You still on vacation, Crabby? On Saturday I hung out with our friend Betty Cracker. I wanted to check out Cariwest in Churchill Square for lunch, especially to find out what the Cariwest Rum Shop was all about since I’m a big fan of rum and rum drinks. It was after 3:00 when we got to the square and every food tent had huge lineups. We were hungry right now so we decided to bail – and damn, I forgot all about the rum.
I thought it would be a good opportunity to give Cafe Beirut (10812 Whyte Ave.) another look. I had a felafel there on the first day they were open and have been meaning to come back to try the rest of the menu.
The mezza for 2 ($29.95) was just what we needed – a sampler of eight dishes from the menu meant for sharing. We left the choice of dishes in the capable hands of genial owner Sam Tabet.
First we quaffed a couple of non-alcoholic malt beverages that come in fruit flavours such as lemon and peach.
Very soon, our server brought fatoush (a green salad topped with baked pita chips that unfortunately were no longer crisp). I was delighted when she dragged another table over to us because we were going to need more room for all the food we were getting.
Then the parade of dishes began: humus, felafel, yabrek (stuffed grape vine leaves), musakaat (baked eggplant with chickpeas, tomatoes and onion, and entire cloves of garlic roasted in their skins – fantastic!), baba ganouge (mashed eggplant with tahini), mudamas (fava beans with garlic and lemon) and one beef dish (shawarma, I think, served on a bed of humus), and pita bread to sop it all up with, of course.
We agreed that the surprise standout was the mudamas – a rich dish of mashed fava beans, lemon juice and olive oil, served slightly warm. A plate of this with some pita would make a lovely, satisfying lunch. I also really enjoyed the smoky, charred flavour of the baba ganouge.
We were very full and happy when we left. I didn’t feel the need for another meal that day.
On Friday we had a small farewell lunch at Cora’s for our friend and erstwhile colleague Jane Fondant who is moving to Red Deer. Jane has agreed to be our newest guest blogger. Farewell, Jane. We’ll miss you.
Posted by Jean Poutine