One order of ventilation please.

You know Margherita, right?  That authentic Italian restaurant in Gemmayze often described as “one of the best pizzerias in town?”  Well, I went there with a couple of friends this weekend who needed to get their pizza fix..and I have to say, it’s as charming as ever..
Margherita Gemmayze

Margeherita Italian Restaurant in Gemmayze

especially with the addition of their new menu (their previous menu was type written on white printer paper).

Margherita Gemmayze

Margherita's new menu..charming, right?

Who is the lovely dame on the cover?  Well, according to the story printed on the first page of the menu, she is Queen Margherita of Savoy.  Born November 20th, 1851 in Turin, Italy, she was the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy during the reign (1878-1900) of her husband, Humbert I.  The Margherita pizza is named after her, as is Margherita the restaurant.

Margherita is tiny, which means that without even trying, you overhear the conversations taking place right next to you..not something I mind all that much, especially when the conversations are in Italian (..a definitive sign that the place is gooood.)

Margherita Gemmayze

Inside Margerita..yup that was the table of Italians.. 😉

Margherita Gemmayze

Pizza at Margherita

and it is,,Margherita really is great.

Except..(you knew that was coming, didn’t you?) it seemed as if everyone else in the restaurant was finishing their meal just as we were starting ours.

What does this mean?  Well, …that at about the same moment I started eating my food, copious amounts of smoke filled the air and were being wafted in my direction.

Needless to say, I wasn’t able to enjoy the meal.

And, you know what?  That is a shame.  A damn shame..because as good as the food and service were, the smoke tainted my experience at Margherita.

Margherita Gemmayze

Found this on the back of the menu in the "comments" section..

I’m not going to sit here and write another post about smoking, why it’s bad for you, and why second hand smoke is even worse.  It’s been done a million times before.  But I will say, that as a non-smoker who loves going out to eat and drink, I’m find it increasingly difficult to find places with good ventilation..( I’m not even going to say “places that are non-smoking,” coz those are practically non-existent here.)

I do hope that one day, the Ministry of Health will see the value in banning smoking in public places, but until then, please..to all of you owners out there..  If you don’t want to ban smoking in your restaurant/pub/club (like the Spanish did) then please consider installing ventilation systems for those of us who don’t smoke.

Or at least let me put up this sign,,

Ban smoking in Lebanon

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Image taken from Liliane’s post: Why did ‘Ain’t no smoking tonight’ fail?

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25 Comments

Filed under life in Lebanon

25 responses to “One order of ventilation please.

  1. I love this! I can’t believe it has been a couple of months since I visited your blog! I just subscribed though 🙂 I will add to my blogroll too

  2. Mimo! It’s nice to see your name here again! It’s been a while, how are you? Thanks for subscribing! 😀 I’ll add you on my blogroll as well 😀

  3. ALL the restaurants in Lebanon have this issue. If some have a non-smoking “section” (though a smoke pollutes everything within seconds) and others even have that section upstairs (though logically it should be downstairs since smoke goes up) they all forget about the non-smokers.

    CaféSho is 100% non-smoking 3 days a week, some pubs have non-smoking days midweek (and they get more crowded than on weekends). Burger King is 100% non-smoking 24/7, Mc Donald’s is thinking about it. No one went out of business for being a non-smoking restaurant/pub.

    We eat and enjoy food with our 5 senses. Smell is one of them!

    One time I wanted to eat in Kaslik. NONE of ALL the restaurants in the Espace 2000 street even had a “section”. Someone even told me to go eat home!

    Why can’t smokers take their puffs outside and then come back in? He have more and 300 days of SUN!

    On that note: I enter the pub. You smell me: It’s Chanel. I leave the pub. You smell me: It’s Poubelle!! (Trash, in French)

    • I love the last sentence ! (I’m a Chanel-ie myself : p) Too bad it ruins it all !

    • “On that note: I enter the pub. You smell me: It’s Chanel. I leave the pub. You smell me: It’s Poubelle!! (Trash, in French)”

      HAHAHA Rita this is hilarious!

      I cannot believe what you are telling me,..someone told you to go home? How insanely rude! What is wrong with ppl. Us non-smokers will always be persecuted minorities here it seems!

      • LOL that’s so true! My parents straight out think that I’m lying about not smoking because every time I come home from going out, I smell like a cigarette. The worse is when you get home late and can’t take a shower before bed and your bed and pillow smell like a cigarettes.
        See smokers, you’re not only ruining my food and destroying my lungs…
        you’re making me stinky, my parents suspicious, my hair and bed/pillow smelly.
        Go outside ta shoof!

