Category Archives: Food

Roadster Diner Opening Soon On Bliss Street

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I was passing by Bliss Street yesterday and was surprised to see all these “new” restaurants and shops there. I guess it’s been a while since my last time there as there’s Urbanista, Paul, Casper & Gambini’s and Roadster Diner is opening soon as well. There’s also this bagel shop called Bunz that I’ve been wanting to try for a while.

The only thing that didn’t change was Zaatar Wou Zeit as they still didn’t revamp their bliss branch for some reason.

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Answering ReThinkIsrael’s BuzzFeed Article: The 13 Delicacies That Are Israeli .. Aren’t Israeli

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Picture from Al-Abraaj

ThHank you Rumzz for writing this. Read the full article [Here].

Cultural appropriation is at least inappropriate. Israel has colonized Palestinian indigenous land and displaced and dispossessed Palestinians. Now it is claiming Palestinian traditions as its own. A buzzfeed article claimed that ‘in Israel hummus flows almost as freely as water’… unfortunately, Israel has ensured that water doesn’t flow freely to Palestinians, now they’re appropriating food too! Many of the dishes that Israelis claim as their own are from the Mediterranean region common to all Arabs as well as Turks, Greeks, Cypriots, Armenians, and Persians. Everyone should enjoy the food the world has to offer, just don’t colonize and appropriate it.

According To BuzzFeed: Hummus, Halloumi Cheese, Cactus Fruit, Falafel, Shawarma, Labneh, Kibbeh and Baba Ghannoush Are Israeli Delicacies

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This BuzzFeed article by ReThinkIsrael is so ridiculous and disrespectful to international cuisines that I don’t know where to start. The author could have simply stated there are things you could eat in Israel, but to claim that these are Israeli specialties is just too much. Moreover, how can you claim that a fruit is specialty?

I scanned through the list quickly and 8 of the 19 items listed are definitely not Israeli and I am sure there are others as well. One thing that caught my attention was the Krembo, which is the equivalent of Tarboosh in Lebanon. There have been talks that Tarboosh may be copied from a Swiss company’s product (Le Petit Perrier) but I am pretty sure both came before the Krembo.

As far as Hummus is concerned, here’s a proof that Hummus is Lebanese.

First Impression: PZZA.Co At The Beirut Souks

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Yesterday was the soft launch for The PZZA.Co Italian restaurant so I passed by and had a late lunch there. PZZA.Co is a gourmet italian concept brought to you by the same people behind BRGR.Co, which is by far my favorite burger place in Lebanon. PzzaCo is located right next to Brgrco at the Beirut Souks.

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The outside of the place looks very similar to Brgrco. The interior is simple but quite artistic and catchy and gives a cozy feeling. There’s a huge artwork done by Gregory Gatserelia (resembling an erupting volcano, Mount Vesuvius maybe) above the oven that expands to the whole roof that you can see in the picture below.

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As far as the food is concerned, PZZA.Co servers starters, salads, mozzarella specials, pizzas (including 3 Hussein Hadid signature pizzas), pastas, risotto, a couple of chicken and veal dishes, and of course desserts. The wine they serve is an Italian one. Here are some of the stuff I tried out:

Salads:
WP_20140410_12_36_00_Pro Baby Spinach salad with toasted pine nuts (with a traditional balsamic vinaigrette)

WP_20140410_12_37_19_Pro Fennel with oranges, pomegranate and pecorino romano (with an orange and pomegranate vinaigrette)

Both salads were fresh and tasted great and I absolutely loved the Fennel with oranges one, specially with the Orange and Pomegranate vinaigrette sauce.

Starters and Pastas:
WP_20140410_12_37_34_Pro Bocconcini in Carroza (baby mozzarella cheese breaded served with a tomato basil sauce)

WP_20140410_13_00_00_Pro Rigatoni Creamy Bolognese (served with Minced beef)

The breaded Baby Mozzarella balls were a delight and didn’t feel that heavy even though they were breaded. The Mozzarella tasted fresh too. As for the Rigatoni Bolognese, I am not a big fan of minced beef so I couldn’t really judge if it’s any good but I didn’t mind it.

Pizzas:

WP_20140410_12_39_03_Pro Marinara Fresh: Tomato, garlic, oregano, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil

WP_20140410_13_00_51_Pro The Wild Mushroom: Mozzarella Cheese, taleggio cheese, wild seasonal mushrooms and truffle oil

The Italian Chef running the cuisine is from Napoli and he takes great pride in preparing fresh tomatoes for his pizza. The Marinara is an authentic Neapolitan pizza and consists of fresh tomato, garlic, oregano and fresh basil. I noticed a lot of people in the restaurant had ordered it and the tomato did taste very fresh, but I’d rather have some cheese on top or mixed with it.

Moving on to the Hussein Hadid signature pizza, The Wild Mushroom was just delicious and I think I finished the pizza by myself. The dough was just perfect, not too thin not too thick, a bit crispy on the sides but tender when you eat it. The ingredients were all fresh and I liked the taleggio cheese which I hadn’t tasted before, at least not to my knowledge.

