Although I do enjoy cooking, it was nice to take a break from being the one doing the grocery shopping and making the meals to just ordering tasty food off a menu. I didn’t really plan which restaurants I would go to ahead of time, just went with the whim of the day.
And along the way, getting some inspiration for making those home cooked meals… like lightly pickling red onion or grapes, or remembering to add some edible blossoms to the plate, adding refreshing gazpacho to the menu.
Summerlicious lunches to sample the world’s cuisine
Café Boulud at the Four Seasons for French brasserie fare in Yorkville Dandelion salad with pickled red onion and grilled peach. Roulade de Poulet for the main, which was artfully plated with a mustard chicken jus. Dessert was gorgeous (blueberry compote, lemon poundcake, white chocolate lavendar chantilly) Piano Piano on Harbord for relaxed Italian The name of the restaurant comes from the Italian phrase “piano piano va lontano,” meaning “slowly slowly we go further.” The perfect philosophy for a summer vacation and getting more out of life by taking it slower. My favourite here was the appetizer of smoked burrata with pickled grapes and romesco verde. Goa Indian Farm Kitchen for Kashmir cooking in Bayview Village Spicy beef kabobs, chicken xacutti porcini with fresh coconut and sticky toffee pudding… delicately balanced flavours and very nicely presented Tapas at Embrujo for Spanish small bites on the Danforth Gazpacho, black angus sirloin with mustard sauce, and for dessert goat cheese fritters with honey and Seville marmelade (Delicias de cueso de cabra) … will have to come back for the live flamenco sometime!
Cooking Frenzy: Chef Restaurant Crazy Cooking Game
Google Play Description: Cooking Frenzy: Chef Restaurant Crazy Cooking Game APK Hey chef! Are you ready for the Cooking Game Journey? Learn and Cook scrumptious cuisines 🌮 and sweets 🍩 with your grandma and build own cooking restaurant all over the world! Play Cooking Frenzy, Chef Restaurant Crazy Cooking Game 2019 to earn infinite money 💰 from your eateries and become rich in cooking restaurant game. Travel across the GLOBE and serve variety of meals in restaurant cooking game for girls 2019! Super chef you got this opportunity to open a brand new chef restaurant game of grilled burgers 🍔, hot dogs 🌭, steaks 🥩 and much more in chef game! So come and play Crazy Cooking Game for Girls 2019! Practice your cooking techniques 🍳 and time management skills ⌛ in restaurant game. Buy desired kitchen appliances to cook and serve food quickly in chef restaurant game 2019! Complete the challenge of cooking and serving food to hungry customer’s 🙋 around the globe in kitchen restaurant cooking game! In restaurant game, upgrade kitchen tools to cook fast and serve customers on time. Decorate your cooking restaurant with some alluring interior 🎀 like walls, floors, sound system, television etc. in Cooking Frenzy, Chef Restaurant Cooking Game for Girls . Upgrade all possible kitchen appliances to improve your kitchen cooking game skills. Super Chef 👨🍳, you do not have to only cook food but also decorate chef game restaurant to make it a five star⭐ in this chef restaurant game. The more you upgrade your cooking restaurant the more you will get reputation points for chef restaurant game for girls 2019! Fast Food world is waiting for super chef in fun time management restaurant cooking game 2019. Roll up your sleeves and get ready for Crazy Cooking Game Adventure . Run Western, Italian, Thai, Chinese, Indian cooking restaurants and much more in chef restaurant cooking game. Buy new cooking restaurant anywhere in fast food world and become rich in chef game. Hire manager 🤵 for your cooking restaurant and start earning more while you will be working in some other chef restaurant game. Achieve all chef restaurant game ranks and become a master of all chefs! Best cooking game for girls 2019 is here, so get ready super chef to start your cooking career with granny and join the cooking frenzy madness ❤ Unique Gameplay In this crazy cooking game, test your restaurant cooking game skills and achieve all chef game ranks! Hire or fire manager for your cooking restaurant, and get all five star in crazy cooking game for girls. Decor Kitchen and Restaurant Decorate chef restaurant game to make it more attractive for customers in chef game. Change wallpapers, furniture, floors, curtains, sound system and much more in crazy cooking game for girls 2019. Travel Across the world Set up your own cooking restaurants across the globe and cook cuisines of every continent in kitchen restaurant game! Variety of Customers Get ready kitchen chef 👩🍳 to serve customers all around the world in cooking restaurant chef game!Download and play Cooking Frenzy: Chef Restaurant crazy cooking game free! And become a tycoon of restaurant game! So, are you ready chef for this Fun cooking game? Video: Cooking Frenzy: Chef Restaurant Crazy Cooking Game for Android Cooking Frenzy: Chef Restaurant Crazy Cooking Game APK list (0 version) Your comment (You are logged in as Guest ): Submit
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that you can book online.
Gautam’s is a family-run restaurant set on the edge of Leith, just a short drive from Edinburgh’s city centre. Gautam’s specialises in authentic Nepalese and Indian cuisine; in fact, both of the eatery’s founders began their cooking career with small restaurants in Kathmandu, Nepal. A firm favourite with locals and a well-reviewed destination amongst visitors, Gautam’s is particularly popular for group meals with friends and colleagues, although the relaxed ambience means it’s also the perfect choice for a laid-back date night. Alternatively, if you fancy a night in, Gautam’s also offers a first-class takeaway service. Inside the restaurant, the decor is sleek and elegant, with soft lighting providing a sense of warmth. Behind the bar, the huge selection of spirits encompasses everything from Scottish whisky to luxurious flavoured gin. For those who prefer a pint, there’s a range of beer and ale, and wine-lovers will be delighted by Gautam’s great assortment of red, white and rosé varietals. The food selection is impressively varied too, so whether you’re a spice-lover or prefer a mild creamy korma, the menu here has something for everyone. Begin your meal with an appetising starter: try a classic vegetable samosa, authentic Nepalese chicken momo, or trio of succulent lamb chops marinated in ginger and garlic. If you fancy trying a few different dishes, you could even choose the chef’s mixed starter: this tempting sharer comprises mixed pakora, chicken tikka, seekh kebab and juicy king prawns. Once you’ve whet your appetite, move on to the mains. These hearty, tasty plates range from vegetarian dishes like Bombay aloo and popular saag paneer, to rich chicken bhuna and spicy lamb madras. For those struggling to decide, the chefs have put together a list of house favourites, which includes a sumptuous Himalayan lamb hotpot. To accompany your main, order some freshly made naan bread, a soft chapati or a side of fluffy pilau rice. Be sure to keep an eye on Gautam’s website as the team will soon be opening for lunchtime service too.
