Category Archives: eating in Lebanon

Umm..how come none of you ever told me about ouzi before?

I have just discovered ouzi for the first time.  Seriously guys?  How could you ever keep this from me?  I’m so disappointed in you! ;)

Ouzi Lebanese food

I think I'm in love.

 Ouzi Lebanese food

Just look at this! Rice..meat..nuts..wrapped in a delicious pastry!! So much yummy goodness :D

You discover something new every day in Lebanon!  #iloveouzi!

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We need a new culinary trend, like now!

KHALLAS with the Burgers already!  (How do you like that?  I used an Arabic word to express my frustration!)

I have officially had it with Burgers, Burger joints, and Burger reviews!!!  I think I have read enough about Burgers, their Buns, and Fries to last me a LIFETIME.

Thank you Gino’s Blog, Our man inBeirut, Deedee McFly, Blog Baladi, Ivy Says, Note Connection, Beirut Driveby, Plus 961, My Truth, The Diary of a Dazed and Confused, Le Bleugg, Mind Soup, Lebanon News: Under rug swept, Life With Moda for your coverage of the burger craze that has left Lebanon in a food-induced stupor..I just think it’s high time we have a more constructive discussion.  But this time about…

Drumroll..

What we think the NEXT BIG CULINARY TREND to sink it’s teeth into Lebanon will be..and perhaps to make some suggestions to any restauranteurs who might just be listening..(you better listen to us you restauranteurs you..we are the ones reviewing your joints!)

If I had my way (and trust me, I like to get my way)..I would happily welcome any one of the following 4 types of cuisines as new culinary trends, as they remain grossly underrepresented in good old Lebanon..at least, as far as I know.

Note: Most of the cuisines on my list are known to be “spicy,” and from what I’ve heard about the Lebanese palate..most Lebanese people don’t like/appreciate spicy foods..but you know what?  I’m out to change all of that..It’s time we switch things up a bit, no?

4. Indian

So what if you smell like curry for a couple of hours after your meal, Indian food is where it’s at!  Often characterized by the extensive use of spices, herbs, and vegetables, each family of Indian cuisine includes a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques.  As a result, it varies from region to region, reflecting the varied demographics of this ethnically-diverse subcontinent. (source: wikipedia)

Think butter chicken (my favorite!),  curry chicken/vegetables, tandoori chicken, naan bread, roti, basmati rice, chick peas, palak paneer (spinach and cheese), and yogurts..just to name a FEW dishes.

Indian Food

You know what this is? This is HEAVEN!

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South Indian Cuisine

South Indian Cuisine..looks strikingly similar to Lebanese food.

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And you can’t mention Indian food without talking about Lassi - a popular and traditional yogurt based drink of India and Pakistan.

Mango Lassi

Mango lassi!

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3.  Thai

Let’s drop the obsession with sushi for a new, better Asian obsession: Thai food!  Seriously..isn’t pad thai just THE BEST?

For those of you new to Thai, Thai cuisine places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components.  As such, Thai cuisine is known for being spicy (there’s that scary word!  learn to love it, learn to love it..)

Thai food strikes a balance between the five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty, and (optional) bitter.  Balance, detail, and variety are very important in Thai cooking.  (source: wikipedia)

I think I already mentioned that pad thai is da bomb..but also think red curry, green curry, shrimp dishes (coconut shrimp!!), beef dishes, veggie dishes, dumplings,, and a lot of other dishes with coconut and bamboo shoot whose names I can’t pronounce.. :D

 

Thai Cuisine

PAD THAI..hell yes!

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Thai Seafood Curry

Prawn and Lobster Curry..yum

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Thai Green Curry

Green Curry! Spicy = good.

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2.  Peruvian

There’s more to Peru than Machu Picchu..

Machu Picchu

The ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu

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There is also incredibly good food!  Peru is famous throughout South America for its cuisine.

Peruvian culture is mixed with American, African, Spanish, Native American, Japanese, Chinese, Aymaran, and Andean cultures.   This diversity is reflected in its delicious cuisine. (source: wikipedia)

Think CEVICHE! (who doesn’t love ceviche?), many other awesome fish dishes, skewered meat, stuffed peppers, marinated steak, stuffed potatoes, awesome Peruvian corn, and other refreshingly delicious dishes incorporating vegetables.  And who could forget Pisco – the alcohol of Peru.

Peruvian food

Aji de Gallina, a famous Peruvian dish

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Peruvian food

A typical Peruvian seafood dish..

