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Showing posts from October, 2016

Shawarma's Found a Home in Broumana's Spiced & Sliced

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Lebanon may have its fair share of shawarma joints, but suffice it to say real controversy exists as to whose is the best. 

A while ago, Sin el Fil’s Abou Joseph was recognized internationally for its longstanding snack joint borderline sandwich factory specializing in shawarma. Shawarmanji was the first to introduce a chain brand with presence throughout greater Beirut. Boubouffe is notorious for its lamb shawarma marinated in red wine, but the slight sandwiches command a hefty price tag of 10,000 LL, which is hardly street-food status.
It seems like Lebanon can’t pack in enough decent shawarma stands, and we’re always more than thrilled to welcome a new brand. At least I was, when I heard about Spiced and Sliced in Broumana, tucked beneath this summer’s "it" scene at Printania Villa.
The concept, birthed by one of Kababji’s partners, boils down to three shawarma skewers and four bread types. There’s the quintessential beef, which is conspicuously lean and nearly fat-free. Chi…

Destination: Greek Paradise With Wild Discovery

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As students, the image we form of Greece is a mythical land once home to Zeus and the gods of Mount Olympus. We read about Hades and the underworld, Prometheus carrying the earth upon his shoulders, and Dionysus cultivating his grapevines. We learn about Jason and the Argonauts and Medusa’s vile head of serpents.
But we’re never enlightened as to the natural paradise Greece was and still is. Deep blue skies, virgin forests, pale waters, and air so fresh it’ll keep you pumped up even as night falls. It’s no wonder some of the world’s fleshiest olives grow here, why plump, sweet grapes are harvested to ferment into wine.
Today when we think of Greece, our health-conscious minds conjure up visions of strained yogurt, figs and honey. Greece is where the Mediterranean diet thrives, and if you visit its lush landscape, you’ll immediately understand why.
So a month ago, I packed a solitary carry-on and boarded Aegean Airlines out of Beirut to Thessaloniki, via Athens, on a trip organized and …

Classically Homey Armenian Food Spreads Across Beirut

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I first remember reading about Onno on the blog Plus961. In it, blogger Rami Fayoumi, whom I finally met last week, raves about the Armenian restaurant nestled beneath a bridge in Bourj Hammoud. He cites the delicious homemade food, family-run operation, and incomparably low prices as unique selling points of Onno. It was thus that I committed the eatery to my bucket list.
But for one reason or another, mostly my inability to find Onno and the subsequent emergence of another viable contender to the Armenian cuisine scene (Batchig), I never did consummate my promise. Onno fell further and further into the recesses of my mind, and it wasn’t until I learned it had been franchised, opening bistros in Badaro and Hamra, that the spark of interest reignited.
Last weekend, we visited the newest outlet, straddling Hamra and Makdessi on Abdul Aal Street. Given it is Hamra, the restaurant is rather spacious, with a very Americanesque indented threshold for a front door. A bar runs the length of t…

When A Company Takes Heart In Employee Health

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Internationally, the month of October recognizes breast cancer awareness. The campaign for early detection, prevention, and treatment has grown exponentially strong in recent years, not only in the US, where the movement was born, but even in our tiny Lebanon.
The ads you see splashed across Lebanese media point to a surging consciousness of the disease and its potentially fatal hold of the fairer sex. But what we don’t realize is, although cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, it doesn’t top the list. In fact, and unapparent to many, it is second to coronary heart disease in both men and women.
This year, Bank of Beirut, one of Lebanon’s premier financial institutions, celebrated their female staff by hosting an informative session led by Yaduna’s Women Heart Health Center (WHHC). Founded in 2012 by former First Lady Wafaa Sleiman, Yaduna Foundation is a non-governmental, non-profit organization meant to empower underprivileged Lebanese and Arab women.




The mission is…

Wrap 'n' Roll Gives Broumana Street Food Charm

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Roula Khani is a bubbly 20-something foodie who, together with two close pals Wissam Maalouf and Shibl Shaikh, constantly challenged the quality of food and service at restaurants in Lebanon. Picky eaters by nature, they’d go out to eat and almost always find fault with one thing or another.
What started as a joke among friends to launch their own food truck soon morphed into reality. One afternoon, Maalouf called Khani relentlessly, interrupting her teaching lessons, to gush that he’d landed a truck. And thus the idea to offer the Lebanese a brand new food experience was born.
For nearly two years, Bucket List – the F&B company Khani, Maalouf and Shaikh formed – has seen its vision evolve from food truck enterprise to street food pioneers. The trio first opened Wrap ‘n’ Roll to serve students at the LAU Byblos campus, working closely with a seasoned chef to hammer out a menu. 



That menu is exclusively wraps, as the concept’s name would suggest, boasting four chicken, four beef, and…

B-Qā de Marsyas: A Quality Lebanese Mid-Range Wine That Tells a Timeless Tale

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I wasn’t always such an avid wine enthusiast. In fact, I didn’t enjoy my first glass of vino until I was 21, attending a wine and cheese social hosted by my university’s graduate department. I slugged it back as though it were fruit juice.

When I moved to Paris, wine became daily bread. Not only was it cheap and accessible, undercutting the price of bottled water, but heck, when in France, do as the French, right? They’ve only dedicated their entire lush soil to the cultivation of grapevines, and wine types like Bordeaux and Beaujolais are actually named for French regions. So you’d literally have to be living under a rock to ignore the cornerstone place of wine in the French day-to-day.

Believe it or not, Lebanon has honed my appreciation of the grape derivative by huge strides. Over the past decade, the country has seen a proliferation of vineyards from as north as the hills of Batroun to as south as the perches of Jezzine, and that’s besides the fertile Bekaa valley where the majorit…