Practical Tips on Traveling to Lebanon
Home / Middle East / Lebanon / Practical Tips on Traveling to Lebanon Practical Tips on Traveling to Lebanon View of Jounieh and Beirut from atop the Lady of the Sky in Harissa
I just returned from my 2nd trip to Lebanon after going for the first time 2 years ago. I actually felt emotional the day I was departing. After 2.5 weeks in Lebanon, I landed in the beautiful, orderly city of Boston as my first port of entry into the US for a Travel Blogging Conference . I have to admit that it was initially refreshing to come home to serenity compared to the often chaotic streets of Lebanon. But yet, I felt a sort of void, a disconnect, a withdraw of some sort. This feeling has happened after returning from certain countries and not so much in others. As I walked the clean, perfectly manicured green streets of Boston, with the smily Americans jogging by, my heart desired to be back in the ancient world of Lebanon. I have been drawn to this region of the Mediterranean and Middle-East for the past decade, finding any excuses to return annually. I have endless tips and stories to share. But first, I’d like to share Practical Tips on Traveling to Lebanon so that you will be fully prepared once you embark on your journey to one of my favorite places in the world.
There are many words and feelings that come to mind when I think of Lebanon. Just to name a few: genuine human connection. Familial bonds. Passion in local ingredients, cooking and cuisine of Lebanese food. The warm hospitality and the ever so generous sharing among everyone. Party until the sunrise. Wine tasting with spectacular views. Most mind-blowing cave (Jeita Grotto). Fresh seafood. Beach bumming. The fluid connection between nature and the outdoors. Naturally, Lebanon has become a 2nd home. Practical Tips on Traveling to Lebanon
With over 180 countries in the world (depending who you ask), most people can only take off once a year for vacation. So why Lebanon? Is Lebanon the Destination For You? Only if you love: Learning about Religion, History and Culture: The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than 7000 years ( predating recorded history ). The birth of Christianity is from this region and an estimated 40% of the Lebanese people are Christians (Greek Orthodox, Armenian Catholic Christians, Melkite and Maronite Christians). Note: Catholicism and Christianity is often intertwined as one in the same to the Lebanese ( which is often distinctly divided in the US into specific sects ) The Outdoors: Spend your days bathing in the sun, camping in the mountains, hiking in dozens of it’s hidden trails of Chouf, Tannourine and more. Watersports: Surfing, Kitesurfing, Windsurfing, Paddleboarding, Swimming, Kaying, Jetskiing, Boating, Sailing, Spearfishing and Swimming Gorgeous waterfalls Wine: Lebanon has approximately 50 wineries Did you know that Lebanon is one of the oldest wine-producing countries in the world? With it’s cool climate in the mountainside and sea breeze, it paves way for impressive wine year after year. It is estimated that Lebanon produces over 8 million bottles a year with half exported to Europe, Canada and USA. Most popular wine trail is from Bekaa Valley to the mountains of Batroûn
What I love about Lebanon, among the many countless things is the variation in topography and climate. When looking at a map, you can see that Lebanon is one of the tiniest countries in the world (smallest in Asia), yet there is so much to do. You can virtually drive from the south to north within 5 hours and that is because of traffic and road conditions. The narrow coastal plain along the Mediterranean Sea is 225 kilometers long ( 139.8 miles ) . The country shape and climate resembles California: narrow at its width and longer at its height, with its west curved along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Drive 30 minutes east from the sea and you’ll reach the mountains. Hiking and camping is a popular pastime in Lebanon, be sure to pack your hiking shoes, sunblock and hat! Tips on Preparing & Booking Your Trip to Lebanon
When is the best time to go? Really you can’t go wrong any time of the year. Though I personally recommend May, June and September due to the perfect 75 degree Fahrenheit weather and all the exciting festivals and events going on throughout the country. July & August can get hotter and more humid reaching 90 degrees and more crowded due to summer breaks but still a beautiful time to go. The winter months are just as beautiful, especially if you want to go skiing. But since I’m purely a sun and beach lover, I prefer the early or late summer months. Booking Your Flight
As usual, I prefer Skyscanner for my search to flights across the world. Qatar and Emirates have many flights to Lebanon, connecting in Doha or Dubai. There are many European and American airlines that fly the route too.
You may be asked to show your return flight from Lebanon at your departure airport or when you arrive to Beirut. Although I have not been asked to show proof, it is a known thing that you should have your flight booked ahead of time out of Lebanon. Arriving to the Airport
The Beirut airport is rather small. Getting through immigration should take no more than 5-10 minutes. What they are most concerned about is whether there is proof you have been to Israel or not. With political conflicts, it is highly unlikely they will let you know if they see you have been to Israel. If you have been, Israel unlikely would have stamped your passport but instead, provided you with a small slip. However, they might have put on a sticker on the outside of your passport that you would never know is from Israel. They are small colored barcode stickers. From what I read, these barcodes tell your potential ‘threat level’ to their government. It is best to remove these stickers if you have ever been as some Lebanese Immigration officials know about it and will refuse you entry.
If you are refused entry, you will likely just have to book a flight back to your last destination or just leave asap. Taxi Out of Airport
I was able to connect to wifi on arrival at the airport but once I went to the outside, wifi was gone. If you are able to connect to the internet, I suggest calling an uber as those prices are much more reasonable and regulated. There will also be at least 10-20 taxi drivers outside you can safely take. It should not cost more than $15 for a ride from the airport to anywhere in Beirut. Know what you should pay ahead of time so you do not get ripped off. Many taxis do not have meters so you have to negotiate ahead of time. Visa
US citizens do not need a visa to Lebanon. For other nationalities, check here. People of Lebanon
Lebanon has been named the “Paris” or “Switzerland” of the Middle-East. This became a reference prior to the civil war (1975-1990). During a thriving economy, a global presence and a diverse range of people from around the world living and working there. It has been reborn again in the past decade. Parts of Lebanon feels like you are in Europe. The physical element as well as the open attitude of many people. Communicating and Languages Spoken in Lebanon Local produce market in the Old Souk of Batroûn
Arabic and French are the first languages taught in schools.
