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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Beirut Restaurant

We had a great time yesterday in Troy. Embarrassingly, it was actually our first time making it to the Troy Farmer's Market. We have lived here for two years now, but always seem to sleep in on the weekends. It was a great time, and we bought a whole range of things. I don't want to be acting like one of these girls, but there are really so many great products and you can walk in without any idea of what to eat for dinner and buy a group of things that all go together. I am also totally obsessed with marshmallows thanks to lunches at Jean-Georges in NYC, and I was able to feed that obsession.
Anyways, there are a lot of good lunch options in Troy, but I had been interested in the Beirut Restaurant since I'd seen their products for sale here. It was a short walk from the Farmer's Market. Everyone there was super friendly. I started out with a Lebanese coffee which I thought was so delicious I ended up ordering two of them.
I love coffee in general, and it was really strong without actually being bitter and had a very slight sweet aftertaste to it. Totally delicious.

We split some hummus to start out with. I love that Ali Baba has the wood fired oven and the enormous pita bread that comes out the size of a pillow and collapses before your very eyes, but Beirut's pita bread was also very good - obviously fresh and the right consistency. I love that The Hidden Cafe has extremely garlicky hummus, but I enjoyed here that the prominent flavor was the lemon juice. It was so refreshing, and I am of the frame of mind that lemon juice improves a wide range of foods and drinks. 

In between courses they brought us out some garlic paste with some pita chips. This was totally amazing -sour, bright, and crisp in flavor. Our waiter said in the past he has stuffed it into olives for martinis, and that it was amazing. If they sold this at the Pioneer Food Market I would totally buy it for that purpose alone, but I am sure that it would also be great spread on steaks or sandwiches. I just got the Lebanese salad because it was so hot outside, but Scott got the beef shawarma and that was very good too.
What was great about the salad was the dressing, and in particular the strong lemon flavor. The ingredients were all of a really good quality including the feta and olives. I also love a good stuffed grape leaf, and since Mark Bittman has said they aren't really worth the effort of making yourself, I enjoy ordering them out.

Overall, we had a great time, and the owner's mother came out to thank us for coming at the end. Everyone was super nice, and I could totally see picking up take-out from here on a weeknight. We've recently got onto the idea of picking up some hummus and pita and just putting together a simple green salad as a nice summer dinner. There is something about Mediterranean food I love in the summer time with the bright flavors and refreshing yogurt sauces. It was an adorable little restaurant with delicious food that is actually pretty healthy for you. Would definitely go back again!

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