Posts

Showing posts from July, 2016

Food Delivery Confusion No More: Call Up Bou Melhem!

Image
Every evening on the drive home, we pass by a tavern-like restaurant named Bou Melhem. The place is hard to miss, notably for its endearing logo – a red tarboosh – and its elevated perch about the Sin el Fil street level. You can often spot a bustling dining room inside, especially on evenings featuring live music and entertainment.
Maybe it’s because, ironically, Bou Melhem coincides with our daily trajectory that we’ve never pulled over to try it out. Or maybe it’s because we’re wiped out by day’s end that we continue the climb onward to our house in Mansourieh. 
Either way, it was high time to try out the casual Lebanese eatery, and since full-time employment saps the better part of my day, I decided to bring Bou Melhem into the workplace.
Not literally, of course. His proxy would have to do, so I committed to a full week of food deliveries, something I usually shun, on the basis that these plats du jour are healthy, hearty, wholesome, good old-fashioned Lebanese home-cooking (with th…

Codeone: A Digital One-Stop Shop for Gifts & Home Accessories

Image
I’ve been shopping online ever since e-commerce came into being. In fact, I still remember when Amazon was exclusively a purveyor of books, before independent vendors were even allowed to sell their goods in a virtual marketplace. As digital retail grew to encompass technology, homeware, clothing, jewelry, and automobile parts – in short, anything under the sun – brick and mortar shops became a superfluous formality.
Let’s be frank. There’s nothing more time-, cost-, fuel-, or energy-efficient, nothing more leisurely or convenient than shopping online. No business hours to abide by; no lines to wait in; no shame in buying unusual products (*cough* kinky lingerie *cough*); no fear of being overcharged; and certainly no dearth of choices in finding the perfect and unique solution for your needs.
Here in Lebanon, we’re still laps behind our peers in Europe, Asia, and North America when it comes to e-shopping. The trend is only starting to catch on, as credit card usage becomes more mains…

Achrafieh "Café" Survives The Test of Time

Image
If you’ve ever lived in Paris, you understand the dynamics of a café trottoir. Chairs are turned to face the sidewalk, lending a front row seat to the pedestrian action mere centimeters away. Service is prompt and mechanical. In fact, with your order you receive the tab, which you’re expected to settle immediately. Thereafter, no one can lay a finger on you. Idle as long and as pensively as you wish, free of reproach.
éCafé Sursock, nestled in the affluent Achrafieh neighborhood after which it is named, has little in common with its Parisian counterparts. In lieu of a trottoir is a greenhouse-like porch, alive with potted plants and verdure to render the perfect brunch hangout. 
Pedestrian action? Well, maybe the odd poodle tethered to its domestic help, who are not uncommon in the area. Service is attentive, but far from mechanical, flowing as smoothly and silkily as a fine glass of Blanc de Blancs poured from the eatery’s bar.

The only overlap, it seems, is the idling bit, because éCaf…

A Weekend Getaway at Le Gray Beirut

Image
Self-described as a “modern classic for Beirut,” Gordon Campbell’s Le Gray Hotel takes its throne in the historic downtown district. Many pass by its edifice, failing to realize what lies within. Straddling Virgin Megastore on one side and Annahar on the other, the five-star property opened its doors in 2010 and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. 




Intimately acquainted with Le Gray’s food and beverage outlets, we know our way around the nuances of each: Gordon Café’s signature cakes and loose-leaf teas; Indigo on the Roof’s superior Wagyu steak and sole fish; Cherry on the Rooftop’s swanky bellinis and fresh sushi bites.
But for years now, we’ve entertained a pressing curiosity about the action happening on floors 2-5. Accessible exclusively to hotel guests, those levels would help us form a more global and holistic impression of Le Gray, one to complement our dining visits and admiration of the hotel's modern decor.
So the first weekend of July, we checked in to an Exe…