English is taught more loosely as a 3rd language in schools and most people you encounter will speak enough to get by. The reality is that though the Lebanese people speak a mix of the 3 languages mentioned, they have formed their own version which many joke as the unofficial “Lebanese language”. It is common for them to mix Arabic, French and English all into one sentence.
Depending on the region they grew up in, they also have their own slang, such as the case in Batroûn, where they tend to add “Eish” to the beginning of sentences that really doesn’t mean anything. But as you spend more time there, you start to distinguish the differences.
A few basic phrases to know: “Yalla” : This is the most important phrase to use while traveling in the Middle-East. It means “Let’s go!” or “Let’s do it!” “Marhaba” : Hello, though most people just say “Hi” “Shukran” : Thank you “Habibi” : It’s a term of endearment meaning “my love”, though everyone uses it, including family members, male to male, female to female. “ Kee-Fuk “: How are you? to a Male; “ Kee-Feek ” is to a female. Friends you meet one evening can quickly become life long friends. Michael and Joey Chaoui, Lebanese-American brothers who happen to live in Orange County. Charo and Roro Alsatour, brothers who own Designer Bar in Batroûn. WhatsApp is the most Common Form of Communication
The most common way for people to communicate via text is through WhatsApp . If you are exchanging phone numbers with a new friend, or even communicate with your accommodation host, WhatsApp will likely be how you’ll communicate. This is the case really in most of the world so it’s a useful app to install if you haven’t already. Another common way to communicate in Lebanon is for people to leave voice messages through WhatsApp instead of text. Ethnicity, Religion and Politics in Lebanon
With a population of close to 7 million, approximately half are Lebanese while the other half are consisted of recent immigrants and refugees from Syria, Palestine and Iraq since 1975 (there is an estimated half million who are unregistered). Prior to that, there were a wave of Armenian refugees since the genocide of 1915. Though there is only an estimate of 156,000 Armenians today (4% of the population), their presence is still very much part of Lebanese history in the past century. With a political seat in government, Armenian churches, Popular streets like Mar Mikhael and Gemmayzeh named as “Armenia Street” and an international diaspora that considers Lebanon home.
There are 18 recognized religious groups in government. The most common being Maronite Christians, Melkite, Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Christians/Catholics, Sunni Muslims, Shi’a Muslims and Druze. Lebanon is a parliamentary democracy or unitary multiparty Republic that includes confessionalism (a de jure mix of Religion and Politics) . High-ranking offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups. This is an effort for diplomacy , a fair demographic distribution and to deter sectarian conflict, agreed upon after the Civil War: The President by law has to be Maronite Christian Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim Speaker of the Parliament a Shi’a Muslim Deputy Prime Minister and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eastern Orthodox
It is important to understand the religious and culture dynamics of Lebanon and most of the Middle-East. It’s different than it is in the US or Europe. An individual’s religion is tied into their identity . Similar to the situation with Jews. Though someone may not be pious or even believe in God, their family’s religion ( that has typically spanned for generations ) is part of their identity. So people you meet may ask “What religion are you?” Which is not a common question in the west. They may even be confused if you tell them that you are not religious at all or belong to a religion. The Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, also referred to as the Blue Mosque, is a Sunni Muslim mosque located in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. Marriage in Lebanon
Civil marriages are not recognized or allowed in Lebanon. As in, one must get married through their religious court. There is no option to get married in a civil/government court as we do in the west. Therefore, for those that do not wish to be married in a religious institution will fly to another country (oftentimes Cyprus, just 45 minutes away) for a ‘civil marriage’. They then show the civil marriage certificate to the Lebanese government and they will then be recognized as an officially married couple in Lebanon. Though most travelers are not going to get married in Lebanon, it’s a vital part of their society to note. St. George Maronite Cathedral in Beirut Many Lebanese People Do Not Consider Themselves “Arabs”
This is a controversial topic among the Lebanese people. While Lebanon is listed as one of the 22 countries of the “Arab World” or “Arab States”, many Lebanese Christians consider their ethnic roots from Phoenician (European) origins. Through arabization, the Arabic language is spoken though it does not make them “Arabs”. Others will debate that they are in fact “Arab Christians”. This is a topic of conversation people would gladly share their views on as they differ from person to person, family to family. ( And with politics and controversial topics in general, people are a lot more open to discuss here ) Homosexuality
Technically by law, it is illegal to “go against nature and have sexual relations with the same sex”. However, it is rare that they actually fine or jail people for it. They basically turn a blind eye, but the reality is that people are also not parading on the street open about being gay. Though Lebanon is more liberal than it’s neighbors, strong familial ties, religion and traditions also mean that a lot of the older generations have a tough time accepting homosexuality as something of the ‘norm’. And even if they do, many are more concerned of what society and family/friends think.
There are bars and clubs that are geared for LGBTQ and there are rarely police that actually take the time to crack down on it. The takeaway is: it’s better not to show affection for same-sex couples while traveling in Lebanon. The Lebanon-Israel Conflict
The beef between the countries of Lebanon and Israel is really between political parties. Hezbollah, one of Lebanon’s most powerful political groups ( with strong ties to Iran ) has had conflict with Israel though it does not represent the majority belief of the people. Many Lebanese people I spoke to, especially the younger generations have said that they wish the conflict would go away as they have met Israelis while traveling in Europe or Sri Lanka ( a common destination ) and see so many similarities between their 2 cultures.
