Category Archives: Food

Forget Garbage, ISIS & Elections: Lebanon Is Making The Longest Man2oushe In The World Today!

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50 years

Amjad school and Socrate Catering will attempt today to make the longest Man2oushe in the world startig 9am. Currently, the longest pasty measures 15.17 m (49 ft 9.24 in) and was achieved by Fuchsia (Saudi Arabia), in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia last year.

The last thing we need is another one of those silly records but then again that’s probably the only thing we can celebrate today since we don’t have a president, our soldiers are still captives, Russians shutdown most of our airspace and the Israeli jets are still violating our airspace on a daily basis. I just hope someone will end up eating this 32-meter long pasty.

Oh and the garbage crisis is still ongoing.

Update: Here’s a couple of pictures from the longest Man2oushe in the world taken From Socrates FB Page.



Who’s Spreading Rumors About Zaatar W Zeit?

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If I ask anyone about the food safety campaign that was kicked off few months ago, the only thing they will probably remember is the first list of restaurants that was announced by the Minister that included the likes of Roadster and Kababji surprisingly. Of course we still don’t know the nature of the violations at these restaurants, the standards applied to check these violations and if there’s any follow-up process.

I’ve been supporting this food safety campaign since day1 but I still don’t approve of the way the minister was flashing popular restaurant names in press conferences and causing serious damages to the businesses for reasons that are still unclear. Taanayel les Fermes for example got its share of bad publicity because most people mistook it for Centre Taanayel that was declared non-compliant.

Another example is what happened with Zaatar wou Zeit yesterday. I spotted an article early in the morning on Annahar saying that ZWZ received a warning from the ministry but I chose to ignore and check later on what ZWZ management had to say about it. As it turns out, they were unaware of any warnings addressed to them and they learned about it from the papers, which is quite absurd!

I traced back the article to the National News Agency but I couldn’t find anything on the MOH website. In fact, the latest health news there dates back to 2012.

All in all, sharing such articles can be seriously damaging and misleading and I think the MOH should investigate and make sure nothing is ever published without their consent. If there’s really a warning, we all deserve to know the whole story especially when the food chain in question is a very popular one.


Doomsday Seeds Transferred From Syria To The Bekaa In Lebanon

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norway The Global Seed Vault in Svalbard in Norway

This is quite an incredible story. Apparently things have become so bad in Syria that the Svalbard Global Seed Vault has sounded the doomsday alarm and made an extraordinary request in early September to remove thousands of samples and transfer them to a vault in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley. The aim is to preserve Syria’s unique agricultural heritage after ICARDA’s gene bank in Aleppo, which includes more than 135,000 varieties of wheat, fava bean, lentil and chickpea crops, as well as the world’s most valuable barley collection, has been damaged by the war.

What is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault?

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in northern Norway, something of an agricultural Noah’s Ark, was set up as a guarantee against mass starvation. The world’s governments poured in their countries’ seed samples – unique strains of every crop – and the doors were closed in 2008, when no one expected them to be opened for many generations. It has more than 860,000 samples, from almost all nations. Even if the power were to fail, the vault would stay frozen and sealed for at least 200 years. The vault is meant to be opened only in the event of a catastrophic event, like flooding or drought, that would threaten a crop with extinction, according to Brian Lainoff, a spokesman for the Crop Trust, one of the vault’s international stewards.

ICARDA’s gene bank in Aleppo, Syria, includes more than 135,000 varieties of wheat, fava bean, lentil and chickpea crops, as well as the world’s most valuable barley collection.

Let’s just hope things will remain calm in the Bekaa.


Sources: [CNN] [Independent] [Jazeera]

The Cheesecake Factory Is Finally Opening In Lebanon

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The Cheesecake Factory will not open at CityCentre Beirut as it was expected and announced. Instead, it’s opening soon in Verdun and they are already recruiting. I tried The Cheesecake Factory for the first time when I was in Dubai 3 months ago and it was really good! It took me half an hour to order though because their menu is huge but it’s totally worth it and the portions were huge.

cheese cake

I don’t have an exact opening date for Verdun but since they are recruiting it should be very soon.

Even though The Cheesecake Factory did not open at City Centre Beirut, you can find selected cheesecakes from the place at Vox Gold theaters

A Pink Burger To Spread Awareness On Breast Cancer

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Duo Resto launched a “Pink Burger” during October to help spread awareness on breast cancer, and 1500LL will be donated to Faire Face Cancer Association with every Pink Burger order. I like the campaign but I’m not very comfortable with the idea of associating burgers (and fries) with a cancer campaign. I think they should have come up with a healthy “disease-fighting” burger like this one.

Personally speaking, I would never try it as I hate beetroot. Speaking of weird burgers, Roadster Diner unveiled the Black Burger earlier this year.


