbon barbeque sauce on the side. This gives the diner the choice of eating the crispy wings as they are or dipping them in the sauce. It’s a much more Epicurean way to eat wings, taking the barbeque bath out of the picture entirely.

New chicken Appetizers: Wildly popular chicken “poppers” battered and deep-fried to a crispy finish at Kinneret Grill

Wildly popular chicken “poppers” battered and deep-fried to a crispy finish

The poppers are Kinneret Grill’s answer to chicken tenders, only better according to Chriqui. “We start with chicken breasts, so the poppers are chunks of chicken breast. We use the same batter as the wings, and they come out crunchy and very good. People love them! We make our own garlic aioli sauce to go with them, and you can have the bourbon barbeque sauce too. So, the poppers are really popular—they are the first thing to pass my tacos in all this time,” she stated.
While one might think that poppers would be a kid favorite (which they probably are) and on the menu for that reason, at Kinneret Grill adults order them most often. Chriqui thinks that people who want an appetizer to start a meal enjoy the ease of sharing that the poppers (and the wings) offer. Also, some mid-afternoon patrons come to Kinneret Grill wanting a snack to tide them over to a full meal later in the day. The poppers and the wings are ideal for that situation.
Those Jewish diners hankering for appetizers with a Mideast or Israeli flair may want to consider some other choices, including the Moroccan cigars, the hummus with mushrooms and onions, the hummus topped with spicy ground beef, and the new marinated chicken and beef skewers. Moroccan cigars are spring rolls, the likes one might find in a Pacific Rim eatery, but with meat inside, spiced in the tradition of the Middle Eastern region.

A new spring salad recently added to the menu at Kinneret Grill

A new spring salad recently added to the menu

Of course, hummus is a mainstay of Mediterranean and Mideast culinary cultures. Chriqui stated that her hummus is made in the style that one would find in cafes throughout Israel and the region surrounding it. “We added the mushrooms and onions and changed that just recently, and both versions (vegetarian and meat) are served with pita bread.”
Chriqui reminded that the Kinneret kitchen provides for catered events of all types and can create a menu of catered items to fit the needs of event planners. Among recent events have been business meetings, celebrations of anniversaries and other family gatherings, and group meetings of other types.
See you at Kinneret Grill!

The exterior signage at Kinneret Grill

The exterior signage at Kinneret Grill