Wrap 'n' Roll Gives Broumana Street Food Charm
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.
|Young Lebanese chef outfits the wraps with ingredients|
That menu is exclusively wraps, as the concept’s name would suggest, boasting four chicken, four beef, and three meatless options. The idea is to offer gourmet food prepared swiftly at unbeatable prices.
|One of Wrap 'n' Roll's signatures, the Adobo Chicken Wrap|
Nearly a month ago, Bucket List achieved a milestone they’d never even toyed with at this early stage: they opened a brick-and-mortar outlet in Broumana. Tucked beneath the seasonal Printania Villa, Wrap ‘n’ Roll neighbors another of their concepts called Juice Box, featuring smoothies, detox juices, and popsicles, as well as shawarma joint Spiced & Sliced, launched unofficially by one of Kababji's partners.
Wrap ‘n’ Roll’s central kitchen is based in Beit Meri, just a stone’s throw from their eat-in station in Broumana. When we arrived earlier this week, manager Wadih welcomed us warmly (and in perfect English!), recommending a selection of sandwiches for us newbies.
|Foreground: Indian Chicken Wrap; background: Adobo Chicken Wrap|
First up, the Adobo Chicken Wrap (7,500 LL), layering strips of chicken breast cooked on a flat griddle and drizzled with slightly sweet, slightly spicy, adobo sauce. Lettuce, spring onions, and coriander provide a veggie cushion to soak up all those juices, which evoke paprika, oregano, garlic, salt and vinegar.
The Indian Chicken Wrap (7,500 LL) beautifully captures the flavors of tandoori, tempered by cool raita and studded with dried cranberries and apricots. I rather like the tangy presence of fruit, hidden in a garden of spinach and rocket leaves.
|Foreground: Roast Beef Wrap; background: Special Shrimp Wrap|
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path Roast Beef Wrap (8,000 LL), this one’s for you. With a teriyaki-like glaze accentuated by a lick of Dijon and a smear of eggplant caviar, Wrap ‘n’ Roll’s roast beef wonder is hefty and at least 50% larger than the preceding sandwiches.
I’ve never been keen on seafood sammies, but the wonderful thing about the Special Shrimp Wrap (9,000 LL) is that the little crustaceans are cooked on the spot. Slathered with kimchi and nestled in a bed of lettuce with rocket, this number is waist- and weight-friendly.
|All the sandwich meat is cooked and/or finished on the flat griddle|
Don’t get so caught up in the wraps that you neglect the fries, which house a soft core inside a crispy, crunchy exterior. The dipping sauce is mayo-based and absolutely irresistible, but the potato spuds fly high solo, too.
Khani speaks effusively about Wrap ‘n’ Roll’s catering business, which pulls up curbside to birthday parties and celebrations to dole out delectable specialties. There are plans to expand the network beyond Broumana’s lone branch, which is currently being decked out with Halloween flair.
Whatever’s under wraps, I’m more than ready to roll with it! And next time, I'm going for that jumbo grilled falafel with beetroot tahini.
|Next time, I'm going for the Falafel Wrap!|
Wrap 'n' Roll