Showing posts from September, 2014

Putting Uber to the Test: My First Experience

I first heard about Uber when it touched down on Lebanese soil back in early July. I wasn't actually familiar with the app before then, which I soon learned has become all the rage in the USA and Europe. A ride-sharing service based in San Francisco, the concept is simple and beautiful: Uber automatically geolocates you and dispatches the nearest available driver to your location when you request a pickup You can monitor in real-time the driver’s approach, or you can allow the app to text you when the car arrives. Details of the car and driver appear on the app, so you know exactly who’s coming to shuttle you to your destination Scared of a surprise fare? Uber immediately gives you a quote range based on pickup and drop-off locations, and the best part is that you don’t have to dish out greenbacks when the ride is completed. Your credit card is linked to your profile and is conveniently billed after your arrival. Need a receipt? Check your email inbox After your trip,

The Dental Divide: Oral Healthcare in Lebanon

Growing up in the US, I was taught from a young age about the importance of dental care. Visits to the dentist were biannual, during which time teeth were meticulously cleaned, polished, and X-rayed for possible cavities. Commercials on TV emphasized the nutritional benefits of milk: “it does the body good” and “Got Milk?” were catchy slogans to remind us that the calcium in dairy strengthened our teeth and bones. Even tap water in the US is fortified with fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Aesthetics was a big thing, too (where do you think the term "Hollywood Smile" came from?). My classmates got braces and retainers as early as the fourth grade (that’s “huitième” for all you French speakers). I dodged the bullet, because fortunately my teeth were aligned.  Photo credit:  When I hit high school, flossing was starting to become mainstream. Floss before you sleep, we were instructed, because

Another of Lebanon's Sweet Companies: Patchi Chocolates

The following review is expressly my own opinion. It was neither commissioned nor endorsed by the company in spotlight. Besides Taanayel Les Fermes , there’s another institution of Lebanese make that I sincerely admire (I’m considering launching a series on worthy local companies—readers, what do you think?).  Patchi has been serving superior chocolates for 40 years. The devotion to quality is unmistakable. Cocoa butter free of gunk like preservatives, artificial flavors and vegetable oil; imported raw ingredients; and local nuts and fruits all combine to render Patchi a reference in topnotch chocolates. Originality is a forte of Patchi’s. They’ve not left a stone unturned: chocolate lingots (or ingots) mimicking bars of gold; chocolate “olives” uncannily similar to the actual fruit, especially in their lime-yellow and eggplant colors; Turkish delights (loukoum) sandwiched between Ghandour-like biscuits and dipped in chocolate; chocolate-covered dates. There’s even a comprehens

My Latest Food Discovery: Sandwiched

Over the weekend, we discovered Sandwiched, a gem of an eatery with outlets in Antelias and Jounieh. I’d seen the delivery menu several months ago, with appetizing selections like “Duck Foie Gras” in a French baguette and toasted delights like “Turkey and Cheese.” Naturally, I was enticed, so putting in the order on Saturday afternoon and awaiting the delivery man with earnest was inevitable. Each sandwich came in a sizeable square box that opened nicely with its flap-back lid. Inside, an equally sizeable square sandwich with butter-toasted American sliced bread laid staring back at us. A beautiful golden-brown, it was cut into two right down the middle, and gently pulling out one of the halves exposed a warm, stringy web of cheese layered with deli turkey meat. I sunk my teeth into the sandwich, immediately tasting a mix of Italian herbs which complemented the subtle flavors of the cheese. This is the signature sandwich for those who profess to simple chow. Now “The Mighty”