Category Archives: Food

Vogue Spends Four Perfect Days in Beirut

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b2

Alison Beckner came to visit Beirut for four days and the result was “a perfect storm of shopping, wining, dining, dancing, and—eventually—sleeping in this capital city where the Mediterranean meets the Middle East”.

Friday at Baffa House in the lively neighborhood of Mar Mikhael, a visit to the recently reopened Sursock Museum, dinner at Lux and end the night at the weekly Summer Decks on the Beach party at Sporting Club. Saturday starts at Souk el Tayeb, then a visit to “charming cobblestone streets of Saifi Village”, lunch at the authentic and history-filled restaurant Al Falamanki and party till dawn at the Grand Factory and the legendary B018.

This is a quick recap of the first two days. I love how the author took her time to walk around the city, explore the hidden gems found in every street, visit museums and art galleries and even hit the gym. You can check out the rest of the days [here].

Despite ongoing political turmoil, Beirut remains a hub for Levantine history combined with stunning juxtapositions: green hills, a sea-cradled peninsula, labyrinthine streets, neglected architecture—from Arabesque to Venetian Gothic—high-rises, old mosques, churches and palaces, and much more. Add to this a sociocultural melting pot, teeming with makers, doers, and shakers. The result is a perfect storm of shopping, wining, dining, dancing, and—eventually—sleeping in this capital city where the Mediterranean meets the Middle East. [Vogue]

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A Sneak Peek into Roadster Diner’s New Menu

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RD

Roadster Diner just launched a brand new menu and I was the first to try it out on Saturday at their new Hazmieh branch. The new menu rolls out on Thursday and will contain over 30 new (and revisited) items, out of which I tried around 20.

Just to give you a brief summary:
– There are four new appetizers, three new salads, three new sandwiches, seven new burgers, one new platter and one new pasta dish and nine new desserts!
– A lot of the old items were dropped, including the 220 burgers, the all-fit menu, the onion rings and others.
– The presentation of the dishes has drastically changed and fits RD’s new look.
– Pictures of the items were re-added to the new menu.

Since this was just a tasting session, I will go through the items I tried and give you my first impression. Let’s start with the appetizers:

The “Legendary” Starters

1- Loaded Fries: Fries and cheddar with a creamy mushroom gravy served with ranch dip on the side. You can’t really go wrong there!
Loaded

2- Chicken Gravy Melt: (Freshly baked whole-wheat baguette loaded with char-grilled chicken strips, covered in warm mushroom gravy and topped with our melted cheese): I enjoyed the mix but it’s a bulky dish. I would rather have separate crunchy toasts with that mix on top.
Chicken Gravy Melt

3- Blooming Shrimp (Seasoned char-grilled shrimp): I’d rather order them as an add-on to salads or platter. The blooming chili dip was good.

4- Ranch Chicken Rolls (Also known as egg-rolls): I’m not a big fan of egg rolls but they were okay. I wouldn’t mind sharing them with someone.
Ranch Chicken Rolls

Fresh Crisp Salads

1- Kale Caesar (The old Caesar Salad revisited with fresh avocado and Kale): If you like RD’s Caesar, it just got better and lighter.
Kale Caesar

2- Kale Chicken Wasabi (Char-grilled chicken tenders coated with a wasabi sesame seeds on a bed of crisp kale, sprinkled with crunchy peanuts, tangy cranberries and tossed with sesame balsamic dressing): This is my new favorite salad at Roadster. I loved it!
Kale Chicken Wasabi

3- Red Rocket Caprese (A colorful mix of market fresh lettuce, red rocket leaves, basil, avocado and cherry tomatoes, topped with char-grilled chicken tenders and fresh baby mozzarella, tossed with basil vinaigrette dressing): I didn’t try that one.

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Lebanese Wines Marsyas & Bargylus Featured In France’s Le Monde

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Marsyas

Karim and Sandro Saadé, the two brothers and owners of Château Marsyas in Lebanon and Domaine de Bargylus in Syria got a special two-page feature in the French daily newspapers Le Monde, one of the most important and widely respected papers in France and the world.

The report. entitled “The Grapes of Hope” was more than just publicity for the well-established wines but also aimed at portraying the positive side of Lebanon and the perseverance of wine makers despite the circumstances and the ongoing Syrian crisis.

