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.
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!
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
– Diwan Beirut
– Casper & Gambinis
– Burger King
– Deek Duke
– Sandwich W Noss
– Classic Burger Joint
– Umai Wok
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 😀
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.
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.
I tried once to reproduce one of her many Eggs & Avocado pictures      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].
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.
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.
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].
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.
And here’s the end result:
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!
I found a video uploaded by my friend Bethany Kehdy on how the Mwar2a is prepared. Check it out:
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.
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.
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
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.
The new RD look and feel has been the talk of the town for the past three days. Some people liked the new look, some hated it while others said it’s a copy of Divvy restaurant. I refused to share the comparative pictures between both restaurants that were circulating online because I’ve never been to the new RD branch and I thought they were misleading.
Anyway, I passed by the Backyard this morning before Roadster even opens, looked around the new branch and personally loved it. The new look is actually pretty cool and a breath of fresh air. In fact, I don’t think the old RD would have fitted in this new venue because most of the shops open there have the same feel, and the same applies to the Village Dbayyeh. As far as the new logo is concerned, I’m still not very comfortable with it but what matters to be is that the food and service quality remain the same.
In terms of comparing it to Divvy (I love that place by the way!), I think those who are saying it’s a “copy paste” obviously haven’t been to Divvy or other diners. Divvy Mar Mikhail doesn’t look anything like Divvy at the Village so you can’t really compare the two to begin with, and most restaurants open at the Village and the Backyard have this urban industrial feel so again the comparison doesn’t stand. Still, I do agree that Roadster’s new round couches (RD had round couches since ever) and menu look very similar and RD should have paid more attention to these minor details especially that Divvy & RD owners were ex-partners.
On another note, I’m surprised that no one saw similarities with the Zaatar W Zeit branches that re-branded few years ago (notice the front facade and stairs), noting that ZWZ & RD belong to the same people.
All in all, what I care about mostly is the food and service quality to remain the same because I’m not there to eat the logo. In recent months, I found myself ordering more frequently from Deek Duke because it’s constantly evolving and introducing new items. At this point, Roadster should do the same and reconsider its portions and prices. In terms of delivery service, the quality has been dropping drastically for all diners and restaurants not just Roadster.
Here are few pictures of the new RD branch in Hazmieh:
Roadster Diner just opened a new branch in Hazmieh’s Backyard and introduced a new logo and look. I think this is the first logo change ever since Roadster opened and it’s very different from the current one.