Marlene turned out to be a fish.
The famous Abdul Rahman Hallab Sweets shop is opening on the Jounieh highway soon. That’s great news as I will no longer have to go to Tripoli to enjoy their awesome Halawit el Jeben.
You can check out more about Hallab on its [website]
Picture taken from TripFeast
Lebanon was no where to be seen in Lonely Planet’s top 20 destinations or countries to visit for this year but it ranked 8th in the website’s top 10 destinations to visit for food of 2013.
Lebanese food is among the very few things we can still brag about and impress tourists with.
If food is your main reason to travel, then head to Italy, Thailand, India, Japan, and the rest of our foodie favourites below. You may need to break up this list with a few from the Adventures list (see below) to keep your waistline under control. Chiefly famous for its steak, Argentina was the only country to make the top 10 outside of Asia or Europe.
Before calling to book, I checked out their Facebook page for pictures and I honestly couldn’t figure out how the places looks like or how big it is. It didn’t make a big difference to me as I had heard it’s a cool place but I think they should add some clear pictures on The Mansion’s Facebook page.
The Mansion is located in the middle of Gemmayze on Mar Antonios Street. It’s an old renovated house situated in an isolated area from the vibrant Gouraud street. Once you go in, there’s a large room with a bar on the left, high tables and chairs, cool chandeliers dangling from the roof and Botero paintings on the wall. There are other rooms more suited for relaxing and dining but you will be missing out on a lot of fun.
Even though we got there early, the place was already half full but tables were comfortably distanced from each other and from the bar. Once we sat down, we were offered Champagne glasses for some reason. I thought it was a welcome drink or something but it turned out to be “Champagne Saturday” where everyone gets Champagne every time the bell rings.
We ordered drinks and Nachos first, then The Mansion burger, a Mozzarella sandwich and a Breast N Cheese platter as main dishes. Everything tasted great and the service was impeccable. I don’t want to be exaggerating here but the girl (Rachel) in charge of our table was just great and made the whole experience even better. She’d check on us every 5-10 minutes to make sure our drinks are as requested or if we needed a refill, whether our food is delivered on time, or if we needed anything at all. I will suggest to the Mansion people that they name her employee of the month and add a funny painting of her similar to the ones they have displayed.
Moving on to the music, the DJ created a nice ambiance, far from trance and cheap commercial songs, and included some awesome songs from the 90s like Scatman or Cotton Eyed Joe. There weren’t a lot of people dancing when we left (Around 12:30) but the place was packed and everybody seemed to be having a good time. More importantly, no one was smoking inside.
Price-wise, the bill was reasonable and we ended up paying around 40$ per person.
To sum it up, I had a great time at The Mansion and I will be visiting back soon to try the Pork Ribs.
The Social Media Awards are happening for the first time in Lebanon and I thought it would be fun to share my nominations for the various categories listed. Before that, here’s how the selection process will occur:
Stage 1: Online Nominations
Members of the online community nominate candidates for different categories via our website www.SMABeirut.com. Users can nominate themselves, friends or an organization on business based on the criteria of each category. Their submission is accompanied by relevant material such as Facebook links, Twitter accounts, blogs and other platforms to support their candidates.
Stage 2: Judges Selection
Based on the nominations received, our team of experienced and celebrity judges from different backgrounds will be narrowing down the nominations in each category to seven (7) nominees within two weeks of closure of nominations. The whole process will be carried out in pure transparency and an announcement event will be held for the press and online community.
Stage 3: Final Vote
Members of the online community are asked to vote for their preference in each category over a period of one month. During this period, nominees will be able to campaign for obtaining votes.
Stage 4: Awards Ceremony
An awards ceremony will be held for over 750 invitees from digital agencies, VIPs and online influencers with entertainment, key guest appearances, and VIP guests bringing Oscar-like award glamour to social media. [SMABeirut]
I took a look at the judges’ list and the ones they chose are more than qualified for this job, with 1 or 2 exceptions which I will not name. One thing that I would have done differently is narrow down the nominations to 4, as I think 7 is too much.