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Lebanon is among the oldest sites of wine production in the world and our wines are celebrated worldwide. Personally speaking, Marsyas and Bargylus are among my top 5 favorite Lebanese wines. In fact, I’m gonna have a Bqa Marsyas Rouge tonight while watching Germany defeat Italy 😀

Congrats to the Saade brothers for this special feature and for their resilience in producing wine in Lebanon and more specifically in Syria despite being unable to access the estate there since 2011.

Cheers to better days ahead for Lebanon and the whole Middle East!

You can check out the full report [here].

Restaurants in Lebanon That Allow Credit/Debit Card Payment on Delivery

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zaatar

I always carry some cash in my wallet but I’d rather use my credit/debit cards for all my payments, especially when I’m ordering lunch or dinners because it’s much more convenient. A friend of mine was also telling me the other day that she hates paying cash on delivery and that there aren’t that many restaurants that accept card payment, so I ran a quick search to see which restaurants do.

Funnily enough, a couple of years ago, I was ordering food from a popular restaurant chain and they told me that I could pay using my Credit Card. As it turns out, the guy would come deliver the food, take my credit card, go make the payment at the nearest branch and then come back for me to sign. Needless to say, I told them I’d rather pay in cash until they figure out a safer and more reasonable way to do so and they did few months after.

Going back to the list of restaurants that accept card payment on delivery, I mentioned the ones I already know and made use of Zomato and Onlivery to come with the following list:

– Roadster Diner
– Zaatar W Zeit
– Crepaway
– Kababji
– Diwan Beirut
– Casper & Gambinis
– Burger King
– Deek Duke
– Sandwich W Noss
– Classic Burger Joint
– Tomatomatic
– Umai Wok
– Woodbees

I already asked Zomato Beirut to help out with a complete list and they are working on it. Until then, please let me know if I missed any restaurants and I will gladly add them.

Al-Manar Anchor’s Twisted Logic

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manar

A Lebanese TV Anchor called Diaa Bou Taam tweeted yesterday that he wants to boycott restaurants that open during fasting hours and that he is going to shame them in public. He went on by saying that these restaurants are being disrespectful towards fasting Muslims by placing tables and chairs outside. He later on apologized and said that his tweets were just a joke but he’s not fooling anyone with that excuse.

I have no idea what is going through this guy’s head and I’m glad he apologized because as far as I know, non-Muslims and Muslims who don’t fast don’t need to adjust their life during Ramadan and those who feel offended by a couple of chairs and a table outside a restaurant, or someone eating in front of them, clearly got this whole Ramadan fasting wrong.

(Updated) Zaatar W Zeit Now Has Knefe

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Knefe

Update 25/06/2016 : Z Knefe Quick Review

I tried Zaatar W Zeit’s Knefe two days ago at ABC Achrafieh. The Z Knefe comes in a man2oushe-shaped dough, it’s lighter than the normal Knefe and is quite good. The dough is perfect but it had too much “Smeed” (Semolina) and needed more cheese. I think it’s a great dessert and the perfect addition to their menu. It costs 7500LL.

It sucks that they don’t deliver it though.

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zknefe

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It looks like Zaatar W Zeit has released a new menu that includes new items like Hummus & Crackers, Cheese Garlic Bread, Chicken Kale Salad, Quinoa Halloumi Salad and Z Knefeh. I ordered from ZWZ two days ago and it wasn’t available so I’m not sure when that menu was released.

Nevertheless, I’ve been hearing for quite some time about ZWZ adding Knefe to the menu. I will order it tomorrow morning and see if it’s worth having or not. I expect it to be lighter than the average Knefe.

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zwz3 Cheese Garlic Bread – also new on the menu

#KolwScore

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kol2 Diwan Beirut: One of the best quality food and delivery services in Beirut

Diwan Beirut has kicked off last week a pretty cool campaign for the Euro 2016. I love The hashtag they came up with #Kolwscore and the game is a fun one. You basically need to predict the scores for the Euro games and with every deliver order you make, you get a code that adds 25 points to your account. There are 24 prizes for the top 24 contestants.

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I started playing yesterday and already got two scores right but I’m still way behind. Nevertheless, I order regularly from Diwan Beirut and usually get the scores right so I still have a chance 😀

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Mrs.Clueless: One of My Favorite New Bloggers in Beirut

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food1

I have no idea who Mrs.Clueless is, I’ve never met her in person but I’ve been following her Instagram page since December last year and I love what she’s doing. She’s a newlywed who loves baking, cooking and eating and she came up with Mrs.Clueless to document her failures (not so many) and successes at home.

