Category Archives: Food

UNESCO Adds Arabic Coffee To “Cultural Heritage” List

Posted By :

coffee Source

UNESCO announced the new additions to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list last week and the tradition of making Arabic coffee was among the 20 new traditions.

Quoting the UNESCO report, “Serving Arabic coffee is an important aspect of hospitality in Arab societies and considered a ceremonial act of generosity. Traditionally, coffee is prepared in front of guests. The most important or oldest guest is served first, filling a quarter of the cup, which can then be refilled. Common practice is to drink at least one cup but not exceed three.”

Even though the countries mentioned in the report are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, making Arabic coffee is also part of our Lebanese culture and is served in all occasions. The most common type is the Turkish coffee that you will find in most cafés in Lebanon. Street coffee sellers are also still popular in some areas like Tripoli.

Coffee-making begins with the selection of beans, which are lightly roasted in a shallow pan over a fire, then placed into a copper mortar and pounded with a copper pestle. The coffee grounds are placed into a large copper coffee pot; water is added and the pot is placed on the fire. Once brewed, it is poured into a smaller coffee pot from which it is poured into small cups.

First Visit To The Cheesecake Factory In Beirut

Posted By :

20151130_210619

The Cheesecake Factory opens officially today in Verdun, Beirut right across Starbucks but the media were all invited yesterday to try out the new outlet. I got there around 7 pm and the place was already packed but we were seated quickly.

chee

The place looks really nice from the inside and is very spacious. There’s a bar area on one side and the traditional cheesecake stand on the entrance. The staff were all very friendly and welcoming and some of them came all the way from The Cheesecake Factory Dubai to help out.

20151130_190400

Since I’ve been already to the one in Dubai, I knew what to expect but I was curious to know if the menu is the same exact one and the dishes taste the same. The menu is identical to the one in Dubai and in the States (as confirmed by my half-American cousin), offering a LOT of choices, more than you could possibly imagine. I felt a bit dizzy looking at the menu the first time and I took me half an hour to order yesterday. The light menu (SkinnyLicious®) is also available.

We started off with few cocktails and appetizers:

Cocktails:
– Long Island Iced Tea
– Whiskey Smash
– The Ultimate Margarita
– Passion Fruit Margarita
– Pina Colada

The cocktails were huge and all good.

20151130_195238

Appetizers:
– Avocado Eggrolls
– Fried Macaroni & Cheese
– Hot Spinach & Cheese Dip
– Factory Nachos

The Mac & Cheese is a must try. The Hot Spinach & Cheese dip is really good, Nachos are good but I didn’t like the avocado egg rolls much.

20151130_191950

20151130_191958

Moving on to the main dishes, we had:
– Chicken Madeira
– Chicken & Biscuits
– Cajun Chicken Littles
– Smokehouse BBQ Burger
– Herb crusted Filet of Salmon

20151130_201604

20151130_195928

20151130_195913

If you are a person who loves large portions of food then you will fall in love with the place. The dishes were huge and delicious. The Chicken Madeira and the smokehouse burger were my favorite.

20151130_204226

20151130_204332

As for desserts, there are all kinds of stuff to choose from but you obviously have to try cheesecakes at The Cheesecake Factory so we ordered:

– Godiva Cheesecake
– Oreo Cheesecake
– Banana Pudding Cheesecake

The Oreo was ok, the Banana pudding was good but the Godiva was absolutely amazing and is a must-try! I’m sure there are other cheesecakes worth trying but you need like a year to try them all out so good luck!

All in all, The Cheesecake Factory in Beirut is everything you expect it to be and more. If you haven’t been before, you should definitely go and try it out. The food and service are excellent, the portions are huge and the prices are reasonable.

Make sure to go through the [menu] online before going to save yourself some time there 🙂

PS: There’s an underground parking place right across The Cheesecake Factory if you don’t like giving your car to the valet.

Forget Garbage, ISIS & Elections: Lebanon Is Making The Longest Man2oushe In The World Today!

Posted By :

50 years

Amjad school and Socrate Catering will attempt today to make the longest Man2oushe in the world startig 9am. Currently, the longest pasty measures 15.17 m (49 ft 9.24 in) and was achieved by Fuchsia (Saudi Arabia), in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia last year.

The last thing we need is another one of those silly records but then again that’s probably the only thing we can celebrate today since we don’t have a president, our soldiers are still captives, Russians shutdown most of our airspace and the Israeli jets are still violating our airspace on a daily basis. I just hope someone will end up eating this 32-meter long pasty.

Oh and the garbage crisis is still ongoing.

Update: Here’s a couple of pictures from the longest Man2oushe in the world taken From Socrates FB Page.

man2oushe

sak

Who’s Spreading Rumors About Zaatar W Zeit?

Posted By :

zwzwzwz

If I ask anyone about the food safety campaign that was kicked off few months ago, the only thing they will probably remember is the first list of restaurants that was announced by the Minister that included the likes of Roadster and Kababji surprisingly. Of course we still don’t know the nature of the violations at these restaurants, the standards applied to check these violations and if there’s any follow-up process.

I’ve been supporting this food safety campaign since day1 but I still don’t approve of the way the minister was flashing popular restaurant names in press conferences and causing serious damages to the businesses for reasons that are still unclear. Taanayel les Fermes for example got its share of bad publicity because most people mistook it for Centre Taanayel that was declared non-compliant.

Another example is what happened with Zaatar wou Zeit yesterday. I spotted an article early in the morning on Annahar saying that ZWZ received a warning from the ministry but I chose to ignore and check later on what ZWZ management had to say about it. As it turns out, they were unaware of any warnings addressed to them and they learned about it from the papers, which is quite absurd!