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Peruvian ceviche

Ceviche, oh how I miss you.

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Pisco Sour

The Pisco Sour, traditional Peruvian drink

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1.  Spanish Tapas

If there is one food concept/culinary trend that I would put all of my money into, it would be a Spanish Tapas Bar/Restaurant.

And this is what I would want it to look like:

Sra. Martinez Miami

Sra. Martinez..a tapas restaurant/bar in Miami..hey maybe I'll even ask the Sra. if she's interested in franchising..

Description of Sra. Martinez – Located in a former Post Office built in the 1920′s, Sra. Martinez brings modern and innovative cuisine to the flourishing restaurant scene in Miami’s Design District.  Sra. Martinez is a sanctuary where locals and tourists who seek superior food in a meaningful environment can enjoy remarkable music, art, and late night energy.  The space is reminiscent of a cozy bistro with warm leather booths, soft lighting, and a calming simplicity.  (Doesn’t it just sound perfffffect for Beirut?)

Now back to tapas..

The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, “to cover”.

According to legend, the tapas tradition began when king Alfonso X of Castile recovered from an illness by drinking wine with small dishes between meals. After regaining his health, the king passed a decree forbidding the sale of wine without the accompaniment of a small snack or “tapa.” (source: wikipedia)

I really think that this concept would take off in Beirut in no time, seeing that Spanish Tapas are served just like Lebanese Mezze..so, it’s just the right amount of familiarity..but with a whole new set of flavors and tastes.  (Not to mention Spanish wine and Sangria!)

Think Spanish cheese sampler (manchego being my favorite), crisp-battered calamari, patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a special sauce), chorizo cooked in cider, serrano ham (Spanish cured meat), churrassco, seafood paella, crispy eggplant and artichoke, chicken liver, pulpo (octopus) de Galicia, and clams in a garlicky tomato sauce.

Spanish Tapas

Tapas, mezze style..

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Spanish Tapas

Think mezze..just Spanish mezze!

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Spanish Tapas

Yuummmm seafood paella!

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So there you have it.  My prediction (or rather, my request) of the next new culinary trends to come to Lebanon!  I hope some restauranteur is reading..somehow, somewhere..

What do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  What new culinary trend/food concept would you like to see come to Lebanon?

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Sporting in Winter

Sporting Restaurant Beirut

The view from Sporting

Sporting Restaurant Beirut

Sporting outside

Sporting Restaurant Beirut

A Mediterranean sunset..

Sporting. Not a just a seafood restaurant, but a Lebanese institution.

Located on the shores of the Mediterranean, this charming eatery hasn’t changed in 50 years,,retaining its personality when many have rushed to abandon theirs..

I love this place.  I can only hope it sees another 50.

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What do they do with the fruit?

I was having dinner with 2 of my friends at Karam in Downtown the other night, when we decided to order fruit for dessert.  This is what was brought to our table..

Karam Beirut Downtown

The fruit dessert for 3 at Karam in Downtown

Now, I know that in Lebanese culture having a lot of food on the table is a sign of generosity, hospitality, abundance, and prosperity..etc etc..  but really..is it necessary to bring out 6 plates with a total of 30+ fruits on them for a table of only 3 people?

You see..the reason I find this slightly upsetting is that I happen to be one of those people who finds a lot of food on a table very unappetizing (not to mention wasteful).  Weird, I know.  I chalk it up to cultural differences I guess..

My friends (one Englishman, one Lebanese Canadian) and I tried to figure out amongst ourselves what happens with the left over fruits.  We refused to believe that they are all thrown out if not eaten..but..does that mean that the fruits are passed around from table to table like nuts at a bar?  And if that is the case..shouldn’t they be complimentary? ;)

We finally settled on the conclusion that the fruits with skins that cannot be eaten (oranges, bananas, and kiwis) are sent from table to table..and the fruits with skins that can be eaten (apples, pears, and strawberries) are thrown out.

What’s your take?

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The cutest thing, like ever.

Kaak Lebanon

Ohh da widdle kaak-ie poo.

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Have you ever tasted a Black Man before?

Black Man

Black Man bucuits from Turkey.

This is definitely worse than Ras el Abed!

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cafe Hamra

Yet another restaurant is coming to Hamra main street..but this one looks HUGE..

Cafe Hamra it’s called – although, in my opinion, the place is too big to call a cafe..but anyhow..Anyone know anything about it?

Cafe Hamra

cafe Hamra

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