Category Archives: Food

Campaign To Shut Down Beirut’s Public Slaughterhouse in Karantina

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[YouTube]

I visited the Beirut River months ago and the smells there are horrible. I also passed by the slaughterhouse and there was no one there to supervise the place. Everything is dirty around it, anyone could go in and there are people who actually live there.

This is what Compassion in World Farming said after visiting the Karantina Slaughterhouse.

“The slaughterhouse is chaos. Everything is coated in a layer of blood, faeces and body parts. The slaughter area is heaving with people, live animals and slaughtered bodies. The sounds and smells are overwhelming.

Men grab defenceless sheep by the fleece or back leg. They fall to their knees and are forcefully dragged, one by one, to the slaughter line. Cattle are dragged by ropes around their necks. When they try to resist restraint they are yelled at and beaten viciously with metal rods. The animals are visibly terrified and in their frantic attempts to escape they slip, trip and fall, slamming their heads into the concrete floor.

Groups of sheep are forced to jump over dead bodies and wide gutters full of blood. They desperately try to force their way away from the bodies of other sheep they have just watched being slaughtered. Cows are left suspended fully-conscious by one leg for long periods of time, their faces resting in pools of other animals’ blood. They watch animals being slaughtered all around them. I wonder if they realize it will soon be their turn?”

Roadster Diner, Deek Duke and Zaatar W Zeit 2000LL Delivery Charges

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Zaatar W Zeit started charging delivery charges few months back, then Roadster Diner and Deek Duke followed. The charge is 2000 Lebanese Lira regardless of the distance and was set to maintain the quality of the delivery service, as I was told by all three restaurants.

Honestly, Zaatar W Zeit is the only one of these three that needed an improvement in the delivery service and I haven’t seen any major improvements ever since the charges were implemented. Roadster and Deek Duke have a perfect delivery system so the delivery charges are unjustified to me. In fact, it is letting customers tip the delivery guy less because they’re being charged for the service, so unless the charges are going to these guys or they got some raise, they won’t be too happy about it and quality will eventually drop.

How to Eat a Falafel in Lebanon

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David Lebovitz tells u how [Here].

1- Pull up at roadside stand.
2- Be happy you’re with people who speak Arabic.
3- When the guy asked if you want hot sauce, say “Yes” – with great enthusiasm.
4- Add some extra-spicy pickled chili peppers – and sit at a table, trying not to make a mess of yourself while you wolf down the whole thing unbelievably fast.

There are other blog posts related to Lebanese food that you can check as well:
Another Lebanese Breakfast..and Two Lunches
Saj, Flatbreads and Lebanese Pastries
Lebanese Breakfast
Lebanese Meze
Lebanon
Al Bohsali: Middle Eastern Pastries

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Ashoura Traditions: The Commemoration And The Abbas Cookies

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Picture From TasteOfBeirut

Ashoura Day is commemorated by Shi’a Muslims as a mourning day for the martyrdom of Hussein, the son of Ali and grandson of Prophet Mohammad during the Battle of Karbala some 1300 years ago. Re-enacting the battle has been long a tradition among the Shiite communities and involves in few areas self-flagellation in order to remember the blood that Hussein shed for them.

To be honest, I am not a big fan of the Tatbir, or self-flagellation act and I’d rather see people organize blood donation campaigns on that day (Like Hezbollah does) but some areas in Lebanon such as Nabatieh like to maintain this tradition, which seems to attract foreigners every year.

As far as Ashoura food traditions are concerned, there’s the Hreessé dish and the Abbas cookies and I absolutely love both! I don’t know why I had never heard about Abbas cookies until this year but they’re definitely worth a try. If you are interested in the recipe, Taste Of Beirut wrote about it [Here].

