Category Archives: Food

Tawlet Ammiq: Great Location, Amazing Food But A Dull Venue

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I went with a group of friends to Tawlet Ammiq a couple of weeks ago to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I’ve been hearing a lot about Tawlet Ammiq and I remember posting once a really cool video about it, so I was excited to try it out and see how the day goes.

Tawlet Ammiq or the eco-restaurant of the biosphere is an eco-friendly place characterized by the use of green construction techniques adapted to the climate of the area and the usage profile of the facility. It’s one of the greenest projects in Lebanon as it reduces energy consumption when compared to similar buildings, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by around 85%, recycles over 60% of solid waste and promotes tourism in the area. [More]

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In order to get to Ammiq, which is a beautiful village located in the West Beqaa area, you have to take the Dahr el Baydar road and then go right towards Qab Elias once you reach Chtaura [Google Maps]. The road in Qab Elias is not that good but once you reach Ammiq, the road is nicely paved with trees and greenery all around it. Once there, you will drive for around 8 or 10 minutes before you spot a Tawlet Ammiq sign. The venue is 2 minutes away from the main road.

ammiq PS: If you are planning to go during the weekend, leave very early specially on Saturday and try to be done by 3 or 4 pm to avoid the traffic on your way back to Beirut.

There’s a small unpaved road that gets you to Tawlet Ammiq but I thought I got lost at first as the venue was really small and not what I had in mind, but then I saw people parking and going down so I did the same. Once you walk in, there’s a table with all drinks on it, mainly beer (961 and Beirut Beer only), juices and Arak then there’s the indoor restaurant. Facing them, there’s a nice outdoor area with tables as well and long chairs where you can sit and tan or just have a drink, enjoy the nice Beqaa view and relax. There’s also a small room with bird paintings in it and some artwork.

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We got there around 11:30 am as we were told breakfast is served starting 11, which consisted of small Saj Manakish mixed with cheese, thyme and kechek. There was one guy doing the whole work so we had to wait a bit to get a couple of Manakish but I didn’t mind it as I was enjoying the breathtaking view and having a beer. The place was half empty when we got there, but it was packed by lunch time.

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At around 1pm, there’s an open buffet with all sorts of Lebanese dishes and four salads. Everything tastes fresh and the dishes are really good, specially the Chich Barak and Mafroukeh. I loved the tomato jam with the white Baladi cheese and the “kechek akhdar” which I’ve never tasted before. There’s also Kafta, fish and fwerigh.

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20140914_133152 Fwerigh

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The dessert buffet was also rich and delicious, and I enjoyed most the Achta Knefe and fruit salad.

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After lunch we sat on the long chairs and enjoyed the sun and the view for an hour or so but by 2:30, there was nothing to do anymore. I walked around the venue but unlike the green valleys all over Ammiq, there’s nothing to see or explore. We had a Frisbee with us so we played a bit but that’s about it. I know that it’s an eco-friendly venue but it wouldn’t hurt to have some green spaces around it or at least put some music on to keep us entertained.

All in all, it’s a very nice cozy restaurant with amazing food and a nice setting but I wouldn’t recommend going there to spend the day. Going there for lunch is more than enough to enjoy the venue, the food and the view.

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Grey Goose Taste By Appointment At Les Caves de Taillevent

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gg

Grey Goose has been my favorite Vodka for a long time, but I’ve rarely ordered Grey Goose cocktails as I usually drink it with ice and two slices of lemon. Moreover, I’ve never had Vodka with a meal, as I usually go for white or red wine, so I was pretty excited to attend the Grey Goose Taste By Appointment and try out vodka-based cocktails with various dishes.

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The event took place at “Les Caves de Taillevent” which is located in “Les Jardins de Tabaris”, Achrafieh. It was the first time I go there and I absolutely loved the place, from the wine boutique to the wine bar and specially the wine storage room that you can see in the picture above. Before starting the food tasting, a welcome drink (Le Fizz) was served by Richard Irwin, Grey Goose’s Brand Ambassador for the Middle East and Africa. it was a mixture of Grey Goose vodka, ST-Germain elderflower liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice and chilled soda. It’s a fine aperitif which I enjoyed.

The food menu was prepared by the awesome Chef Rouba Khalil and consisted of the following:
Sticky Salmon, Sweet Corn Purée, Corn Crunch
Tamarind Roasted Carrot, Lemon Cream, Sumac
Grilled Beef, Dandelion Puree, Olives, Bitters Vinaigrette.
Parmesan Custard, Wild Mushroom Ragout, Anchovy Crouton
Anise Cookie Crumble, Orange Sorbet, Whipped Citrus Curd Mascarpone.
Trigeminal Chocolates Truffles: Coffee, Black Pepper, Mint

grey-goose-taste-appointment-event-taillevent-achrafieh452014-09-16-07-52-19 Grilled Beef, Dandelion Puree, Olives, Bitters Vinaigrette: Picture by NGNO

I unfortunately didn’t have enough battery to take shots of all the dishes, but the ones I enjoyed most were the Grilled Beef with Dandelion Puree, Olives and Bitters Vinaigrette, and the Parmesan custard with wild mushroom ragout and anchovy crouton. The chocolate truffles were also quite good even though the presentation wasn’t the best ever. As far as the drinks are concerned, I enjoyed most of them except for the Umami Bomb which I didn’t appreciate much, maybe because I am not a big fan of Bloody Marys. I uploaded below a list of cocktails that you can try out. My favorites are the Dry Martini and the French Negroni.

umami Umami Bomb – Picture by Nicole Maftoum

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All in all, it was one of the nicest events I’ve attended this year. The venue, the food, the cocktails and the atmosphere were all great. I will probably keep drinking my Grey Goose with just ice and lemon slices but I will definitely give some of these cocktails a try.

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Roadster’s Armed Robbery Is A Prank

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frd

I’ve been asked by a lot of people if the Roadster theft that I posted about did actually take place. The video is a prank and part of the ongoing competition (#RDBurger2USA) that Roadster Diner is organizing and allows customers to win a 2 week trip to the US.

I think the guy who shot this prank overdid it, specially with the cameras set inside the branch, but it’s just a joke so no need to worry.

PS: Since I will be on the jury to choose the 6 semi finalist videos, I am definitely not voting for this one.

Nicolas Audi à La Maison d’IXSIR Restaurant Now Open

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resto

When I attended the opening of Ixsir winery two years ago (and took a picture with the one and only Carlos Ghosn), I asked the Ixsir people if they are planning to open a restaurant here and the answer was that they are planning to do so in a year or two. It took them almost two years but the restaurant is now officially open for lunch from Tuesdays to Sundays. However it will be closed on Mondays.

I think the Ixsir winery location in Basbina, as well as the venue itself and the breathtaking view it has offer the perfect setup for a restaurant and having Nicolas Audi‘s signature on it is like the cherry on top of the cake. I am definitely planning a visit soon before winter comes and will update you with the details.

Check out more info on Ixsir’s [Facebook page] and [website].

PS: If you’d like to call or reserve, here’s the number and contact person: (71 – 773 770 with Mr. Antoine Azzi).

BRGR Co. Now Delivering

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WP_20140213_20_02_39_Pro The Raclette Brgr with Cheese fries at Brgrco

As you all know by now, Brgrco is my favorite burger place in Beirut so it’s great to hear that they are finally delivering. I don’t know yet about the delivery prices as I couldn’t find them online but I hope they will be cheaper than the original ones.

The delivery number is: 01 333 511.