If you show any proof that you’ve visited Israel on your passport, the immigration officers will likely not allow you entry into Lebanon. Lebanese Society & Class Systems
The reality is that every society and country in the world has class systems. Some cultures care more than others. It also depends on how one was raised. The reality is that the class system is widely discussed in Lebanon. Many people, especially the older generations do not necessarily see themselves as One people. They are common topics of discussion of distinguishing who is truly Lebanese, who’s last names reveal that they are of Syrian and Palestinian descent. Specific religious sects are also distinguished as well as regions people were born in. Personally I see all people as equal but since I am a visitor, I am also very interested in learning about the way people view these topics. In general, people are not nearly as concerned with being “politically correct” as in the US/UK so offensive opinions may come out.
It’s part of the ethnography, the anthropological approach in my travels. I simply listen and ask questions respectfully as a fly in the wall. Migrant Workers in Lebanon
Migrant workers from much poorer areas of East Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia such as the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen come to Lebanon to work. Though wages in Lebanon are considered low on a global scale, these workers get paid more to work here than their home country. Typically their room and food is covered so everything they make is sent back to their families. As a visitor, it may take a few days to get use to this dynamic that most people avoid talking about. But it is very much everywhere and in your face. Most middle class to upper class families will have at least one maid in the house that cost them approximately $150-400 per month.
There’s no way to know how they are treated in private, though it is pretty obvious that many locals do not see or treat them as equals. Just as a suggestion, make a small effort to be courteous to everyone despite their “class” or religion. Simply smile and treat them as equals. It can brighten up their day. Transportation Around Lebanon Taking Public Transportation
Public transportation in Lebanon is not great although it’s doable when going to major cities along the coast. You just have to prepare for possibly doubling the time to your destination. Schedules can sometimes be found online or at the bus station ahead of time ( though not very organized ). The bus drivers do not always speak English but you can mention your destination and they will drop you off. Ie: If you want to be dropped off in Batroûn, you hop on the bus headed to Tripoli and just ask the driver to drop you off as they pass Batroûn. Taxi VS Uber
Taxis are available in all the main areas though uber is a lot safer, more reliable and with fixed prices. Taxis are safe to take though as long as you know how much you should pay. Negotiate ahead of time as they will likely try to charge you double to triple what it should actually be. Ask anyone around how much it should cost from A to B and they will gladly tell you.
Shared taxis are also an option. It may take you slightly longer to get to your destination but it will be a fraction of the cost of getting a private taxi. For day trips, it is common for people to hire a taxi for the day as calling a taxi or uber in secluded locations may not always be available. Cost can be anywhere from $100-150 per day. It’s better to ask a local to book for you instead of booking yourself as a foreigner. Should You Rent a Car in Lebanon?
Lebanese drivers are quite insane. I’d put it on a scale of 9/10 comparable to driving in India, though not as crowded. However, renting a car and driving is possible if you consider yourself an adaptable, aggressive driver. You may need 2 days to get use to it. Renting a car is practical as public transportation is not reliable or very efficient. Taxis can get incredibly expensive so if you want full freedom to explore, consider renting a car.
Currency Used in Lebanon
The 2 most common currency used is the Lebanese Lira/Pound and the US Dollar which is 1500 Lira to $1 USD . You can use either and credit cards are accepted in most places except small markets or street stalls. I would as usual, recommend using your credit card as much as possible to gather points as well as to get the best possible exchange rate. ( And of course, use a credit card with no foreign transaction fee ) How it the Wifi Connection & Electricity?
Though parts of Beirut can look and feel like a first world country, in reality it’s still a developing country. The Electricity and Wifi situation reflects it. It is common for electricity to go out at any time of the day, usually just for a few minutes. People are so use to it, you just shrug it off and go about your business until it’s back on.
I would highly recommend buying a sim card after arriving in Lebanon. This way, you have access to phone calls when there is no Wifi access as you will need it to reach friends and to call taxis. Over half of restaurants, bars and hotels will have wifi access for you to use. Though, wifi can still be spotty unless you are at a five star hotel. What to Pack in Your Luggage
As mentioned above, the variation in topography in Lebanon is one of its many beauties. There is really no wrong time to visit Lebanon but I prefer the warmer months of April to October. Specifically, May, June and September where you avoid the massive crowds of summer break as well as the more intense heat in the core of summer months. You can go from the sea to mountain within 30 minutes. Go from surfing in the morning to skiing in the afternoon. What to pack? Bug Spray Hiking Shoes Bathing Suit Water Shoes: As beautiful as the beaches are, most are filled with pebbles and rocks so it will be easier for you to walk and swim with water shoes Small First Aid kit: Pepto bismol, bandaids ( though you could also buy this there )
If you plan on spending some time dining and enjoying the best nightlife Beirut has to offer, be sure to pack your sexiest, chicest going out clothes. People ( both men and women ) definitely doll themselves up for nights out in town, even more stylish than in Hollywood! So dress to impress! A view of the Gärten by Uberhaus in Downtown Beirut. Nightlife in Beirut is arguably one of the best in the world. The most happening clubs are usually located in Downtown that go on well into the sunrise. Smoking & Alcohol
With Lebanon being located in the “Middle-East”, many Americans cluster them into one giant country with the same rules and laws heard from news. This is foolish thinking. As we have covered above, Lebanon is one of the most liberal ( if not the most liberal ) country in the Arab region. Alcohol is sold in most restaurants, cafes, markets and small convenient stores. Whether drinking on the streets is legal or not, it’s totally common for people to picnic with alcohol anywhere they decide to post up. Drinking and driving is also common, so if you feel that your friend has had too much to drink, it’s best you take a taxi instead.
For those that do not smoke, you should be warned that Lebanon is a country filled with chain smokers. Smoking cigarettes and rolled up tobacco is everywhere, including inside restaurants and bars. It’s nearly impossible to avoid. Marijuana is strictly illegal though it is still common for people to find it. Food in Lebanon
Lebanese food is arguably one of the best you’ll find in the Middle-East. Cuisine ranges from traditional Lebanese food to a fusion of all the ethnicities that have immigrated here in the past century. In Beirut, you’ll find a wide range of options, from family-owned small cafes to the finest luxury dining options. Craving Sushi, Indian, Korean or Mexican food? Yes, Beirut has all these options too.