Anyway back to the nominations, here it goes:
Best Blog of the Year
Beirut Spring: I’ve always been astounded by the insights Mustapha provides on the Lebanese society and Lebanon in general despite being abroad. He is concise, convincing, methodical and is among the very few bloggers that I agree with almost always. Oh and he never misses a chance to throw in a new term in every post and make me look for it online.
Best News Blog
Hummus Nation – The good thing about Hummus Nation is that his news are always reliable because he makes them up.
Best Lifestyle Blog
L’armoire De Lana – Lana has been pulling an impressive job ever since she launched her fashion blog. She’s posting daily, tweeting all day long, uploading pictures all the time. She’s doing it right and she totally deserves it.
Best Technology Blog
Tech-Ticker – A website founded by a group of Lebanese Technology enthusiasts covering the latest tech news and reviewing the most recent tech products.
Best Personal Blog
Gino’s Blog – Gino is truly commited to his blog and it shows through his posts. His views on certain topics are as far as they come from the conservative “Lebanese” thinking yet he manages to convince his readers most of the time. Neuromarketing at its best.
Most Engaging Media Personality
Magazine: RagMag’s Editor in Chief Fida Chaaban.
She devotes a lot of times to social media and interacting with readers and that’s not something easy to pull. In fact I don’t think I know any other media personality as devoted as her.
Nemr Abou Nassar: He was funnier when he started and I didn’t like his latest shows but he’s doing a great job online and deserves that award. The problem is here very few performers in Lebanon are active online to begin with.
Best Vocal Artist (Non-Arabic)
Most Creative Instagram Account
Most Engaging Tweep
Most Engaging Celebrity on Twitter
Celebrities in Lebanon have no idea how to use Twitter.
Most Engaging Media Personality on Twitter
TV/Journalist: Shada Omar.
Despite having almost 100,000 followers on Twitter, Shada dedicates time to almost everyone that interacts with her and is always interesting to talk to.
Best Business on Twitter
Best Organization/NGO on Twitter
Donne Sang Compter
Best Commercial District Account
Donner Sang Compter
Picture taken from Law174 Facebook Page
I am all for exposing restaurants that are violating Law 174 in Lebanon but it should be done in a proper way. Claiming that they are violating the law without any picture or proof is useless. Take a look for example at this picture claiming that Assi Hellani is breaking the No-Smoking law on a daily basis in his Verdun restaurant.
While it is very probable that he’s allowing indoor smoking as many restaurants are doing so, this picture does not prove anything as they could be sitting on the outdoor terrace. What I am saying here is that while we need more people activism to enforce the law, we also need consistency in reporting those violations.
Having said that, and since there’s already a Facebook group dedicated to ensuring the implementation of Law 174, they should follow some sort of procedure to report violations backed by images and videos. That would have avoided the confusion that occurred at Dictateur whereas the manager claimed Dalal was wrong about her accusations and that he’s respecting the law. (This does not justify his behavior at all though!)
Original Picture taken from Assi Restaurant Facebook Page
That’s one of the few places I miss from my AUB days. One of the best Cheese Man2oushe you’ll ever taste. Add to that Great Spinash Manakish and Fatayir too (Highly in demand during Lent). Faysal is at the end of Bliss Street facing Hbeich Police Station.
Mabrouk for 961 Beer!
I like Almaza better though.
961 Beer began during the dark days of the July 2006 siege on Lebanon. Tired with the lack of quality beer in Lebanon, Mazen Hajjar and his friends started to brew beer in his very own kitchen.The first batches were brewed in 20 liter kettles. The beer has taken the world by storm and is Launching here in Sydney. La Lupita is proud to host such an event and will pair these beautiful arromatic beers with the street food of Mexico influence and shaped by the Lebanese immigrants of the 19th and early 20th Century. It is a relatively unknown fact argueably two of the most popular street tacos in Mexico are influenced by the migrants of that era. [Source]
I try to avoid it but it’s really good specially with a glass of Arak!
Growing up, I never knew I was eating raw meat. Or maybe it was just that I didn’t think “raw” was something worth noting. I simply knew that kibbeh nayeh was incredibly good.