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She’s one of the very few food bloggers who actually cooks and shares recipes. Looking at her pictures and recipes, she’s obviously not that clueless about food and she sure knows how to style her dishes and come up with amazing pictures. In fact, the part I love the most are the pictures and the setup behind some of them.

msc1

I tried once to reproduce one of her many Eggs & Avocado pictures [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] just for the sake of it but it turned out to be an epic fail. I love that combination by the way, I never really thought of mixing eggs and avocado but they’re great together.

All in all, she’s a new blogger and foodgramer that I highly recommend you follow. Check out her [insta] and [website].

Breakfast at Furn el Sabaya: Home-Made, Delicious & Clean

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furnsabaya1

I’ve been meaning to visit this small bakery for quite some time but I never got the chance to do so. However on Sunday, Brian woke up early and everyone was still asleep, so I took him for a ride all the way to Amchit and decided to drop by Furn el Sabaya to pick up breakfast.

20160612_081737 Brian waiting for his man2oushe

Furn el Sabaya (The Ladies’ Oven) opens every day from 7:30 AM till 2 PM and is run by a group of women who live right next to the shop. They’ve been managing this bakery for the past 20 years and take pride in preparing everything at home. They make their own Keshek, their own Zaatar (thyme), prepare their own bread (whole-wheat dough), harvest their own pumpkins etc. Also, the place is very clean and the “Sabaya” are very welcoming and friendly.

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Their menu is divided into two sections:
Commonly sold items: (Manakish Zaatar, Jebneh, Lahm Baajin, Keshek, Awarma, Bayd bi Awarma etc ..)
Vegan/Healthy section: The ladies are all vegetarian and they offer cold-pressed thyme mankouche done with no oil, Vegan pizza with broccoli, sweet corn, bell pepper and tofu, Vegan pumpkin, pies made with spinach, purslane and wild greens etc. PatyM covered this vegan section quite extensively, you can read more about it [here].

furnsabaya3

I wasn’t really interested in that vegan section, so I ordered a couple of Zaatar, Jebneh & Keshek Manakish, two Bayd bi Awarma (preserved meat) pies and their famous sweet pastry, the “Mwar2a”.

They started by preparing the Bayd (Eggs) bi Awarma (preserved meat) Manakish. They basically crack an egg over the dough, mix it with herbs and then add Awarma (preserved meat) on top.

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And here’s the end result:

awarma final

As for the Mwar2a (or Mouwaraqa), it is the Sabaya’s signature dessert and consists of a thin dough filled with a mix of almonds, walnuts and orange blossom. It’s not that easy to prepare and they have a special way to roll the dough before putting it in the oven but the end result is one awesome dessert!

mwar2a

I found a video uploaded by my friend Bethany Kehdy on how the Mwar2a is prepared. Check it out:

[YouTube]

All in all, I love everything about Furn el Sabaya and I am glad we still have such places in Lebanon. Next time you are headed North, pass by these ladies for a unique experience and a great breakfast! I’m already planning my second visit to try their vegan section, especially the spinach and the pumpkin pies because they come highly recommended.

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Rating: 4.5/5

FoodBlessed & SMW: An Amazing Volunteer-driven Food Truck Serving Free Meals To Those in Need

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Maya

FoodBlessed, a local hunger relief initiative, and SOUPer Meals On Wheels, a first-of-its-kind food truck in Lebanon, were both founded by Lebanese Maya Terro and aim at reducing the number of people going hungry in Lebanon by offering free meals all year long.

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I feel bad that I wasn’t aware of this initiative up until now but the work that they’ve been doing is quite incredible and I love how they are trying to tackle several issues at the same time. Their business model is an ideal one for:

– Providing poverty-stricken people with free wholly nutritious meals.
– Reducing food waste
– Enhancing social responsibility among individuals and corporations

souper

They work with strategic partners and restaurants to recover surplus food and have provided over 250,000 free meals over the past 3 years to more than 210,000 needy people all across Lebanon. More importantly, they have rescued 11,000 tons of edible food from waste. I heard that the food truck sells pizza at night to paying customers but I’ve never seen it anywhere. I will try to ask about its whereabouts so that people can go, buy pizza and help out.

There are several ways to help out FoodBlessed & SMW. You can volunteer, become a partner and give away food or simply donate.

AJ+ shared a cool report on the initiative few days ago, check it out:

This is a beautiful initiative. I’m gonna try get in touch with Maya and see how I can help further.