I noticed that they have a Calzone on the menu as well. The last decent one I had was at Pinocchio Achrafieh years ago, so I am looking forward to trying it out next time.

Desserts:
WP_20140410_13_36_27_Pro Caramel and Biscuit Pizza

WP_20140410_13_36_40_Pro Vanilla Bean Panicotta

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I didn’t want to try the chocolate or caramel pizzas because I usually find them too sweet but my friend insisted I try out the Caramel and Biscuit Pizza and I am glad I did. I will let u figure out which biscuit is put on top but it was a heavenly sweet pizza. The Panicotta is a dessert you won’t find in many places and is worth a try and the Tiramisu was good.

Price-wise, PZZA.Co is really affordable as the salads, appetizers and pizzas range between 10$ and 20$ and the quantities are decent. Of course there are few special dishes and signature pastas and pizzas which are a bit more expensive, but you can easily have a salad or appetizer, a pizza and a dessert for like 30$.

I really liked PZZA.Co and I am definitely going there soon to try out the Calzone and have that Caramel Biscuit Pizza again.

Britain’s Favorite Take-away Is Lebanese

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A Lebanese Diner called The Cedar has won the title of Britain’s favorite take-away, after receiving the most positive votes from millions of reviews of more than 9000 eateries. The Cedar Chef and Owner Sami Khoueiry says all his recipes are 100% home made and approved by his mother.

A chef who turned down a job at five-star hotel The Dorchester to set up on his own in west London was today celebrating after his restaurant was named Britain’s favourite take-away. Lebanese diner The Cedar, in Maida Vale, received the most positive votes from millions of reviews of more than 9,000 eateries posted by users of online delivery website hungryhouse.co.uk. Owner Sami Khoueiry put The Cedar’s secret of success down to the secret recipes his mother taught him as a child growing up in Beirut. [Link]

[YouTube]

About The Gandour Tarboosh Controversial Story

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Ever since I woke up this morning and people have been talking to me about that guy who found a metal nail inside his Tarboosh (Ras el Abed). I read the whole thread, including Gandour’s responses and claim that his story is a fabricated one.

Since they’ve decided to settle this offline, I won’t comment further on the story but honestly speaking, I seriously doubt Gandour would let such a thing happen and I would have taken this matter offline with them as it’s probably the shop’s mistake (assuming the guy’s story is not a fake one of course).

Well Played Duo

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I hate it when toilets are very far from the restaurant and that’s the case at ABC Achrafieh. I also hate it when you have to climb stairs to get the toilets. I guess I am lazy after a meal, just like everyone else :-)

Chili’s Beirut Quick Review + Giveaway (4 Meals For 2 To Win)

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Chili’s Beirut is one of the first diners to open in Lebanon, and among the very few to have kept the same level of cleanliness, quality and customer service throughout its 15 years. I’ve been going there since its early days and I don’t recall complaining about anything ever. The waiters are friendly, the service is fast, the food is great and the quantities are huge. More importantly, it’s probably the only diner in town that didn’t increase its prizes by 400% like others have done. In fact, I remember not going to Chili’s too often back in the old days mainly because we’d end up pigging out almost every time but also because it was expensive, but that’s no longer valid these days as you’d probably end up paying much more at other diners in town for less quantities.

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Chili’s has been around for 15 years and I think I’ve been going there ever since. I used to go rarely during my school years mainly because I lived far away from Beirut, but then started visiting often during my AUB years and I still go there every now and then till now, specially to the Margarita bar in Gemmayze as I could walk there from my work and avoid all the Achrafieh traffic. Unlike most people who used to go there for the Fajitas and Quesadillas, my favorite dishes were the Chicken Crispers and the Baby Back ribs and my favorite appetizers were the Texas Cheese Fries and the Boneless buffalo wings.

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If I wanted to have lighter dishes, I’d go for the fire-grilled chicken or grilled salmon platters. As for the dessert, mine is surprisingly not the Molten Chocolate Cake but the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie instead. I sometimes used to pass by and pick up this dessert without having anything else, and I remember they ran out of it for a while few years back and I got upset lol!

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I don’t know why I’ve never reviewed Chili’s on the blog, probably because I thought everyone knew how awesome it is, but I was wrong as a couple of friends told me after seeing my Instagram pictures that they’ve never been there apparently. That’s why I thought it would be cool to organize a small giveaway and allow people who haven’t been to Chili’s or haven’t been for a long while to go there and enjoy a meal for two. (I’m already taking care of my friends and inviting them this weekend.)

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Moving on to the competition, all you have to do to enter the draw is answer correctly the below questions by leaving a comment on this post:

1- Name a dessert item from Chili’s Menu different from the two I’ve mentioned in my post. [Hint]
2- Who is the famous Lebanese rally driver whose picture is shown inside Chili’s restaurant in Achrafieh? [Hint: He has the world's largest toy car collection]

The competition ends tomorrow at 6pm.

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NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.