And so I was stunned by a recent spate of salmonella cases here in Michigan – home to America’s largest Middle Eastern population — linked to kibbeh nayeh served in a restaurant. That’s inexcusable to anyone who knows the rules about making raw kibbeh, a quintessential Lebanese dish.
“Kibbeh is the definitive Lebanese festive food,” says Kamal Mouzawak, founder of Souk el Tayeb, Beirut’s first organic farmers market, and owner of that city’s Tawlet restaurant, which showcases the talents of cooks from villages around Lebanon.
Kibbeh nayeh is made of minced raw lamb or beef, combined with bulgur, pureed onion and a mix of spices that partly depends on the cook. (My family’s spice mix: cinnamon, salt, pepper). All of the ingredients are kneaded together with a sprinkling of ice water, and then eaten — with olive oil, a scattering of chopped sweet onion, bundled in flatbread — immediately. Raw. [Link]
What does Abou Chennob (if that’s how it is pronounced) mean? Anyone?
Spotted in Gemmayze.
XXL December ad – Couldn’t find a YouTube link to the new ad
A blog reader pointed out to me an error in the new 2013 XXL Energy Drink ad whereas the guy does a calculation mistake when counting the money him and his gf have. He says he got 900 and can manage an extra 200 plus Abu Abdo’s 150 which sums up to 1350 somehow.
Thank you Dory
I am not sure anyone would want to win a credit card lol! In case you missed their ad, check it [Here].
Armenians in Lebanon and around the world celebrate today the holiday of St. Sarkis, one of the most beloved saints among the Armenian nation. According to traditions, the night before St. Sarkis Day, “teenagers will go to church, firmly keeping an “Aghi plit” (salty cookie) in their pockets, which must be eaten before going to sleep. The salty cookie will make them thirsty and in their dreams whoever offers them a drink of water, will be their future husband or wife” [Source]. Added to that, there’s a special cake prepared on St. Sarkis holiday, known as the Musa Daghian “kumba”, which is a kind of “Darehats”. A coin (“michink”) is hidden inside the cake and whoever gets it will be the luckiest of the year, and will be the supporter of his/her family. [Read More]
I honestly had no idea about this feast or those food traditions up until I read a post about the Saint Sarkis cake on TasteOfBeirut. As it appears, this cake is a specialty of the Armenian community in the town of Anjar, a town located in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon.
The cake looks delicious and is easy to prepare (For those who cook). I have no idea if it is sold anywhere in Lebanon though. Here’s the required list of ingredients and method as taken from TasteOfBeirut’s post.
INGREDIENTS: 12 servings
3 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of boiling water (I added another 1/4 cup)(enough water for the dough to be moist but thick and firm)
1/3 cup of honey
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of dried apricots, diced (I used candied orange rind also)
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or almonds
1/4 cup of pine nuts or other nuts, plus extra to garnish the top
1/2 cup of sesame seeds
Spices: 3/4 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of cardamom, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of mahlab
2 tsp of baking powder
1 coin, wrapped in foil
1- Place the flour in a large skillet over medium-low heat and stir gently until the flour turns a light tan color. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the sugar, spices and baking powder. Add the olive oil then the boiling water and mix until a thick dough is formed similar to a cookie dough; add the honey, nuts, raisins, apricots and mix to combine.
2- Spread the dough in a greased and floured round pan (9 to 12″ in diameter), inserting the foil-wrapped coin. Cut a piece of plastic wrap and place it over the dough and with your fingers pat the dough to smooth it out. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the surface and garnish with almonds or walnuts or other nuts. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes until the surface is dry and golden brown. Cool and serve.
Picture from LebanonDebate
The ISF found loads of “Israeli” Chips after a warehouse caught fire in Raouche. According to the article, no one still knows how these products are being sneaked into Lebanon and there seems to be many of them. Funnily enough, whomever wrote this report described the chips, as well as any type of food that’s coming from Israel, as being extremely dangerous as they might be poisonous.
Funnily enough because we’re talking about conspiracy theories while we can’t even control the qualify of meat distributed to shops/restaurants/hotels inside Lebanon.