Monday, April 25, 2016

Frida Cuisine​, Lebanese Food Beautifully Blended with a Mexican Twist

Beirut is becoming "over populated" with restaurants but very few are those that make us constantly want to visit them again and again because of their unique signature and great quality in food. Frida is a hidden gem in Ashrafieh that serves Lebanese food with a Mexican fusion. We fell in love with Frida 6 years ago and still counting. Most of the platters are blended with avocado whether dips or slices which is a plus because of its numerous benefits and the freshness and deliciousness it adds to the food.
Before the food is served they provide a basket of several kinds of hot markook: zaatar, raisins, "yensoun" and "habit el barake" with a bowl of green olives and cheddar cheese.
•We started with the Frida Salad. The name says it all; it is a specialty for Frida with grapes molasses and it was the first time that we try it. The salad contained rocca, coriander, avocado and red bell pepper. It had a very sweet taste due to the molasses but it balanced the sourness of the other ingredients and the lemon. This salad introduced us to new flavors. 
•We couldn't but try our favorite salad at Frida; the Avocado and Purslane salad. It contained lots of avocado cubes, purslane, cucumber, pomegranate and it was sprinkled with a generous amount of pine nuts. It was served with a lemon pomegranate dressing that made it really refreshing and very healthy. 
From the cold mezze section we had the Hommos Frida and Mouhamara. 
We didn't know much about the ingredients of these 2 items as it is a secret recipe but what we knew is that they were exceptional!
•The Hommos Frida was creamy with a very unique taste thanks to the spices and special ingredients used. To make it better, they added small cubes of green bell peppers on top of it.
•The Mouhamara was one of the best we had till now.
From the hot mezze section we had Markouk Frida, Rakakat Soujok and Kibbé in Cherries.
•Markouk Frida was excellent! It consisted of markouk bread filled with chicken stripes, potato wedges, guacamole, salsa, garlic and melted cheddar cheese. The mix of all these ingredients in the markouk gave an extraordinary result.
•The Rakakat Soujok were addictive! They were stuffed with cheddar chese, jalapeños and sujok. Each bite was an explosion of tastes.
•The Kibbé in Cherries were so tasty since they were extremely crispy and non oily. The cherries filling was very well executed and its combination with the kibbé was phenomenal.
As main platters we had the Diego Mixed Grill and the Frida Potatoes from the "Straight from Mexico" section.
•The Diego Mixed Grill consisted of marinated chicken with pineapple, meat slices with chorizo and shrimps served with sizzling tomato salsa and corn on the cob. We loved the taste of the pineapple and the chorizo in the meat skewers and how tender and juicy the beef was! The chicken needed more marination but with the salsa it was good. We didn't like the shrimps as it needed more seasoning. All in all it was the most special grilled platter we ever had thanks to the fusions and the unusual flavors.
•The Frida Potatoes were overwhelming! They were served sliced with cheddar cheese sauce, anise (yensoun) and a cup of sour cream. We simply adored them.
Let's end this food journey with our favorite part which is the desserts.
•As fondant lovers, we had to try the Fokharyé Chocolate consisting of the traditional chocolate fondant but served hot in a fokhara with a scoop of loukoum ice cream. It was simply orgasmic! The chocolate quantity made us dream and the loukoum ice cream added an illegally yummy taste.
•The Cheesecake in Rose Jam was spectacular! We never thought of rose jam with the cheesecake and the result was a piece of art. The mix of the cream cheese and fresh cream was very successful and its marriage with the rose jam gave a dessert that is not to be missed.
It always feels like the first time at Frida because of their big menu variety and their spacious restaurant with the cozy terrace. If you are a beer lover, then their Mexican beer with Frida's twist is a must.