As with any country, each region and village has it’s own specialties. So it’s worth asking the locals what their local favorites are. Seafood is also very popular, especially near the seaside along the coast. From Tyre in the south all the way north to Byblos and Batroûn. Arak is a traditional Arabic liquor
Arak is a white-anise flavored, Levantine unsweetened distilled spirit. This liquor typically contains 40-65% in alcohol content in the anise drinks family. I love this drink but it is definitely an acquired taste. You can say that it’s the most traditional, popular drink in Lebanon drank at home and in gatherings. Though the younger generations prefer beers and cocktails.
Many families make it at home and alcohol content can go as high as 95%. Arak is translucent, but typically one would add equal amount of water to dilute the alcohol that turns it into a cloudy white.
Arak is traditionally made of 2 main ingredients: Aniseeds and Grapes. It is closely related to: Rakı, Absinthe, Ouzo, Pastis, Sambuca, Aragh Sagi. And also popular in neighboring countries of Syria, Palestine, Israel, Greece and Turkey. Traditional Breakfast in Lebanon served at Tawlet on Mar Mikhael (the trendy, hip area) in Beirut, Lebanon Salim Sur Mer Restaurant in Anfeh, an hour and a half drive north from Beirut
Lebanon is Known for the Arts
Lebanon welcomes artists and creatives. You can virtually fill your itinerary up for 2 weeks floating around various museums, artist popups and meetups. I attended the opening exhibit of “Traces of Drawings” at Nabu Museum in Chekka and was in awe by the liberal and cultural art displayed from the late 1800s. The endless creativity has carried on through today. There is no censorship of art as in other neighboring countries. Jean Khalifé art at Sursock Museum in Beirut Fishermen “Pêcheurs”, 2007 by Jamil Molaeb, displayed at Nabu Museum in June 2019
Arriving & Where to Stay in Lebanon Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport (airport code: BEY) is where you would fly into. It only takes about 20-25 minutes to get into the main area of Beirut which should cost no more than $25 in a taxi.
Depending on your preference, Lebanon has everything from $25 rooms on Airbnb and hostels to 5 star luxury resorts. My number 1 preference is always airbnb as I get to have my own room, stay in a residential neighborhood, feel like a local and have access to a kitchen. Couchsurfing is also popular though I have not used them before.
Be sure to read my other posts on Lebanon:
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Spirit House Cooking School
Address: 20 Ninderry Road, Yandina QLD 4561Telephone: (07) 5446 8977
Dedicated to Ms22 for taking me along as part of a birthday gift We had a wonderful time together
The Spirit House Cooking School is in Yandina, which is a small town about 90 minutes drive north of Brisbane.
I want to say, over the last four or so years, I’ve been chatting with my middle daughter about doing a cooking class together.
Ms22 has a passion for making and decorating cakes. She has a side hustle thing making and decorating cakes for friends and other people who hear about her by word of mouth. On average, each week, she is making and decorating a cake for someone’s birthday, engagement, Christening, or some other important life event. She’s even made me a birthday ice cream cake. Postscript Trigger warning Rant below
When I started writing this post the weather in Canberra was cold and dreary and I’d just had a colonoscopy the day before. I was feeling delicate. My anal sphincter was tender, I couldn’t fart with confidence, and my fingers were numb with cold. You’ll know when you get to the rant. Canberra residents especially will know.
Words starting flowing and one thing leads to another. You may be surprised, I’m a resident of Canberra which is the Australian Capital Territory (the small territory). That said while being a native-born citizen of Australia, I identify first and foremost as a Queenslander and if I was going to identify as a Territorian it would be as a Northern Territorian (the big territory). Connections
I hope every parent has a ‘thing’ they like to do with each of their children or a ‘thing’ which characterises their relationship. For Ms22 and me, it’s a common interest in cooking and eating. More so the cooking for her and the eating for me.
I try to visit my daughters and parents every couple of months. Sometimes, it stretches to three or four months, and sometimes, the gap between visits is as short as a month. That said, my visits are usually a flight from Canberra on a Friday evening and a return on the following Sunday afternoon. This doesn’t leave much time, and I like to make sure I do a few things with everyone.
Cooking classes on Saturdays used to clash with gymnastics training, and now they clash with work. It makes it almost impossible to do something like this together on one of my regular short visits.
One of the things I’ve started doing over the last few years has been to take a week’s leave over the first week of July to escape the Canberra winter and to give my skin an opportunity to get moist again. This year, Ms22 planned in advance and managed to find a cooking class we could do together that didn’t clash with her work schedule and which would fit in with my leave arrangements. Cuisines
We looked at a few options including different cuisines. For me, I’m partial to uncomplicated relatively easy cooking which fits with my current dietary requirements. By that I mean, I’m a lazy cook and I’m hoping to eat more clean foods and less processed foods. I’m also partial to Asian cuisines, and by Asian, I mean South East Asian cooking. Spirit House
The classes that stood out, especially based on the reviews were those held at the Spirit House Cooking School in Yandina. The Spirit House Restaurant has a reputation for Thai cuisine, although if you look at the menu, it covers more than Thai food and has strong elements of Indian and Chinese cuisines. Likewise, the Spirit House Cooking School is much more than a Thai cooking school. What about the carbs?
Ms22 suggested we do the “dumplings and buns” class. My immediate reaction was mixed. Mixed in that I immediately thought YES! but soon after it was followed by the thought, “What about all those carbs?” The second thought was soon dismissed by overwhelming emotions knowing that I’d be spending time with Ms22 and cooking with her.
The classes start at 9.30 with a request that participants arrive at 9.15. That meant a pleasant drive with Ms22 and a need to ensure we could find somewhere for coffee before we arrived. Coffee
Through some serendipity, and by serendipity, I mean confusion between me and Google Maps we stumbled upon Pioneer Coffee Roastery.
I had a really good flat white. The coffee was rich but not excessively strong. It was served with a chocolate-coated coffee bean which may have also helped me feel a bit euphoric. Whenever I’m away from Canberra I sleep poorly because I don’t travel with my CPAP machine.
