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Showing posts from April, 2016

Celebrating the Flavors of Summer at BRGR.CO + BIG REVEAL!

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One of the things I love most about BRGR.CO is how dynamic the menu is. Every time you visit their outlets in either Beirut Souks or ABC Achrafieh, you’re bound to find a special showcasing the flavors of the season.
I’d had my eye on the Santana Chicken Burger ever since I caught glimpse of it on Instagram in March. A thick breaded chicken breast breaded and battered to a crisp is flanked with avocado mash, diced tomatoes and corn. Chipotle dressing gushes at the sides. BRGR.CO’s iconic bun, free of seeds and fuss, battles to contain all that action, easily overshadowed by the heft of the poulet patty.



A few weeks ago, I finally had the opportunity to sink my canines into that bunned beauty, and it was glorious. You know that taste of summer, distinctively warm and comforting with a burst of juicy freshness? That’s the Santana burger (19,000 LL), and thanks to popular demand, it’s being engraved in stone to the yearlong menu.
BRGR.CO may be about the namesake edible, but the dining exp…

Mini Guette Delivers Max Satisfaction

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I tend to avoid food delivery orders. I figure as long as God graces me with the ability to walk and the burning desire to behold my meal being made, why not exploit it?

However, I do understand that sometimes, getting away from the office can prove challenging, and the ease with which you can deliver veritably anything in Lebanon is so darn tempting! 

The other night, I caved and called up Mini Guette. Their chia bread had caught my eye while exploring the Instagram discovery feed, and I knew I had to confirm the goodness for myself.

The order was placed at 6 pm for delivery to downtown Beirut. Precisely as estimated by the telephone operator Kareem, the goods were delivered 35 minutes later.

First, a word about the jazzy packaging, which has nifty boxes for the paper-jacketed sandwiches and burgers, as well as plastic bowls for the salads. Also of note, the chia menu was newly engineered by dietitian Mirna Sammour and contains nutrition facts like calories and grams of protein, carbs, a…

Executive Pastry Chef Mohamad Abbas Breaking The Mold at Four Seasons Beirut

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Mohamad Abbas is not a man you should take lightly. Soft-spoken and modest he may be, with eyes gleaming and cheeks ruddy as he gushes about pastry making. But the executive pastry chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut has the power to render you speechless with his butter-kissed croissants and sugar-glazed cinnamon rolls.



If you’re dining in the Grill & Lounge on the 2nd floor, you’ll probably retract your hefty order after you try the filling bread loaf that lands on your table. That’s Abbas’ doing, baked in-house using imported French flour and homemade yeast. Nothing but a smear of Échiré beurredemi-sel and coarse sea salt could make it any more delicious.
Abbas has been the resident sweets-smith since the hotel opened in 2010, working alongside illustrious pastry chef Charles Azar. In 2013, after Azar’s departure from the Four Seasons, Abbas assumed the reins, hand-selecting his team of eight and committing himself wholly to gourmet pastry-making. Executive he may be, a tit…

One On One With Beirutista

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I was recently featured on the front page of online journal MediaSource, as part of its Blog Spotlight series on prominent bloggers across the MENA region. The interview is reproduced below. I'd love to know what you think! 


Blog Spotlight: Beirutista




Beirut-based food and lifestyle blogger Danielle Issa spoke with MediaSource about the origins of her Beirutista blog, for which she writes, and the impact of blogs on Lebanon's dining scene.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I’d recently settled in Lebanon, having been born and raised in the US and knowing Lebanon strictly in the capacity of a summer destination. I sought a channel where I could document my trials and observations in my new home, a sort of virtual diary to preserve memories and analyses through the written word. I also wanted to provide a window through which friends abroad could peer in and see how starkly different my life had become. Beirutista was a tabula rasa, an empty slate I could populate with the fragm…

CYPRUS: The Mediterranean Paradise We Often Overlook

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Maybe we never think of it because it’s so awfully close. Kind of like being a native of Paris but never ascending the Eiffel Tower, say. Or having a swimming pool in your backyard but rarely venturing out for a dip.
Cyprus is a stone’s throw from Lebanon, yet we rarely think of it as a vacation destination. Larnaca and Limassol lose out to Lisbon, London, and Barcelona every time we brainstorm hotspots for a European getaway.
The truth of the matter is, Cyprus may very well be a hidden gem. And I had the privilege to unravel its islandic mystique two weeks ago on a brief three-day excursion.



City Guide
Agia Napa (in the region of Famagusta)
Deplaning in Larnaca after a half-hour flight from Beirut, we zipped through the quiet international airport to catch a coach that shuttled us to Agia Napa. Many consider the seaside resort city to be the cradle of hen and stag reveries (aka bachelor parties), but in fact it is really a small, cozy town that caters to every traveler’s whims.
Agia Napa…

Your Guide to Horeca, Lebanon's Biggest Hospitality Trade Show

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I can’t help it. My heart goes aflutter each year when Horeca nears. At this annual forum for the hospitality and foodservice industries, I explore what’s new in the food world, from novel products to trendy cocktails. This is also my chance to speak directly with company representatives, who are manning the stands and eager to rub elbows with their customers.



Horeca this year boasts 350 exhibitors, spanning countries as far as Australia, the UAE, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Bulgaria, and even the USA. Apart from booths, there is a variety of live shows and competitions involving international experts and celebrity chefs.
I’ve already graced Horeca twice over the past three days, and here’s a highlight of my tour for those who are planning to go today, the final day of the trade show (hosted at Biel, from 3 – 9 pm). 

Castania I have an interminable love affair with Lebanese mixed nuts, particularly seasoned kernels and jacketed peanuts (aka “cricri”). Castania, one of Lebanon’s finest …