Average price: 30$ per person.
Rating: 8/10
Location: Ashrafieh, massabni Building, Al Hayek Sector, Shukri Al Asli Street, Beirut, Lebanon
Phone: 01 3333 226

Lina's Good Food and Good Mood

Working on a project at home with your friends can end up being very depressing if your house lacks privacy and is over crowded with talkative neighbors that your parents love and of course of it lacks yummy food. Thankfully there is Lina's, a casual fun café, where you can meet with your friends over some delicious drinks or try their new appetizing menu. Lina's Badaro is our favorite branch due its spacious French atmosphere that is filled with positive vibes and a very comfortable seating.
•We started with the "Poulet Thai" salad and it was a great beginning to our dinner. The salad contained rice noodles, sesame, coriander, red and green pepper, carrot, green beans and dinger. We loved how the vermicelli noodles were sliced and how fresh the ingredients were. The sauce was sweet and sour with some sesame oil which made the salad very enjoyable. 
•We went for the "Croque Monsieur" as appetizer especially that we were in a French cafe. It consisted of 2 toasted brown "pain de mie" filled with ham, cheese and béchamel sauce. We loved the buttery taste and how juicy it was. Chips and a green salad accompanied this tasty sandwich.
As main platters we had an "Escalope Poulet" and "Steak Frites".
•The "Steak Frites" was served sliced and topped with a special French sauce but what made this platter lose some ratings was the chewy meat. The sauce was very delicious and the fries were very crispy without being oily. 
•The "Escalope Poulet" was orgasmic! It was one of the best we ever had since it was very crunchy and thin without being oily. The salad on top of it (rocket, cherry tomatoes and parmesan shaves) made it more light and very unique to Lina's. It is one of the reasons we will be going to Lina's more often.
And now for the sweet part that always makes us leave a restaurant in a happier mood; the desserts. We ordered a "Moelleux au Chocolat" and a "Pain Perdu". Summer nights are here so we couldn't but have a vanilla milkshake.
•The "Moelleux au Chocolat" was overwhelming. It consisted of a very moist chocolate cake topped with chocolate sprinkles and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
•The "Pain Perdu" may not be the traditional one but hands down it was one of the best in town. The bread was extremely juicy and had a strong butter taste. It was topped with caramel and cooked apple cubes. To make it more juicy, a cup of caramel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream were served within the palate.

•The vanilla milkshake was spectacular. Pure happiness with every sip.

Lina's new menu additions were a success and those future meet ups won't be only fruitful but also delicious.
Average price: 20$ per person.
Rating: 8.5/10

Location: Badaro, Foch Street, Beirut, Lebanon 

Phone: 01 383 338

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Society Bistro in Saifi Beirut Impressed Us Big Time

Eating out is becoming a headache sometimes due to the high increase in the prices and drastic decrease in the quality and the quantity in some restaurants. Thankfully that's not the case in Society Bistro, it's even the opposite. Located in Saifi Suites just behind Medco gas station, the restaurant has a cozy interior with a beautiful exterior overlooking a Parisian like street. The menu is very interesting and offers international items but what's very shocking are the low prices that they charge which made us curious if the food will be up to our expectations.

We started with a salad and an appetizer. 
•The Emincés d'Endives au Roquefort salad was average. It contained minced endives topped with walnuts and blue cheese sauce. We would have preferred a thicker sauce since it was a bit watery and lacked the blue cheese flavor. We have to mention that the salad was for only 3000LBP. 

•The Calamars Panés were exceptional! We loved how crispy and well seasoned their coating was. They were served with a special mustard dip and spicy ketchup. They were addictive.
For main platters we had the Angus Beef Burger and the Pizza Truffes. 
•The Burger was good but it can become easily better with some modifications. The patty was not chewy but it was a bit dry. The whole burger also felt dry as it needed more sauces and a slice of cheese would have surely made a difference. The bun was very fluffy and fresh. It was served with a big portion of fries that we rarely have in other places; not too thin yet crispy and with the least quantity of oil possible. 
•The Pizza Truffes was excellent! We loved eating each and every bite. The dough was thin, it was topped with tapenade, cream, cheese and truffle oil. The truffle flavor was very present, and the cheese was delicious which made the whole pizza extremely enjoyable.
Our dessert was phenomenal and illegally yummy! We went for the Tartelette au Chocolat and we were not expecting it to be that good. It merged our 2 favorite pastries together: the fondant and the chocolate tart giving a fondant tart with a crunchy buttery crust and an overwhelming melting chocolate filling. We simply adored it. And the best news is that it's for 4500LBP only!
We really enjoyed our experience at Society Bistro because the quality and the taste of the food were phenomenal compared to the small amount of money they charge! We will go back again very soon to try many other items.

Average price: 17$ per person. 
Rating: 8.5/10 

Location: Saifi Suites, Ground Floor, Maroun Naccache Street, Saifi, Beirut
Phone Number:01 581999