Bliss House: Trailblazers In Nutrition Awareness?

As youngsters, my brothers used to rave about Bliss House. The burgers and submarines, stuffed with sizzling meat and globs of sauce, left little to be desired. John Paul, the youngest, swore so religiously by the joint that, upon leaving Lebanon at summer's end, he would stow a Bliss House menu in his luggage to take back to California. Nearly every day for the following year, he'd pull it out of his drawer, admire photos of the food items, smile nostalgically, and then restore it to its cherished hideout. Summer couldn't come fast enough.

Today, over a decade later, Bliss House is still all hustle and bustle, with seven branches in Lebanon and several more across Saudi Arabia and UAE. They specialize in burgers, submarines, sandwiches, and juice cocktails, but they are particularly notorious for their Philly Steak and Chicken Fajita. Therefore, when Gosawa ran a 50% off promotion on Bliss House just yesterday, it came as no surprise that within the first few hours, the number of purchases had reached 500.

I've never been a fan of junk food, so naturally I've never had the desire to see what all the fuss is about and whether the sandwiches remain colossal, satisfying, and tasty. Many colleagues order from the Bliss House branch in Place de l'Etoile, but it seems their incentive is cheap prices rather than finger-licking goodness. Being the investigative journalist that I purport to be (I try!), I clicked on the Bliss House website, linked on the Gosawa deal ad, and stumbled upon what very well could be the most comprehensive nutrition database for a fast food joint in Lebanon and the region.

Each sandwich, juice, or cocktail lists every ingredient and its corresponding calorie, protein, carb, fat, and fiber content. You can virtually see where every calorie consumed is coming from. I'm not too sure how methodic and consistent the preparation of Bliss House food items are (could they be as streamlined as Subway or McDonald's?), but nevertheless, this gives a great overall view of each sandwich's demons. I was quite impressed.



That's not to say that I've been lulled into sampling Bliss House's foodstuffs based on these calorie details: in almost every sandwich, the bread contributes 250-350 kcal; the mayo, another 200-350 kcal; and the "meat" in between, a mere 100-200 kcal. How ever so balanced (not!).

But John Paul, far away in Boston and slaving away on his PhD, recalls his "glory days" vividly. And he keeps insisting I try the Chicken Sub and the Chicken Breast Burger. Can't disappoint family...

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