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Showing posts from June, 2016

Drum Roll, Please, For Cup & Roll's New Breakfast Bites

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I can’t believe exactly a year and half have passed since I first sat down with Wassim Haddad. For those who don’t know, Haddad is one of the young visionaries behind overnight success story Cup & Roll. Together with partner Khajag Apelian, the dynamic duo brought to light the culinary passion of Apelian’s mother Salpi through a signature homemade dough recipe. That recipe is the core of Cup & Roll, which proposes delicious savory and sweet bites in the shapes of the namesake vessels.




At the time, I had asked Haddad about the enterprise’s outlook. Cup & Roll had recently undergone a rebranding exercise and shifted the operation from exclusively in-home to a central kitchen in Zalka. The one-year vision was to see a couple of physical outlets around Beirut. That crystallized months later with the opening of the first eatery in Hamra, located almost smack dab between LAU and AUB campuses.
The second shop debuted three months ago at Le Mall Dbayeh, and its spot is prominent as …

Radisson Blu Beirut: A Getaway in the Heart of the Capital

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I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to travel far to make memories.
Sure, Paris is dotted with heart-throbbing landmarks, and Milan is heaven for the fashion-forward. The Greek isles would satisfy any sea-loving recluse, and Lord knows London is a thriving epicurean epicenter.
But a change of pace doesn’t require a change of country or continent. Sometimes, the trick is simply getting away from home. The requisite time for refreshing, you ask? An overnight stay. Waking up in new environs is utter catharsis.
Which would explain why a few weekends ago, my husband and I found ourselves checking in to the Radisson Blu Martinez in Ain Mreisseh, tucked along a quiet street behind Phoenicia.
The Radisson is no humble hotel. Boasting 185 rooms and suites with free turbo-speed Wi-Fi throughout the property, the upscale international chain has an enviable indoor pool, a charming breakfast buffet, and genuinely dedicated staff who don’t stare down at you.




Welcome and Accommodation
From the minu…

Wesley’s: Bringing the American Shopping Experience to Lebanon

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Many of you are aware of my American upbringing and recent relocation to Lebanon some five years ago. Having grown up in the so-called Land of Opportunity, I was privy to constant food product innovation from giants such as PepsiCo, Nestle, and General Mills. 



Don’t get me started on the wealth of cereal boxes and bars that would flood grocery store shelves and launch me into a mental tug-of-war. I’d spend hours in a salubrious trance ogling the packaging, nutrition facts, and story behind each new creation.




With the move to Lebanon, grocery store trips just haven’t been the same. Most supermarkets lack the Americanesque breadth of inventory, the abundance of choices, and more importantly the presence of revolutionary products fresh off the FDA approval rack.
I mean, sure, Spinney’s imports European labels like Belle France and Tesco. TSC Signature counts a handful of organic goods from the UK and Australia.
But who’s stocking their shelves with the fun stuff from the grand US of A, wher…

Byblos Sur Mer: A Tranquil Edge of Sea

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Like every other Lebanese, I’ve had my fair share of visits to Byblos. 
You know the run-down. Saunter through the pebble-paved souks, electing to either fend off or engage with the vulture-like vendors. Explore the Crusader castle on the crest of the hill. Continue your stroll down to the seaside, where a small bay filled with fishermen’s boats is situated beneath a row of typical Lebanese seafood restaurants. 





Round the bend and climb the slope past a beach resort and a pizzeria that in days past proudly sported the emblem of Pizza Hut. Come full circle and arrive to a plaza brimming with outdoor cafés, restaurants, and pubs. There’s a wax museum a few steps away, shops displaying fossilized fish, as well as a high concentration of mosques and churches in the nearby vicinity.
For me, it has always been the same touristic hub, the same little knickknacks and the same slate of eateries. You can imagine that the repetition spawns monotony, to the extent that I recently found myself reluct…