Address: 41 Pioneer Rd, Yandina QLD 4561Telephone: (07) 5446 8099
For readers from North America, a flat white is a coffee made with steam frothed milk which seems to be something impossible to find in your part of the world. I should qualify that, I know some places in North America are trying to cater for people with a different coffee palate, but the efforts I’ve tried never seem to hit the mark. Powered by Inline Related Posts Don’t let Google Maps deceive you
The Spirit House Restaurant and Spirit House Cooking School is easily missed as you drive along School Road if you’re approaching using Google Maps because as you approach from along School Road, the voice emanating from the Google Maps app suggests you’ve reached your destination at the T-junction of School Road and Ninderry Road. Technically you have because at that point the restaurant and school are on your immediate right but you can’t see anything but trees. The driveway for the restaurant and school requires a right-hand turn onto Ninderry Road and if you’re like me and enjoy accelerating with vigour you could blink and miss the driveway.
On arriving, there is plenty of parking space and the environment of the restaurant and school is really very inviting. It’s leafy and green with water features on the grounds. The restaurant also houses a bar for patrons to enjoy the serene environment.
We found the entrance for the cooking school easily and on entering were greeted with a smile and asked to confirm our names. We were given a folder each which contained a black coloured Spirit House apron and a folio of recipes for our class.
As much as I’d love to share the recipes here, I’m anticipating I’d be breaching copyright because the recipes are from the many cookbooks which the Spirit House sells. That said, I doubt there’s a problem with me writing the names of the dishes we learnt about during the class.
I didn’t shoot many photographs because I was focussed on spending time with Ms22 and getting the most out of the class. What to expect
Including Ms22 and me, we had thirteen participants and one instructor, namely, Kelly, who used to be the head chef for the Spirit House Restaurant. In addition, we had another chef from the restaurant there learning the ropes to become an instructor as well as a kitchen manager who works behind the scenes almost invisibly removing used and ‘dirty’ cooking implements so they can be cleaned and returned to the benches quickly.
Some of the other participants were local to the region while others were from other states.
Over the course of four and a half hours, we learnt many cooking skills, did some food preparation, and ate some really yummy dishes. Knife skills
Amongst other things, I learnt some extra knife skills, a neat trick to make curly spring onion strings, how to make tamarind water, and some facts about woks.
I miss cooking with gas. In the small one-bedroom flat I rent, the stove is a ceramic topped electric unit. I almost never cook with it. I prefer a portable induction hob. I now only cook with one hob. I love my induction hob because it heats up a frypan or saucepan really quickly and gets almost the same amount of control I can achieve from gas. That said, with a basic and cheap wok which is made with thin steel, the metal gets hot quickly and cools quickly depending on the contact with a heat source. An induction hob is technically not a heat source and round-bottomed woks don’t really work very well because wok cooking involves not just the heat from flames at the centre of the “base”, but also the heat from the flames licking the sides of the wok and requires the balance of moving the wok with your non-dominant hand in and out of the flames as well as slanting the wok over the flames to heat specific areas all while using your wok shovel in your dominant hand.
Towards the end of the class, as the dishes are coming together, we all sit at the dining table and enjoy the starters. After some more cooking, we sit again and enjoy the main meal. The cost of the class includes wine, beer, cider, and soft drinks. A cocktail can also be purchased from the restaurant bar which by the time we sit for the main meal, is open. Recommendation
I’d happily recommend the Spirit House Cooking School for anyone of any level of cooking skill. Check out the school’s website for the types of classes available. I can vouch for the quality of the instruction and the pleasant surrounds in which you will find yourself learning new skills and new knowledge. Get ready for the rant…
The Spirit House Cooking School is an easy drive from Brisbane and if you’re not from Brisbane, it’s worth knowing that Yandina is on the Sunshine Coast of the greatest state of the greatest country. The Sunshine Coast has fantastic beaches as well as a hinterland filled with places worth visiting. If you’re into walking and hiking, there are the trails and climbs associated with the Glass House Mountains. There are some theme parks and zoological gardens (if that’s your thing) too. Getting ranty
If you’re from interstate or overseas, Brisbane is a great ‘base’ for a visit to the Sunshine State. Better than Sydney or Melbourne, Brisbane has a temperate climate, friendly people, a pleasant attitude, and a laid back nature. It’s a really big country town with modern infrastructure and a state of the art technology focus, especially in the biotechnology fields. The University of Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology call Brisbane home. Unlike the other ‘country capital,’ namely, Canberra (where I reside), Brisbane gives you a sense of fun and excitement, vitality and vibrancy, freedom and opportunity, Brisbane unlike Canberra, doesn’t take itself too seriously. Best of all, Brisbane is an important feature of Queensland. Brisbane though doesn’t represent Queensland, it may be the capital city but it’s not Queensland. To get an idea of Queensland, you need to travel to other parts of the greatest state. Not just the surf cities and towns, and not just the coastal cities and towns, but also the hinterlands and places west of the Great Dividing Range. Powered by Inline Related Posts
So to be balanced, Brisbane has the worst roads in Australia. It’s shocking that the road structure is so appalling. If you own a car, passengers not from Brisbane sitting on the left will feel terror as the left side of the car slopes into the gutter. That said, while the roads in general in Canberra are good, the roads of the Northern Territory of Australia are the best. The thing that drags Canberra down is the appalling manner in which the ACT Government funds road repairs. The word permanent doesn’t seem to be in their vocabulary. Pot holes reappear with monotonous regularity every time it drizzles let alone rains. I mean the Top End of Australia has proper rain, you know monsoonal rain, and the authorities have the competence to be able to repair roads properly. End rant Yummy Lummy is not sponsored by anyone. Photographs
This is a gallery of photographs. Click on one image and then scroll through the photographs. Ms22 at the Spirit House Cooking School Kelly from the Spirit House Cooking school Kelly from the Spirit House Cooking school Ms22 at the Spirit House Cooking School Dining table at the Spirit House Cooking School Steamed bun and spring rolls at the Spirit House Cooking School Me at the Spirit House Cooking School Me at the Spirit House Cooking School Cooking fried rice at Spirit House Cooking School Dining table at the Spirit House Cooking School Fried rice at Spirit House Cooking School Son-in-law eggs at Spirit House Cooking school Pork dumplings at the Spirit House Cooking School Kelly from the Spirit House Cooking school Questions and answers What other classes does the Spirit House Cooking School have on offer?
