Only in Lebanon: Part II

A while back, I published an entry about my pet peeves in Lebanon. I think it's only fair that I present the other side to the coin, the stuff I love about this country. Naturally, as a gourmet, I'll start with la nourriture:
  • The French culinary influence which grants us decadent gateaux, les baguettes, and des bons fromages
  • The ubiquity of an international range of restaurants serving top-notch nosh: Peninsula, Julia's, Braai, Mandaloun, Cocteau, and Mondo are a few of my favorites
  • The popularity of happy hour, and thus, the certain presence of a good cocktail
  • Open-air cafes, restaurants, lounges, and pubs: think Zaituna Bay and Uruguay Street
  • Cheap street grub when times call for it: manakish, falafel, shawerma, taouk, basterma, and kafta wraps
  • Elastic Arabic ice cream
  • Sweetened ketchup
  • Pickled anything: cucumbers, carrots, horseradish, stuffed eggplants
  • Starbuck's double chocolate muffin, grace à Le Meilleur caterers
  • The availability of anything and everything in the local supermarket, from specialty French yogurts to good old Tex-Mex taco shells
  • Al Rifai's mixed nuts, especially the seasoned and coated peanuts krikri
  • High standards of hospitality in restaurants and hotels
  • Beautiful, temperate weather, even in wintertime
  • The Mediterranean sea that borders the entire western length of the country
  • The Manara and Biel boardwalks
  • The proximity of the mountains to Beirut and the seaboard
  • Seaside cities, particularly Byblos and Jounieh
  • Quaint streets in the Achrafieh area that tuck away gems of restaurants
  • The fabulous views of the sea from nearly any elevation
  • Easy accessibility to ancient ruins and relics (you can get up close and personal, and no one will slap your hand if you reach out to touch)
  • The strength and influence of faith still present in everyday society
  • The beautiful churches and monasteries that date from centuries ago
  • The rich history of literature, art, and music
  • Dozens of good wineries, several of whose wines are exported for sale abroad
  • Abundance of fresh mountain water
  • Uniform price of gasoline at all fueling stations
  • Gas station attendants who fuel up your car as you remain seated behind the wheel
  • Tri-lingual literacy (Arabic, English, and French) of most of those formally educated
  • People's smart-chic sense of fashion and self-care
  • The freedom to dress however you like (casually, modestly, glamorously, you name it) and not be the laughingstock of town
  • Affordable hair care and salon services (e.g., hair styling, manicures, pedicures, etc.)
  • The humanness: you'll always find someone willing to help, whether your car breaks down or you need directions

Chime in!


Popular posts from this blog

Beirutista Featured on "Malini Angelica" YouTube Travel Documentary About Beirut

Lebanon's Retail Landscape In Need of Customer Service Overhaul

Wondering How Best To Send US Cash to Lebanon? Try Sendwave.