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Showing posts from August, 2016

Wesley's Wholesale Opens THIS SATURDAY in Hazmieh!

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For those living in Hazmieh, 2016 is a big year. First, Lebanon’s newest social hangout opened its backyard to denizens on June 1. From the noncommittal coffee at Starbucks to the more serious cocktail and nosh at Kitchen Yard, the Backyard Hazmieh is the area’s “it” place for social butterflies, and this is riding on the heels of the hundreds of shops and eateries hosted by Beirut City Centre just down the street.
Come September 3rd, residents will have renewed cause to rejoice, and that’s because Wesley’s Wholesale is unveiling its third and largest branch on Hazmieh turf. Another megastore, even more impressive than the Jnah flagship, will make its home across from Galaxy on Camille Chamoun Boulevard, where Le Charcutier used to be. Wesley’s will be split across two floors, one dedicated exclusively to food imports, and the other to a home center with all-new nonfood brands and kitchen appliances.






We’re talking essentials like CakeBoss baking utensils – and have you seen their adorab…

A Hidden Gem Among the Pines of Broumana

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There is no question Broumana has become the nightlife destination of the summer. The revival of the once dormant Printania, thanks to its Garden and Villa, have helped usher in a steady stream of revelers. Down the street, a collection of pubs and restaurants draws in crowds, too, and Broumana is throbbing once more.
For those who used to seek refuge in its tranquil mountains, despair not! Tucked away from the hoopla of the hustle and bustle up among residential buildings sits Broumana Hotel, which in recent years has gained notoriety for its uniquely themed bedrooms. The real attraction this summer, however, may very well be its newly opened Latifa Rustic Lounge.



Set in a courtyard sufficiently spacious to accommodate a wedding reception, Latifa has multiple loosely-defined seating areas each covered by a white canopy. Guests will enjoy the al fresco atmosphere underscored by towering pine trees, soothing Indian music, an outdoor bar dressed in pink, and an open kitchen whose mixed cu…

Wrap Your Heads Around Beirut's Latest Food Concept, Wrapstation

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A couple of weeks ago, I received an SMS about a new food delivery service by the name of Wrapstation. I became immediately curious, thinking it somehow linked to a short-lived wrap concept dating back to 2011 (anybody remember Wrapsody by the creators of Crave in Monot?).
So I jumped online and plunged into their website, smitten with the stunning visuals, the crisp clean layout, and of course the edibles on offer. The menu is rather straightforward: 8 salads, 13 savory wraps, 4 fried potato formats, 3 side dishes, and 2 dessert wraps. 
But there are some interesting combos never before tasted around these parts, like a trout wrap boasting grilled and smoked rillettes (9,500 LL), and cheddar with grilled chorizo and crushed potato chips (7,000 LL). Quirky, right?



I needed to try the real McCoy, so a swift delivery to my office in Beirut found a salad, two wraps, and a box full of waffle fries wafting irresistibly on my desk.
The first impression is favorable: snug, glossy packaging for…

Khalid Jabara And What It's Like Being An Arab-American

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A few days ago, Lebanon was rocked by the saddening news of a Lebanese-American’s murder in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Khalid Jabara was 37 years old when he was shot to his death by neighbor Stanley Majors.
Majors had a documented history of racist hate crimes against the Jabara family, who in the 1980s had transplanted from Lebanon and made their home in the southern state. Foul language – expressions like “dirty Arabs,” “filthy Lebanese,” and “Mooslims” – as well as running over Khalid’s mother in September 2015 point to a neurotic psychopath who should have been thrown behind bars. The truth is he served six months in jail for last year’s mow-down and was released without parole or house arrest in March.
I won’t delve deeper into the details of the crime, because those can be found in any news publication, from CNN to The Guardian. This piece is about the empathy I feel with the Jabara family, whose loss can never be forgotten nor redeemed.
Having grown up in the US, particularly in Southern…

Stuck in the Office? Options For Food Delivery in Beirut

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This article was written for the Zomato Community Blog and appears here. If you have an account on Zomato, be sure to follow my dineline!


Here in the heart of Beirut, we’re flanked on all sides by food delivery options. Beirut may as well be dubbed the world capital in transportable edibles, because any and every eatery in town knows how to package their food, liquid or solid, and latch it onto a moped. Call us lazy, call us resourceful, but no one goes hungry in this country.
With the myriad of choices, there’s naturally major confusion. Who’s good? Who’s consistent? Who’s punctual? And quite necessarily, who’s affordable? Tame those stomach pangs, for I’ve gone and done the grunt work for you from the luxury of my desk. It’s hard work, I know, but someone’s gotta do it.
Here’s where you should be trading your greenbacks for some delicious grub in and around Beirut.

Bou Melhem From: Sin el Fil When: 10 am – midnight
You really can't undersell US$ 10-12 for a 3-course lunch whose generou…

Product Leak: The Super-Leaf That Will Knock Your Socks Off

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It seems like South America’s got a lot of earthy treasures in its lush backyard. Sadly for us, we’ve only just started unearthing them.
Take, for example, quinoa, native to Bolivia and heralded as one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein. The Incas have known about it for thousands of years, growing this “mother grain” high up in the Andes. So why did it only recently become a household name worldwide?
The latest showstopper is guayusa, a “super-leaf” emanating from Ecuador and the upper Amazon. Similar to tea, guayusa is in fact unrelated to either green or black tea, but it has about as much caffeine as coffee. It’s rich in polyphenols, the most common compounds that comprise antioxidants. And it’s got tons of cholorgenic acids, purported to promote weight loss and heart health.



Because guayusa lacks the tannins associated with green and black teas, it tastes smooth and naturally sweet, free from any astringent aftertaste. You could think of it as “clean energy” that doe…

My First Run-In With A Michelin-Starred Chef

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It’s not every day you have the privilege of meeting a Michelin-starred chef. Now add to that a Michelin-starred chef on your home turf, here in Beirut, cooking up a storm and treating you to his culinary majesty. Pretty extraordinary, huh?
Well, last week I had the honor of one such encounter at Lebanese fine dining restaurant Liza in Achrafieh, a beautifully restored 19th-century palace with Lebanese quintessential motifs in each room. 

Orchestrated by ChefXChange, an online platform that allows you to invite a private chef into your home, the dinner drew out nearly 130 guests who gathered to share in the original mezza dishes of Greg Malouf, an Australian-Lebanese chef renowned for his innovative take on classic Middle Eastern fare.



On the menu, things as imaginative as organic salmon raw kibbeh; chicken and date fatayer; pickled, smoked ox tongue on a bed of carrot labneh with fresh spinach; and lentil tabbouleh. Mains included wild sea bass smothered with tarator, coriander, walnut…