If you go to the website you’ll be able to find not only the types of classes but the dates on which the classes will be held, as well as the prices.
Now that I’ve done one, I’d be tempted to drive up the night before and experience the restaurant, spend a night in Yandina or somewhere else close by on the great Sunshine Coast, get a surf in in the morning, buy a coffee from Pioneer Coffee Roastery, and then arrive for a class. What was your favourite part of the class?
The eating I reckon. No seriously, it was spending valuable precious time with Ms22.
It is also an environment where photography and social media is encouraged. That said, I didn’t really shoot too many photographs. I was focussed on the class.
I did notice many of my classmates had their point and shoot cameras and smartphones out snapping photos and shooting short video clips. What’s one thing you learnt that you’ll do again and again?
I learnt a neat trick with spring onion. With a sharp knife, run the tip of the blade up from the base to the tip from inside the green leaf (tube) of a spring onion. Roll it up from the base to the tip with the inside facing outside and press to form a square. Lay this on a cutting board and with a sharp nice slice ‘strings’ of spring onion. Pop that into ice water and watch the spring onion ‘strings’ curl to form spring onion ‘curls’ which you can use as an edible garnish.
Here’s a bonus tip. If you want to fry your own garlic slices, make sure you use a mandolin for uniform thickness and put them in tepid oil to start. Heat the oil up until it’s bubbling and allow the garlic to cook. Doing it this way avoids the oil ‘spitting’ and avoids burning the thin slivers of garlic.
Hot & Spicy:Indo-Chinese cuisines delight City gourmets
BHUBANESWAR: Monsoon is making everyone look for comfort food. While it does get humid during the day, evenings are pleasant and breezy with heavy showers. It’s at this time foodies crave for something hot and spicy, but healthy. Orissa Post interacted with some chefs and foodies who shared their views on Chinese craze.
Chef Sachin said Indo-Chinese food is very popular among youngsters and foodies. “My restaurant is often packed with them. The feel-at-home comfort of Indian Chinese food is accentuated by garnishes. Most dishes are covered with fresh coriander leaves, and depending on the dish, sliced onion rings too. But it’s the ingredients that distinguish Indian Chinese food from real Chinese food,” he added.
Rajvir Pathak, a city-based food blogger and big time foodie said, “Chinese food always attracts youth as Indo-Chinese varieties are the quickest meals on earth. Be it a Roll, Pakoda, Chilli Chicken, Chilli Paneer or Vethki-in-wine, they all require just a few minutes to prepare and taste quite good.”
Chinese Special Soup, a tempting combination of prawns, chicken and black mushrooms is a super hit with white collar employees who find it tasty and filling. The Tomato Egg Soup by Chef Abbas has many followers who swear by its quality.
The most popular dishes are Indian-Chinese soups garnished with chilli vinegar and sweet-and-sour dishes prepared with equal amounts of sugar and vinegar which often has paneer, chicken or prawns tossed in.
This hybrid style of cooking, neither truly Indian nor Chinese, is gaining fans everywhere.
It’s Reyn Time! said: ‘Indian hot’? So, not really all that hot? We don’t tend to do that macho bullshit with our own food. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re not used to it then some of it can be quite spicy but stuff like vindaloo isn’t exactly representative of our cuisine. Click to expand… Click to shrink… I love spicy this was some next level I can’t finish my food hot.
Food Critics: The Best Patios In Kansas City In 2019
Summer is the time to enjoy food and drinks outside on the patio for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.
When it comes to eating outdoors, Kansas City area restaurants have a different atmosphere than traditional sidewalk cafes in Europe, says Jenny Vergara of Feast Magazine.
“We have much more of a patio party thing happening in Kansas City,” Vergara says.
Kansas City area restaurants have their own atmospheres when it comes to patios. Some boast views of downtown, others have rooftop games and some are suitable for the kids.
Here are the Central Standard Food Critics’ recommendations for patios in the metro area.
Mary Bloch , Around the Block : Fox and Pearl — Fox and Pearl just opened and is the newest restaurant on my list. It has a cozy patio enclosed by trees and wood fencing with a brick terrace and wood tables. It’s a great place to enjoy delicious cocktails along with the duck pate with strawberry jam or a bowl of homemade pasta. Extra Virgin — Extra Virgin is always hopping. It’s one of my favorite hangouts for happy hour because so many menu items are half price. On Monday nights it’s a great place to enjoy one of their pizzas; I also love the octopus however it’s prepared. Gram & Dun — Gram & Dun is a hotspot on the Plaza. Thanks to the fire pits, it’s great for cocktails (and potato chips), even when there’s a chill. I love the shrimp and grits and the chicken and waffles with homemade hot sauce. The Campground — New owners Christopher Ciesiel and Cristin Llewellyn renovated the former Genessee Royale Bistro space, and there’s now a full patio. Grab a burger or a cocktail and listen to the trains go by. Tribe Street Kitchen — Hop on the streetcar and head down to the River Market for some global cuisines such as Thai, Indian and Mexican at Tribe Street Kitchen. I like the chicken mole street tacos or the Korean short ribs. Black Dirt — Black Dirt’s patio offers an opportunity for some upscale fare — don’t miss the rack of lamb with polenta, olives and harissa sauce — or a really good burger (and fries) in a casual urban setting. Messenger Coffee and Ibis Bakery — Head to the rooftop with your coffee for a tremendous view of the city. Get a pastry or cookie and you’re set for the morning. For a more substantial meal, try the veggie hash with black beans, roasted veggies, beet mole, pickled red onions, micro cilantro, or the sesame tartine with avocado, caramelized onions, fresh cheese, root veggies and micro cilantro topped with poached eggs CaVa — Champagne and fries? French pastry? Croque madame or mussels? Sip the afternoon away at the lovely patio next to the champagne bar, where you can’t go wrong ordering the board with local cheeses.