    • This comment is so funny 🙂

  4. Dave F.

    For real, this is the most significant downside to life in the Middle East. War, terrorism – that’s all bullshit. It’s being engulfed by smoke at every imaginable location that does it for me. I always smell like cigarettes here, but I haven’t smoked a single cigarette in my life. Pain. in. the. ass.

  5. is that a pack of cigs and an ashtray under the sex/smoking sign? lol

  6. on a more serious note.
    I’m a smoker myself but having lived most of the past 10 years in NY and FL, i got used to the fact of walking outside to smoke a cigarette. Hopefully this will be the case in Lebanon real soon.

    • Well, I lived my whole life in FL..and I got used to never having to breathe in smoke.. lol.. yeah I too hope that smokers will eventually go outside to smoke instead of smoking indoors..especially while other ppl are eating their food! A girl can dream, right?

  7. I completely agree. And I like the sign ! !
    Unfortunately, no one understands they should not breach other people’s right, including smoking in public, which is the baddest thing for health. I refrain from eating at so many restaurants because they allow smoking, and even tho we might choose one, if we notice it is a smoking area, we leave. A great number of people opt for the same choice. So I can’t clearly get it: do restaurants want to start losing customers heavily ? Besides, food isn’t the same with smoke in it. Unless it’s a new recipe in town I haven’t heard of…

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  9. Queen what’s her face kinda looks like a dude :S
    The pizza looks good though, where is this place? I want me some eyetaliians

  10. Gass

    I guess they decided NOT to ban smoking after they realised that people will die anyways from the polluted air outside. so why bother wasting ink !

    I live in the mountains and every time I go visit my parents on the coast I end up seriously sick and dizzy. They told me it could be even worse in the summer time! And speaking of smoking, I was literally shocked when they announced me that Syria decided to ban smoking from public places. Is it true? Aren’t Lebanese the sexiest most brilliant, most developed and civilized people in the world?

  11. KM

    totally agree, but the good news is that a law that bans smoking in public places has been drafted, and will be issued quite soon I believe.
    btw good pizza pic! it’s the best one they have, called rustica which has goat cheese & spec (ham). u should try the gnocchi, it’s also great. but I beleive they need to start incorporating truffle in their food ASAP!

  12. Simon

    I would have had the best time of my life on my 5 weeks holiday in Lebanon if it wasn’t for smoking! I had a terrible cough and soar throat and stuck by me the whole time i was there!
    Went to some of the best restaurants only to breath smoke and taste cigarettes as i’m eating. Went to Basma in ashrafiyeh, they offered us a table in the non-smoking section, which was a table next to all the other smoking tables.!!!

    It’s a major issue and needs to be fixed ASAP. Second hand smoking can cause cancer! it’s pathetic the ignorance of the smokers thinking they aren’t harming others…

  13. Youssef Chaker

    i wonder if i went up to someone smoking next to me and punched them in the gut, or in the chest, broke their thoracic cage and punctured their lungs, how they would feel. mmmm, i think im going to try it on my next visit! who wants to be there taking a video?

  14. I totally agree that most if not all places around here need better ventilation. Sometimes it gets so bad – and I used to smoke, so quite a number of people think I should be ‘used to it’ – that my eyes start burning up and I feel completely overwhelmed. How disrespectful, I mean, there is smoking and taking responsibility for ruining your own lungs and overall health – and appeal – but come on, there is also a certain level of respect that is owed to others. Even when I used to smoke, I was never able to light a cigarette in a jam-packed venue, when it would bother others, or in front of children. Makes me really wonder about those who smoke in front of their own kids at home…

  15. Couldn’t agree more!
    The place is tiny which makes it charming, but the smoke is just unbearable! And even if huge restaurants is can be disturbing.
    I just ask smokers to stop smoking, pretending I’m allergic or start coughing like crazy and turn and give them The Look! 😛
    And if they don’t stop, I start complaining and ask the waiters to tell him to stop!

    I can be a pain in the ass sometimes!
    Be a bitch! It’s the only way to get heard in here!

    The menu? Not a fan! Took me 10 minute to understand the concept, and 10 others to find the pasta section, which help from the whole family and the waiter who was as lost as we were!

    • Haha..Well Karim…the problem is that the WHOLE restaurant was smoking..so I was vastly outnumbered..even if I had told the waiters to tell them to stop smoking, I doubt they would have done that for fear of upsetting the whole restaurant you know? It’s a shame though, because I really enjoy the place, as do my friends..but I just don’t know how much longer I can continue to inhale the smoke.. I keep telling myself, this is the last time, this is the last time..but it’s almost like I have to learn to live with it, or just stay at home! ;/ Thanks for the comment. 😀

  16. Now Margherita is smoking free…..=)

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