I traced back the article to the National News Agency but I couldn’t find anything on the MOH website. In fact, the latest health news there dates back to 2012.

All in all, sharing such articles can be seriously damaging and misleading and I think the MOH should investigate and make sure nothing is ever published without their consent. If there’s really a warning, we all deserve to know the whole story especially when the food chain in question is a very popular one.

moh

Doomsday Seeds Transferred From Syria To The Bekaa In Lebanon

Posted By :

norway The Global Seed Vault in Svalbard in Norway

This is quite an incredible story. Apparently things have become so bad in Syria that the Svalbard Global Seed Vault has sounded the doomsday alarm and made an extraordinary request in early September to remove thousands of samples and transfer them to a vault in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley. The aim is to preserve Syria’s unique agricultural heritage after ICARDA’s gene bank in Aleppo, which includes more than 135,000 varieties of wheat, fava bean, lentil and chickpea crops, as well as the world’s most valuable barley collection, has been damaged by the war.

What is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault?

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in northern Norway, something of an agricultural Noah’s Ark, was set up as a guarantee against mass starvation. The world’s governments poured in their countries’ seed samples – unique strains of every crop – and the doors were closed in 2008, when no one expected them to be opened for many generations. It has more than 860,000 samples, from almost all nations. Even if the power were to fail, the vault would stay frozen and sealed for at least 200 years. The vault is meant to be opened only in the event of a catastrophic event, like flooding or drought, that would threaten a crop with extinction, according to Brian Lainoff, a spokesman for the Crop Trust, one of the vault’s international stewards.

ICARDA’s gene bank in Aleppo, Syria, includes more than 135,000 varieties of wheat, fava bean, lentil and chickpea crops, as well as the world’s most valuable barley collection.

Let’s just hope things will remain calm in the Bekaa.

doomsday

Sources: [CNN] [Independent] [Jazeera]

The Cheesecake Factory Is Finally Opening In Lebanon

Posted By :

cheesecake

The Cheesecake Factory will not open at CityCentre Beirut as it was expected and announced. Instead, it’s opening soon in Verdun and they are already recruiting. I tried The Cheesecake Factory for the first time when I was in Dubai 3 months ago and it was really good! It took me half an hour to order though because their menu is huge but it’s totally worth it and the portions were huge.

cheese cake

I don’t have an exact opening date for Verdun but since they are recruiting it should be very soon.


Even though The Cheesecake Factory did not open at City Centre Beirut, you can find selected cheesecakes from the place at Vox Gold theaters

A Pink Burger To Spread Awareness On Breast Cancer

Posted By :

duo

Duo Resto launched a “Pink Burger” during October to help spread awareness on breast cancer, and 1500LL will be donated to Faire Face Cancer Association with every Pink Burger order. I like the campaign but I’m not very comfortable with the idea of associating burgers (and fries) with a cancer campaign. I think they should have come up with a healthy “disease-fighting” burger like this one.

Personally speaking, I would never try it as I hate beetroot. Speaking of weird burgers, Roadster Diner unveiled the Black Burger earlier this year.

pink

Beirut Shawarma Place Kicks Off A Cool Initiative To Feed The Hungry

Posted By :

soussa

Al Soussa snack in Tarik el Jdeede has kicked off an initiative to feed the hungry by encouraging customers to buy and donate an extra Shawarma sandwich. Whenever you place an order, you can ask for an extra sandwich, the receipt will be placed on the “Shawarma wall” and if a hungry person is passing by, he can use one of them to claim his sandwich.

I think it’s a pretty cool initiative but the extra sandwiches should be at half the price in my opinion, that way the owner would be helping as well.

[YouTube]

shawarma

Kaleicoffee.com – An Online Destination For True Coffee Enthusiasts in Lebanon

Posted By :

kalei

I’m not a coffee fan, I don’t need to have my morning coffee to wake up but ever since I moved to my new house and got a brewing coffee machine, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different types of coffee beans. I also got a Nespresso and a Barista machine which I try from time to time as well, especially when I have friends or guests who are coffee enthusiasts. Needless to say, I still don’t know much about coffee and Starbucks is always a safe choice for me when it comes to coffee, but I’ll eventually get there one day and businesses like Kaleicoffee.com are supposed to make it easier for me.

coffee kalei

What’s Kaleicoffee.com?

Kaleicoffee is a Lebanese specialty coffee company that gathers some of the best coffee beans from around the world, fly them home and roast them in small batches to ensure their coffee is always the freshest. Their aim is to provide coffee lovers in Lebanon with high-quality coffee and facilitate the delivery process through an online platform (and offline outlets). I was telling a friend, who’s a long-time coffee enthusiast, about Kaleicoffee and he was surprised that third wave coffee movement is picking up in Lebanon and loved the website.

cofee2

Third wave coffee has been trending for quite some time in the world and “refers to a current movement to produce high-quality coffee, and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity”. Of course it’s more expensive as it focuses on things like artisanal and micro roastings, but it’s still affordable and worth a try.

Kaleicoffee is mainly for coffee enthusiasts but if you’re like me and wish to learn more about coffee, then you will find the website and the people behind it very helpful. I first met with them in Faqra as they had a stand during the summer festival and were about to launch kaleicoffee.com. I got to try their iced coffee rum drink with a delicious pecan pie slice.

shop

Kaleicoffee is currently offering two kinds of Ethioipan coffee, Yirgacheffe and Limu Organic. You can order online (or buy from selected oulets like Aziz) and choose the grind level (beans, coarse, medium, medium fine, fine, extra fine). They also sell hardware from Japanese Bamboo utensils, paper bags, ceramic poor-over and others.

Check it out [here].