Schtroumpf restaurant was one of my favourite places in town and the beer and food there were as good as any other place. But it just lost it for some reason until a year or two back when it turned “American” and became Shtrumpf restaurant. Not sure why they changed the name, but i went for dinner the other day and it was very good, and their salad bar is awesome. There’s soup, a toaster and a large variety.
They are currently holding their 18th beer festival where you pay 19$ and drink beer as much as you can. The festival is held outdoors and includes live bands and entertainment. You need to reserve before going though.
Last time i attended, the atmosphere was really nice and the place crowded but service was a bit slow. Also, not including any food with the beer kind of sucks, specially that they offer open beer and wings night every Tuesday for 16$ or so.
Nevertheless, their beer festival is worthy going to, and i can’t wait for their cheese and wine nights in winter.
The author and chef Anthony Bourdain came to Beirut in 2006 to film an episode of his food show No Reservation for the Travel channel. Two days after arriving the war with Israel started. The episode is available on YouTube divided into 5 parts. Sorry about the quality, this is the best I could find.
Update: I found the torrent, you can get it [Here]
I found this on Saniour’s new menu. I honestly don’t get it.
I was not very fond of sushi until two years back, but since then i’ve tried almost every place in town and i must say it is very hard to tell if one place is that much better than another. One thing is for sure is that sushi is very expensive in Lebanon.
Sushi restaurants are divided into two categories in Lebanon:
- The classy and expensive ones (WokWok, Salmontini, Ybar, Le Sushi bar, and to a certain extent Le Yen and Maki.)
- The affordable and popular ones (Sushi Ko, Scuzi, Tsunami, Oceanus, Sushi Bento, Ichiban, Sushi Mooda, Kaiten etc …)
Most of the expensive places are good but it’s way too overpriced. WokWok has the most uncomfortable chairs too. Maki is a great place too but as Michelle pointed out earlier, it’s a very complex menu which i found annoying. Le Yen on the other hand is one of my favourite places.
As for the less expensive places, Oceanus is the most highly recommended by most people i know.
All my friends who come from abroad tell me sushi is way too expensive here and not that good. But all food is relatively expensive in Lebanon specially the non-Lebanese one, so that’s not something new. As for being not that good, i can’t be the judge of that but i don’t find it that hard to believe. Afterall, we do import most of our sushi and the food control here is “laisse a desirer”.
I mostly go to Gelato to eat ice cream but i thought i try their cocktail this time. I ordered a large fruit wedges cocktail and it was really good, but what i could not understand is why it is so freakin’ tall!
You have to basically stand up to be able to eat it properly or hold it yourself. The chairs are also relatively low and the couches even lower.
Still it was a good cocktail but maybe i will take it to go next time. They also make awesome waffles if anyone is interested.
Varouj is an incredible Armenian restaurant located in a tight backstreet of Bourj Hammoud in Lebanon. The place is tiny on the inside with only 4 tables and the restaurant is run by a father and son, the son cooks while the father takes care of the guests. Anyone who’s watched the Seinfeld episode with the soup Nazi will feel right at home in Varouj because the father is Lebanon’s version of the soup Nazi.
What makes Varouj unique other than the really good food is the character of the father. We were five people having lunch and we were ordering the cold appetizers when the father decided we had enough appetizers and walked away. He wouldn’t let us order any more. Then when he felt it was time he came to us and asked us what hot dishes we wanted and while we were ordering he again told us that he thought we had enough and walked off. We wanted frogs for example but he refused telling us we already had enough dishes. Then later he even decided to cancel one of our other dishes. So we ordered frogs again and again but he kept telling us we didn’t need it. The table behind us called the father and told him they wanted some soujouk and makanek (kinds of sausages) and he told them not now later. Its crazy. He also wouldn’t remove a dish from the table unless it was wiped clean.
The food was delicious, we ordered: hommos, moutabal, fattoush, loubyeh, batata harra, labneh, tongue, spleen, kibeh neyeh, sheep balls, little birds, chicken liver, chicken wings, basterma, soujouk and makanek. All the dishes were the best I have ever tasted.
The way everything is priced is also interesting. Basically nothing is priced and there is no menu. You go in, you order what you want and in the end he will tell you how much you need to pay and you don’t even get a receipt. Our bill came out exactly 100$ but according to my friend if we had ordered less or more the bill would have still come out the same. If you are planning a trip to Lebanon this is a place you need to try if you want a taste of local cuisine. The best way to find the place is to ask a taxi driver in Bourj Hammoud to take you or give the father a call on 03-882933
Note: This was a repost from my other blog.
I’ve made it very clear a number of times before that I think CafÃ© Matik at the Beirut Airport sucks and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who kept complaining because it seems they’ve listened. I was at the airport a few days backed and decided to pass by CafÃ© Matik and check out what they had and to my surprise they’ve introduced new sandwiches that reminded me a lot of Pret A Manger. I ended up picking up a Ham, Brie and Cranberry sandwich that turned out to be delicious. Would have had a second if it wasn’t priced at 14,000LL.