Beirut Shawarma Place Kicks Off A Cool Initiative To Feed The Hungry

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Al Soussa snack in Tarik el Jdeede has kicked off an initiative to feed the hungry by encouraging customers to buy and donate an extra Shawarma sandwich. Whenever you place an order, you can ask for an extra sandwich, the receipt will be placed on the “Shawarma wall” and if a hungry person is passing by, he can use one of them to claim his sandwich.

I think it’s a pretty cool initiative but the extra sandwiches should be at half the price in my opinion, that way the owner would be helping as well.


shawarma – An Online Destination For True Coffee Enthusiasts in Lebanon

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I’m not a coffee fan, I don’t need to have my morning coffee to wake up but ever since I moved to my new house and got a brewing coffee machine, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different types of coffee beans. I also got a Nespresso and a Barista machine which I try from time to time as well, especially when I have friends or guests who are coffee enthusiasts. Needless to say, I still don’t know much about coffee and Starbucks is always a safe choice for me when it comes to coffee, but I’ll eventually get there one day and businesses like are supposed to make it easier for me.

coffee kalei


Kaleicoffee is a Lebanese specialty coffee company that gathers some of the best coffee beans from around the world, fly them home and roast them in small batches to ensure their coffee is always the freshest. Their aim is to provide coffee lovers in Lebanon with high-quality coffee and facilitate the delivery process through an online platform (and offline outlets). I was telling a friend, who’s a long-time coffee enthusiast, about Kaleicoffee and he was surprised that third wave coffee movement is picking up in Lebanon and loved the website.


Third wave coffee has been trending for quite some time in the world and “refers to a current movement to produce high-quality coffee, and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity”. Of course it’s more expensive as it focuses on things like artisanal and micro roastings, but it’s still affordable and worth a try.

Kaleicoffee is mainly for coffee enthusiasts but if you’re like me and wish to learn more about coffee, then you will find the website and the people behind it very helpful. I first met with them in Faqra as they had a stand during the summer festival and were about to launch I got to try their iced coffee rum drink with a delicious pecan pie slice.


Kaleicoffee is currently offering two kinds of Ethioipan coffee, Yirgacheffe and Limu Organic. You can order online (or buy from selected oulets like Aziz) and choose the grind level (beans, coarse, medium, medium fine, fine, extra fine). They also sell hardware from Japanese Bamboo utensils, paper bags, ceramic poor-over and others.

Check it out [here].

Butcher’s BBQ Joint: Soul Food In The Heart Of Mar Mikhael

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burger lamb Lamb-burger-ini; lamb patty topped with smoked brisket or smoked pulled pork

If you are looking for an authentic BBQ joint in Beirut, Butcher’s BBQ Joint in Mar Mikhael is the place to go. It’s a small and cozy place that serves mouth-watering “soul food” sandwiches, burgers and dishes. I’ve been there already 3 times and tasted almost everything on the menu. The Pulled pork sandwich, pork ribs and fried chicken with waffle topped by maple syrup are my favorites, the bacon is one of the best I’ve had in Lebanon, thick, crispy and really tasty, the Beef Brisket and Merguez burgers were good, I loved the green salad they offer as well as the sauces (try the butcher’s sauce and the gravy sauce) and the chocolate waffle dessert is a must-try. The only thing I didn’t like much were the fries to be honest.

maple Fried Chicken and Waffles with maple syrup.

Butcher’s BBQ Joint is perfect for a quick bite or a late night snack (before or after the party). Their Sunday brunch comes highly recommended but I’ve never tried it to be honest. They also serve a bacon-infused rum cocktail but I was never tempted to try it.

brunch Sunday Brunch

When you go visit the first time, let the manager help you with the order. He’s very friendly and helpful. Prices are reasonable when compared to the portions and quality of food offered. Butcher’s BBQ Joint is located in Mar Mikhael next to Train Station and Secteur.

20150826_203456 Merguez burger

20150826_203054 Green Salad


20150914_191013 Chocolate Waffles

Rating: 4/5

20 Things To Do In Tripoli – Lebanon (Part2)

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Tall via Budkheir

I’ve finally managed to compile the second part of the “20 things to do in Tripoli” series that I started a month ago. Eid Al Adha is around the corner so it’s the perfect time to head to Tripoli enjoy the sweets, do some sightseeing or take a boat trip to Rabbits Island.

If you missed Part1, check it out [here].

Tripoli is Lebanon’s second-largest city and despite being one of its poorest, it is rich in diversity and is a beautiful city to explore. There are always new places to visit and new things to do and a sense of community in the city. I’ve been going to Tripoli for 15 years or more and I discover a new thing to do or a new place to visit almost every time so I decided to compile all these activities into two blog posts based on my past experiences and a little help from my good friends and Tripolitans Natheer, Hayat and Zaher.