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Check out more pictures from Nabatieh [Here]

The Happy Prince – Mar Mikhael

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The Happy Prince is a pub-resto open in Mar Mikhael on Alexander Flemming Street (Right down the street from Internazionale). Even though it’s not a burger joint, I’ve been hearing a lot about its burgers so I decided to go check it out. I went the first time last Friday but the kitchen was closed (It closes between 3:30 and 7:30) and the place was empty so I left and thought I’d come back for lunch on Saturday. I got there around 2pm on Saturday and the place was packed this time but there were no more burgers (as per the manager). I thought it was pretty weird that a restaurant known for his burgers runs out of burgers so I just left again and was annoyed this time.

Yesterday, I had few errands to run in Beirut and I found myself next to the Happy Prince around 7:30 so I parked and walked in. The place was totally empty so we sat and asked for the menu. We ordered a grilled corn salad and two orders of “The Cheeseburger”, which is the only burger they serve and consists of “selected cuts of US Black Angus beef served with house made french fries”. I had a drink while waiting for the burger and asked them if they had any carrots or crackers or chip but they didn’t serve any which is pretty weird for a pub.

PS: Around 7:40 people start coming in and the place was full before 8.

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The salad came after 20 minutes and it was really good. I loved how they mixed avocado with the grilled corn. Some 20 minutes later, the two burgers were finally here. As you can see below, the platter consists of small crispy fries with a slice of tomato topped with two slices of onions, a bowl of ketchup and the burger. I ordered my patty medium rare and my friend ordered it well done. The seating was comfortable but the tables were very close to each other which annoyed me. In fact at some point, they decided to add a chair to a nearby table and the guy who sat was almost sitting right next to me.

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My burger was delicious. I loved the bun even though the bottom was too thin, the patty was juicy and tasty, not too salty or too greasy. It was one of the best burgers I’ve had in Lebanon. My friend’s burger was also good but the patty was too salty for some reason (I took a bite just to make sure). As far as the fries are concerned, the portion was big enough for one person and I loved them.

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All in all, I loved The Happy Prince’s burger and it’s definitely on my top 3 burger places in Lebanon but I didn’t quite enjoy the experience at that place. What I mean is that I had to go three times to actually taste their burger, I couldn’t reserve in advance even though the place is relatively small, there’s a limited number of burgers everyday, the kitchen has limited opening hours, it’s hard to find a parking lot around the place and the service is kind of slow.

Marky’s Philly Joint

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Ever since Marky’s opened, I’ve been hearing mixed opinions about it, whereas some people hated it while others loved it and told me they’ve had the best burgers ever there (even though it’s a philly joint). Having said that, I ended up visiting Marky’s last week with a couple of friends and to be honest I wasn’t that impressed.

Marky’s is located in Sin el Fil on the road leading to the Mkalles roundabout. The joint is relatively small and fits around 20-25 people. There are two parking spots in front of the place but you can easily find a spot there.

Here’s what we ordered:
– 1 Chicken Caesar Salad
– 1 “The Philly” Steak
– 1 Oklahoma Burger
– 1 Cheese Burger
– 1 Cheese Hot Dog
– 2 orders of Poutine fries

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First of all, I got the salad in a plastic box with a plastic fork and knife which I didn’t appreciate. I understand that it’s a joint but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a proper table setting. Even the soft drinks came in plastic cups.

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Marky’s chef takes pride in his poutine fries, and on how they are prepared using fresh French fries, the traditional and secret poutine gravy and imported cheese curds from Canada. That’s the first time I ever taste Poutine fries, so I enjoyed them but I can’t really tell if they are authentic or not.

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As far as the Philly steaks and hot dogs are concerned, my friend told me the Philly steak wasn’t as good as the previous time and the hotdog wasn’t appealing at all. I mean you expect cheddar cheese, corn and tortilla chips on a hotdog not lettuce and tomatoes.

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Moving on to the burgers, the bun was great and the burger presentation was great but my friend and I didn’t like the patty, which is what the burger is all about. The meat was way too greasy and oily and had a weird taste and both of us forced ourselves to finish the burger. Of course it doesn’t mean the quality of the meat is bad as a burger is a matter of personal taste.

To sum it up, I didn’t expect to dislike the place specially after all the reviews I’ve read, which is why I am going to give Marky’s another try soon with a bunch of friends and see if it was a one-time accident.