A taste of Lebanon in Trinidad

Even since I landed in Trinidad, I’ve been on a mission to find the best Lebanese cuisine. There is a very healthy Syrian/Lebanese community in Trinidad, and their presence can be felt all throughout the country. According to the The Syrian Consulate in Trinidad, “The Syrian Lebanese Community in Trinidad and Tobago has long been known as shrewd businessmen and hardworking entrepreneurs. They are closely-knit and struggle to maintain their past, holding on to Syria in their cuisine, their language and their family lives. They establish their own entertainment clubs, like the Syrian Lebanese Women’s Organization in order to interact with people of their own background even though they insist that Trinidad and Tobago is their home and their first priority.” (Funny fact: Most of the time, people of Arab descent in Trinidad are collectively referred to as “Syrians.”)

Anyway, I’ve discovered (with the help of friends) three places so far: Joseph’s, Little Beirut, and Adam’s. I’m actually quite impressed at the quality of the food here..it really is on par with the Lebanese food I’ve had in Beirut. I sat down with Joseph, the owner of Joseph’s and Little Beirut, to talk a bit about how he came to Lebanon. Apparently, he was visiting some family in Trinidad in 1986..and when he tried to go back home, the airport in Beirut was closed because of the war. He ended up staying in Trinidad, where he sold gyros on a street corner to earn a living. His hard work eventually paid off, and his restaurant Joseph’s is well known throughout Trinidad as one of the best places to get authentic Lebanese cuisine. The most impressive thing about Joseph’s though, is that he even imports Sohat water from Lebanon! Talk about authenticity!

Joseph's Maraval, Trinidad

The entrance to Joseph's.

source

Joseph's Maraval, Trinidad

Saidaaa in Trinidad!

Joseph's Maraval, Trinidad

Joseph, the owner of Joseph's takes authenticity so seriously that he even imports water from Lebanon!

Joseph's Maraval, Trinidad

ok..so pic is a bit blurry.,but you get the point. I was drinking Ksara blanc de blanc all night..

Joseph's Maraval, Trinidad

Kibbeh Nayyeh!

Joseph's Maraval, Trinidad

Yummmmm

These photos are from Joseph’s other restaurant, Little Beirut.

Little Beirut One Woodbrook Place Trinidad

Little Beirut in Trinidad

Little Beirut One Woodbrook Place Trinidad

Oh yeah!

Little Beirut One Woodbrook Place Trinidad

Loving the mosaics!

Little Beirut One Woodbrook Place Trinidad

a little twist on Fattoush..

Little Beirut One Woodbrook Place Trinidad

Nothing like a little Turkish coffee to wake you up.

And these photos are from Adam’s Bakery and Specialty Bread shop..

Adam's Bagels and Specialty Breads Trinidad

Didn't know there was such thing as Vegetable Kibby

Adam's Bagels and Specialty Breads Trinidad

Taboulie!

Adam's Bagels and Specialty Breads Trinidad

Ah'len - A culinary journey through the eyes of the Syrian Lebanese Women's Association of Trinidad and Tobago.

So, there you go! A taste of Lebanon in Trinidad..

23 Comments

Filed under Trinidad

23 responses to “A taste of Lebanon in Trinidad

  1. joseph

    the vegetable kibbie is usually made from pumpkin and around the time of Lent/Easter in Christian households as people typically abstain from meat.

    could you give us an idea about the food prices there? are the listed prices in USD or TTD?

  2. I’ve had vegetable kibbi made of pumpkin and potatoes and a version with greens and nuts and they are so much yummier than the meat versions.

    In Vzla. people of Arab descent are collectively referred to as “Turcos” (Turkish). I used to get mad at people’s lack of interest in getting their facts straight …many heated arguments come to mind😀

  3. Youssef Chaker

    Fun Fact: your fun fact is actually a historical fact since the land that now collectively forms Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan used to be known as Greater Syria or Bilad el Sham. So calling these people Syrians is not historically inaccurate although many Lebanese of today take offense to that (even though, to those same people, Syrian is more accurate than Arab!).

    So… did I ever tell you about my theory that the Lebanese have conquered the world and now own it? Well it goes something like this: Carlos Slim Helo, end of story!😛

  4. Pingback: Beirut Spring: Lebanese Bottled Water And The Diaspora

  5. Heh. The Lebanese diaspora’s everywhere.

    I used to live on a tiny island, 9 miles by 4, and there was a popular Turkish restaurant in the centre of town. So, I headed down there for dinner one night and found a strange blend of Lebanese and Turkish dishes. I thought it a little odd until I heard one of the staff talking Lebanese Arabic…. Turns out they’re Beirutis, but for some reason they felt a Turkish restaurant would appeal more than a Lebanese one…

    Dany, the blog’s back. I saw an old comment of yours re. freelancing and thought I’d let you know.