11- Visit The Old Train Station:

If you like trains and a bit of history, make sure to pass by the old railway station. The station is one of the oldest in Lebanon as it started operating more than 100 years ago and used to connect to Homs in Syria and Beirut’s central station in Mar Mikhail. Unfortunately, the station was abandoned in the 1970s by the Lebanese authorities and has become a museum ever since. In fact, it’s not exactly a museum as it’s not well maintained but there’s a local organization (The Mina Peace committee) that is planning soon a rehabilitation and beatification project for the train station area. I hope they revamp the station soon because there’s a lot of history in that place.

12- Old/Vintage Style Pubs in Mina:
Talk a walk down Mina and enjoy the old/vintage and new/modern style pubs where poetry nights and artistic gatherings are usually held. If we go back to the 60s, Tripoli had a vibrant nightlife with a lot of cafes, pubs and beach clubs open in the city but things have unfortunately changed since then. Currently, Tripoli’s nightlife is nothing like Beirut or other areas but there are still pubs mainly in Mina’s Dr. Raymond al-Labban Street (Minot Street) where one can order a drink and have fun with friends.

13- Old & New Fisheries in Mina:

El Mina occupies the location of the old Phoenician city of Tripoli and the harbor is the city’s most visited site. A good idea is to head there early in the morning and see the old and new fisheries where people gather to buy fresh and affordable fish. You can also watch fishermen working while having coffee and kaak in one of the many cafes.

14- Tripoli by Bike:
tripoli-lebanon-cycling4-600x450 via BikeRumor

Tripoli doesn’t have a bike trail but it’s one of the best ways to explore the city. You can roam the city, visit traditional and cultural sites, pass by the old souks and stop at local cafes along the coast. Café Moussa, which was recently rehabilitated by the Old Souk Committee is a must visit, the different markets (clothing, vegetable) which were also recently rehabilitated by Tebbaneh Youth Council after being damaged during previous clashes. There’s also the Hara Jdide and several other areas that were rehabilitated thanks to the initiatives of civic organizations and the increasing interest of civil society in preserving and the famous traits of their town.

There’s been a lot of events to help spread the biking culture, but it’s still not popular enough in the city, even though there’s a lot of traffic in Tripoli.

15-Public Gardens (King Fahed and others):

Tripoli is a densely populated city but there’s a decent number of green areas and public spaces, especially when compared to the ones in Beirut. The work of civic organizations is also here quite noticeable as they are rehabilitating old and abandoned public gardens and spaces like the one in Malloule (Youth in Tebbaneh) and a public garden in Abou Samra (Muslim Scouts). You will also find a lot of public gardens around the mosques and in the Tripoli Expo (Niemeyer’s Maarad).

16- The Cemetries:
cemetery via LuvLebanon

Cemeteries are usually well preserved in Tripoli and very well looked after, especially the British and French military graveyards in el Mina. There are even campaigns to rehabilitate and clean up the cemeteries, like the ones in Souk el Ameh by the Tebbaneh Youth Council. Most of the cemeteries are of course Muslim ones and you will find them in random places like in the Old Souks for example. There’s an organized chaos in these graveyards and around them that is a beautiful thing, to me at least.

17 – Places To Stay:

There aren’t that many places to stay in Tripoli, at least not to my knowledge but there’s one that comes highly recommended which is Beit el Nessim in Mina, and there’s another hotel called Quality Inn in Tripoli.

18- Damm w Farez, or Neo-Tripoli:

Damm W Farez is where you will find all the new fancy restaurants and cafes. If you want to grab a bite, smoke a Shisha or have a coffee, that’s the place to go. There are different cafes where you can relax after a long walk and the food is usually good at most of them. One of the famous cafes there is called Ahwak Ben Tafesh which serves good desserts.

19- Visit the Rabbit Islands/Palm Islands Nature Reserve:
The Rabbits Island is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site and has been chosen as a special Mediterranean Protected Area under the 1995 Barcelona Convention. The “Rabbits” name is attributed to the large number of rabbits that were grown by the French on the Island in the 20th century. These Islands are quite amazing and some areas are accessible during the summer for swimming and snorkeling. There’s a ferry boat that transports visitors to the Islands.

20- Al Hallab Qasr el Helou:

You cannot go to Tripoli without visiting Qasr el Helou, one of Lebanon’s most visited Arabic sweets shop. Lebanese from abroad and outside Tripoli go to eat there. Kasr el Helou was founded in 1881 and is the ideal place to taste all sorts of Arab sweets. My favorites are the Halawet el Jeben and Mafrouke.


Two of the online sources I’ve used in these two posts are [Tripoli-City] and [WeLoveTripoli].