The Lebanese village Kab Elias, located in the Bekaa, prepared the largest fattoush plate in the world, weighing up to 4432 Kg to enter the Guinness book of records.
It took 100 people working for 3 hours and 20 minutes and involved the following ingredients:
85 kilos of Ba2le.
150 kilos of tomato.
105 kilos of onions.
105 kilos of radish.
42 kilos of na3na3.
1050 kilos of cucumber.
315 kilos of lettuce.
126 kilos of semma2.
30 kilos of salt.
210 kilos of olive oil.
336 kilos of lemon sauce.
336 kilos of bread.
I just started my diet 5 days ago and I’m craving a million things. I love manakish in general but I prefer saj more, two things I can’t have anymore. Below are pictures of a zaatar and jebneh saj which I had awhile back at a snack in Bcharreh near the Cedars forest.
Most of you have probably heard about Dinner in the Sky if not click [Here]. The same guy who has the Ferrari 599 GTO below also had dinner in the sky and uploaded those videos to his YouTube account. The one above is the best of the bunch. Looks pretty cool. [YouTube]
Now if you want to be nosy like me you can check out all the guys videos by following this [Link]. He has a ton of cool videos mostly of some of the coolest rides in Lebanon. I would have love to have been on this outing.. [Link]
I went to get a chocolate from a nearby supermarket when i spotted Bonjus haram (Pyramid-shaped). It’s been so long since i had one of those, so i got myself half a dozen (Orange ones) with two UNICA bars. They still taste as good as ever.
The Il Vinaio restaurant near Phoenix, Arizona, is offering a “lion burger” for $21 (Â£14), served with spicy homemade crisps and roast corn on the cob.
Owner Cameron Selogie said the decision to serve the lion burgers was a tribute to South Africa, host nation of the World Cup. [Source]
Republic is a very nice restaurant that opened up a year ago. It is huge and has a really nice decor and is very spacy. It serves all types of food and has Shisha (Who doesn’t in Lebanon).
For all the times i’ve been there, service was very good and waiters were very friendly, but food was average.
My friend, who is a dietitian, went with few friends yesterday and was complaining to me about how a certain waiter there was very rude to her and didn’t get anything right or on time. Not sure if it’s the world cup fever getting to everyone or the waiter was having a bad day.
So what happened?
R: Can i have a steak salad please? make sure the meat is not raw (meat comes on a “seekh”). I’d also like a lemon-mustard sauce and another balsamic sauce.
20 minutes later, the waiter gets the salad without sauces and the meat was raw.
R: Can you please get me my sauces? And the meat is raw! Look.
Waiter: It’s just one piece.
R (being nice): No it’s two pieces, but never mind i’ll throw them away.
Waiter (being rude): “Aslan Hek Atyab”
R(pissed): Bi nazarak. Anyways please i want my sauces.
8 minutes later, he gets a tartar sauce.
R: This is not what i ordered.
Few minutes later, he gets a lemon sauce (without mustard) and a balsamic sauce. My friend just let go.
Last but not least, She orders the bill 25 minutes before the game finishes so that there’s no delay.
20 minutes after the game ends, the waiter brings the bill.
R: What took it so long? We ordered it ages ago.
Waiter: The game just finished and everyone ordered it at the same time.
R: I specifically ordered it before the game so that it comes on time.
Waiter(who didn’t apologize one time still): So did everyone else!
I honestly would not have accepted to pay the bill and asked the manager to fire his ass.
As i mentioned earlier, i was having breakfast at Zaater wou Zeit Kaslik on Saturday and noticed it was completely revamped.
I also mentioned the friend i was waiting for was a major reason behind this renovation long time needed. Why is that so?
Because he is usually picky about his food and to ZWZ’s bad luck, he got on three occasions within a month something in his plate, things that i would rather not mention but are utterly disgusting. He caused a big scene the last time in the store and next thing you know, the Customer Support calls to apologize and the ZWZ Kaslik branch closes for renovation in the next few days.
Since then, i haven’t been to ZWZ Kaslik until that saturday and i must say they completely changed the place and have a much friendlier yet less cosier restaurant. The food did not change much, but i assume they worked on their kitchen hygiene.
Considering it was one of my favourite breakfast places, i don’t think i will go there frequently in the future as they don’t have couches anymore. I’d rather go to the one in Jeita.
On a final note, i mostly order the Labneh plate in the morning, and it comes with hot bread and a vegetables plate, having cucumber, tomatoes and olives in it. I don’t know who prepares that vegetables plate but they are very stingy on the cucumbers and tomatoes and barely put a full cucumber or tomato in the plate.
PS: If you look at the picture above, you can see there are 6 tiny pieces of cucumber.