Shoo? Sporting? Yalla…

September 12, 2010

… yaani, you know when you go somewhere so often and you keep saying: “I’ll write about it baadein”? Maybe you don’t… bas that’s how many times I’ve said that about Sporting Beach Club. Guess it’s those closest to the heart that have to wait… ma heik?

Though the place itself is somewhat shabby and they just paint over the mess to make it look good, they do try to make some improvements to the facility. The view is ‘fadstastic’ (especially at sunset), the food hits the spot, and the service… well… if you’re as frequent a guest as “we” are, then the service is ‘azeem… “tikram ‘ainik, madame”.

Here’s what Deedee likes to nibble on at The Deck Café: Tabboulé (bala basal), Eggplant Feluka (fried eggplant slices with mint leaves and a special labneh spread), hummos with pine nuts or balila, Hindbé, Batata bi Kizbra (potatoes with coriander), Batrakh (more like cured fish served with a thin slice of garlic on top and to die for!!). If we’re in the mood for seafood, it’s either the oven baked Loukoz (sea bass), Bizri (fried tiny fish or sardines, if you will – only in season), fried Sultan Ibrahim, Mallifa, and/or Farridi (different kinds of smaller sized ‘Lebanese’ fish… yaani, byihko Libnéné).

There’s a lot more on the menu, but Deedee’s recommendation is: Stick to the Lebo food and don’t go “International cuisine”.

They have a full bar and are generous with their portions. Wine wise, it’s the usual Ksara and Kefraya. If I’m having wine, I’ll go for the Kefraya Blanc de Blanc and, as I said before, I’ll only drink that with ice cubes in my glass… its the only way that wine goes down with me. Arak is another option. You can also sip on a Campari Soda or a Gin & Tonic at sunset… they’re refreshing and fun to drink while you’re waiting for the big orange ball to sink into Le Grand Bleu.

Sporting Club in Manara also has two other restaurants: The Feluka Restaurant, which serves the same food as the Deck Café; and the Maharaja Indian Restaurant, which I haven’t been to in a while, but last time the food was not bad.

Entry to the swimming club is LBP 26,000 for adults. For reservations call 01-742481.

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Nothing that a couple of pills of Fuckitol wont cure…

August 13, 2010

…and to chase that nausea down, I like to stop at that row of seafood vendors in the seaside village of ‘Okaibe’ on the old road to the north, have myself a dozen or two raw scallops. They open the shells right there for you, so you can’t beat that freshness. You can squeeze some lemon on top or eat them as is. The little suckers are so succulent that adding anything is really a sacrilege. (The dozen goes for only LBP 6,000!)

Then head to Sporting Beach Club with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut and celebrate life with your friends. Another day, another bottle (or more!) of bubbly.

Champagna ya Abdo!


Yislamli hal…

June 28, 2010

 … Jammal!

I have to admit this is one of the most beautiful settings by the beach. It was a long kept secret, but has -in the last few years –  been discovered. If you have a boat, you can drive/sail there and ‘Popeye’ will pick you up in his dingy. You can eat and swim… they’ll even put tables in the water for you!

The food is your usual mezza but with additional Jammal treats, including: a pickled cabbage roll, Octopus provencial (yaani, cooked in olive oil, coriander, garlic and lemon),  huge potato wedges, and potatoes provencial, to name a few. Their seafood can be grilled, fried, or oven baked – your call.  The quality of food has improved tremendously (though still pricey, but at least price-quality ratio’s a bit closer now).

Joe’s been running this place for over 15 years, fluctuating in quality over the years, but yesterday was a real treat. His son, Mickey, and daughter are now helping daddy out and they’re doing a great job. Mickey is running the new bar downstairs and making great cocktails, including this Peach Daiquiri is the perfect refresher upon arrival!    

He told me he’s got a few other cocktails up his sleeve, but I didn’t try them. I like that he’s into perfecting the art of the cocktail. Kudos to you, Mickey! Otherwise, you can have beer (they actually have a variety), local wine or arak.

Oh, and did I mention that you get mouth watering Batteekh on the house at the end? What a culmination!

Happy Birthday T, or: “O tanjō-bi omedetō gozai masu”, as they say in Japanese 😉

So close, yet so far away… Jammal is located on the old road to the north, before you get to Batroun. It’s open daily. For reservations: 06-74 00 95


What part of…

June 13, 2010

…’summer has begun’ do the rooftop places in Leboland not get?

Z and I wanted to have a sunset drink, so Bubbles (rooftop in Palm Beach Hotel) was one suggestion. Closed. What? Yeah, we dont open till next week… ?!?!@? are you kidding me?

Oh, wait, how about we go to Riviera? I like that corner bar right at the end cuz you dont see anyone and the sun sets right infront of you… It’s actually called the Sunset Bar. Sooooo, Z and I trot over… la la la…

Now, imagine this: I’m rich, I want to open up a restaurant/bar/beach club… you know, that sort of thing. I rent/buy the place, get architects to design it, pay shitloads of money to get it set up and furnished, I do my PR and marketing, I make a big deal about launching it, then… then… when everyone’s there I remember, “Ooops!!! I forgot to train my staff!!!”

KHALAS! I’m sick of unprofessional badly trained (if even trained at all in the first place) servers. For Bob’s sake we’re in the freakin’ service industry in this country. Why the hell cant anyone get it right? I have to give a few places credit – but it shouldn’t be a few… ALL is the right word.

If you don’t know how to run a freakin’ place DON’T open one!!

Z and I get to the bar and the manager is chatting with his staff – I mean, its sunset time… at Sunset Bar… right? Did I miss something here?

The bar is totally filled with crap, glasses, wine bottles waiting to be stored, etc… yaani a mess. “Pardon, feek t’zeeh el ghrad hatta shouf el sunset?”

“Merci, kteer!” 🙂

Finally the server comes. I said, first please a small bottle of water and a Pelegrino… disappears, comes back with menus…. bas ma fi Pelegrino…. tayyeb ‘indak Perrier?? dawwit el lamba! Yes! OK bring me Perrier, law samaht.

Z had a Vodka with fresh Watermelon (refreshing bas no garnish… garnish is nice, no?). I got my Campari (Soda on the side, akeed)… wait, that’s… Tonic? “please baddi Soda”… and why in Bob’s name is my Campari in a short glass? Lemon slice? (did I mention garnish?) Barman, its a simple Campari Soda… So, who did you say trained you again?

Too bad. The place could have potential. I MAY give it one more chance but I’ll have to be in a real good mood to tolerate their lack of professionalism.

All I’m asking for is good service to go along with the nice ambiance.

Life’s too short. You only remember living it once. So live it! I say, bring it on!