  6. Georgina Ishak

    Walking in Australia, you feel like your in Lebanon. It’s actually amazing how much Lebanese people there are here.
    All the stores are also Lebanese and all have Lebanese writing everywhere. Maybe I should take some photos and give u a mini peek into the Lebanese community in Australia. You’ll be amazed!
    We always buy Tanourin water, Almaza beer, grandeur biscuits. Everything u can possibly think of we can find! We also have Lebanese bakeries everywhere, EVERYWHERE! easy access to fresh Lebanese bread, freshly brewed coffee from our corner ‘abou salim’ store and anything and everything else u could possible ask for!!!
    This is something I was actually really thinking about today. I was walking through uni and noticed that 95% of the students were Lebanese. (unfortunately you can easily tell the Lebanese apart from the Syrians and all other middle eastern people in Australia!)
    Lebanese/Australians are not something we can be proud off. They have given us a very bad image in this country with their mostly illegal actions, disrespect, and selfishness. Coming from Lebanon, Australians never guess that I’m actually Lebanese! Even the Lebanese that live here can’t guess that I’m Lebanese.
    I constantly have to explain that I lived in Lebanon and ‘I’ am ‘truly’ ‘Lebanese’! You’ll be surprised how different Lebanese people here look from Lebanese people in Lebanon.
    Not a day goes by in which they fail to disappoint!!!

  7. Danielle, don’t you want to catch up on trinnie food? Why do you keep checking lebanese places?
    Regarding Sohat I a m not surprised, before Sohat changed their bottle design to the transparent one, their water was even tastier, and when I was abroad I always craved it. Now it just tastes like regular water. Still it is a nice touch.

  8. I love your blog! I live in the states and the best middle eastern food i ever had was at Josephs in Trinidad . I must vist when I go back for business!

  9. Glad you were able to find some place with decent food. I have to admit that you will hit many countries before you get to one that has proper Lebanese cuisine. My favourite has to be in Paris. Nothing can match it anywhere else in Europe from the very far eastern side to the most western point.

  10. Randos

    Roslin Gabriel makes the best Arabic Food in trinidad! Annie Laquis makes the best Kibbeh Nayyeh end of story!

  11. 1opinionatedwoman

    I had one of the best meals in my entire life at Joseph’s. Can’t wait to go back!

  12. where is this place need directions

  13. Tamie

    3A Rookery Nook, take Saddle Rd. into Maraval and follow it to RBC Bank. Rookery Nook is on left., Maraval, Port of Spain, Trinidad

  14. Good for afternoon teas and dinner and especially for large family celebrations. Food Arabic style. Open plan rather than a cosy romantic place.

    though i made reservations through http://www.josephstnt.com/reservation.html

  15. Joseph’s Restaurant offers Lebanese cuisine in Trinidad. Fine dining Experience in Trinidad with Excellent range of higher-end Middle-Eastern food. For Reservations Call (868) 622-5557.
    Click to make reservations at Joseph’s Restaurant

  16. Punchy

    I was always told by my Syrian Sito (grandmother) that we had relatives in Trinidad. They were her cousins. I remember her receiving letters from these cousins in Trinidad. My Sito’s maiden name was Farah (changed to Farrah in America). They were from a village named, Oyoun (Ayoun or Uyoun) in Syria. It is an Orthodox Christian village to the present day. My Sito and her parents settled in the US in southwestern Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. I’m wondering if perhaps there are any Farah’s and their descendants living in Trinidad today?

  17. Nadia

    Hi !! Can u tell me where your located ? Sometimes i feel for dulmay ,etc
    Thanks congrats on ur resteraunt !!!!

  18. Carl Zellie

    I would like to know if any descendants of my Syrian Sito’s family still reside in Trinidad and if so, I would like to make contact with them. The family last name is Farrah (Farah, Frha). In America it is spelled Farrah. My Sito ‘s father’s name was Albert and her mother’s name was Alexandria (she was called Scundra). They had 3 sons and 2 daughters ; Philip who was called Habib, Essa (Esau) he was called Ace, Ibrahim (Abraham) who was called Brownie. The daughters were Mary (Miriam) she married a man with the last name of Hoddo the other daughter Martha (Marta) was my Sito. She married a man named Joseph (Yousuff) Abraham (Ibrahim). They came from the Syrian village of Uyoun, Oyoun, not sure of the spelling. Please let me know how I can make contact with any relatives.

    • Vishesh Singh

      Here’s what you should do if you want to find your family members. Search for “Galy” on Facebook. You will see a lot of people with the surname Galy (Ghali) who live in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Look through the friends’ lists of those with the surname Galy, and you will find names like Sabga, Yousef, Rahael, Farfan, Abraham, Mansour, Laflouf, Hadeed, etc. Syrian- and Lebanese-Trinidadians stick together, and do not mingle very much with the other groups of Trinidad (Indian-Trinidadians, African-Trinidadians, etc.). Trust me, you will find who you are looking for if you search hard enough. Surely you will recognize someone who favors your family members in looks. I hope that you will see this comment and find who you are looking for. Best of luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s