Danielle Lehman, Open Belly Podcast : Rye Leawood — The patio at Rye in Leawood makes me feel like I’m on vacation. It’s such a beautiful setting, near the pond and walking trails. I really enjoy a glass of wine with the Butcher Board of assorted meats and pickles. Aixois Bistro — Aixois in Brookside has the best people-watching. I like to go for breakfast: The avocado toast is one of the best I’ve had, and I’ve been told the secret ingredient is sumac. Flying Horse Taproom — Flying Horse is the perfect neighborhood hang. The flatbreads are thin and crispy, and they have more than 20 beers on tap. I also love that it’s kid friendly. Brewery Emperial — The patio at Brewery Emperial is more like a beer garden with picnic tables and yard games, and they even have occasional yoga classes. The tri-tip sandwich is my go-to. I haven’t seen many Kansas City menus with tri-tip, which is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin that’s more lean than a brisket. KC Bier Co — This is the perfect place to both enjoy a beer and entertain your kids simultaneously. The gravel rock patio is a perfect playground for little ones, and there’s often live music. I like the classic bratwurst or the giant pretzel — with a cold beer of course. Banksia — This Australian bakery downtown has a quaint patio that almost feels like you could be in an East Coast city. It’s one of my favorite breakfast spots. I love the corn, zucchini and cilantro fritters with avocado, refried beans, fried egg, bacon and pan roasted cherry tomatoes. Chicken N Pickle — Once again, if there’s a patio where I can eat good food, have a drink, and entertain my kid, I’m there. I love Chicken N Pickle for an evening of pickleball, but the spicy fried chicken sandwich with pickles and spicy slaw is quite good. Bella Napoli — Bella Napoli is another charming neighborhood spot with a great patio. I love the bolognese and the arancini. Parlor — This enclosed patio is great year round, even if it’s raining or snowing. I love that you can try many different cuisines in one spot. My go-to order is the spicy pork bibimbap from Sura Eats or the mole chicken wings from Karbon. Lenexa Public Market — I consider the entire area outside of Lenexa Public Market as its patio. There’s live music occasionally in the summer, so you can bring the whole family and enjoy the evening. Inside the market, I love the butter chicken or chapli kebab at Sohaila’s Kitchen, or, if they’re not sold out, the tamales at Red Kitchen Tamales.
Jenny Vergara , Feast Magazine : Percheron Rooftop Bar at Crossroads Hotel — With yard games and TV screens turned to the big game, this rooftop patio offers drinking and dining options to match the unique views of downtown and the Crossroads. It has a list of breezy summer-inspired cocktails and a selection of local beers, while the food feels like satisfying and shareable bar snacks. Trezo Mare — It’s worth waiting for a seat on the patio at Trezo Mare. Order a glass of wine or a local beer and pair it with fried calamari or marinated olives to snack on while you watch the sun set over the city. Il Lazzarone — One of the best parts about Il Lazzarone’s patio (aside from its spacious size and matching bright red chairs) is that it stays open until 1:30 a.m. most nights, so it could begin or end your night out on the perfect note. Get the margarita pizza and a salad to share. Harry’s Bar &Tables — Whether it’s for the lovely historic building, the full food menu or the quality cocktails, service-industry folks, musicians, locals and tourists alike flock to this iconic corner bar. Sit on the multi-level patio and enjoy a frosty cold beer, cocktail or glass of wine, and along with the hummus trio, Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese, or a burger, sandwich, tacos or pizzas. Stock Hill — This is a fabulous patio with handsome wood tables and mesh chairs. For a great date, order a steak and sides to share and or a smattering of lighter appetizers and dessert along with a couple of great cocktails or a bottle of wine. The Farmhouse — The Farmhouse chefs continue to push farm-forward dishes such as vegan pupusas with spicy charred corn cakes topped with grilled vegetables and chile sauce. For a meatier option, there’s the espresso rubbed pork chop with new potatoes and an orange chili glaze. Café Equinox — Café Equinox is a buzzy space offering Thou Mayest coffee, teas and pastries. Grab an iced coffee and a blueberry pop-tart and browse the dazzling array of plants, planters and accessories at the shop. This is the perfect space to just relax and breathe. Local Pig & Pigwich — Moving from its original East Bottoms location to the City Market has given Local Pig room to grow. They inherited a large indoor and outdoor seating area where guests can lounge under an awning as they watch the bustling market come to life. Get the falafel burger made with a chickpea patty, olive tapenade and tzatziki and a can of rosé. The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge — This sophisticated cocktail lounge provides some of the most creative, ambitious and delicious craft cocktails in Kansas City. Outside, the Monarch Terrace offers a more relaxed experience where the seasonal cocktail is a take on an orange creamsicle. The Restaurant at 1900 — Restaurant at 1900’s patio is the perfect meet-up spot for appetizers and drinks or a casual dinner in the summer. For dinner, get the chilled cucumber soup with an order of the tomato and bulgur salad with heirloom and green tomatoes, cucumber, root vegetables, macadamia nut, cured olive, creamed feta and vinaigrette. Blvd Tavern — Start your weekend mornings with brunch on the patio at Blvd Tavern. I like the cinnamon roll with a vanilla orange glaze and the corned beef hash with potato, onion, smoked tomato red-eye gravy, poached eggs and marbled rye toast.
Listener and Instagram recommendations: The Mockingbird Lounge — The patio isn’t big — there’s enough room for about 20 people — but it has a great uninterrupted view of downtown. It also has a great atmosphere with live music that’s always a good time. The tacos and the pork sandwich are delicious. Nick and Jake’s On Main — Nick and Jake’s patio is slightly secluded because it’s in between two buildings, but it’s a nice getaway in the city. Vivilore — You could drive past it and not even know it was there. Overgrown with ivy, the restaurant has a patio and garden with a European feel complete with flowers, fountains and lights. Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse — With beautiful flowers, nice fire pits for cooler days and nearby train tracks, Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse is a great place to sit outside with a glass of wine or beer. JJ’s Restaurant — It’s like a little oasis with an amazing happy hour and great drink and food specials. The pizzas are amazing. Cafe Trio — Cafe Trio has a great atmosphere, amazing view and is good for people watching. Harry’s Country Club — Harry’s has a huge, spacious patio and great happy hour deals. The atmosphere is more laid back than the name suggests. The Westside Local — Its patio has a beer garden.
Rylie Koester is an intern for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at @RylieKoester . Copyright 2019 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3 . © 2019 KBIA