December 07, 2014 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Let's Get Lost in Bourj Hammoud... A City of Life (The Video)

Let's get lost together in Burj Hammud ... a city that has a lot to be discovered, experienced and enjoyed… A city mapped with small streets and on every street you’ll find a series of small shops… enter each shop and find someone working with their hands to make something original – from handcrafts, to food, jewelry… There’s a history in each… Today we head down to Maraash area and discovered the finest food and finest artisans.

A bit of background on Burj Hammud…  A suburb in North-East BeirutLebanon in the Metn district and is part of Greater Beirut. The suburb is heavily populated by Armenians. Bourj Hammoud is an industrious area and is one of the most densely populated districts in the Middle East.

Bourj Hammoud was founded by survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and expanded mostly during the 1930s. In 1952, Bourj Hammoud became an independent municipality and is currently a member of the Metn-North group of municipalities.

Most residential buildings and houses in Bourj Hammoud were built from the 1930s to the 1970s. They are usually from two to four stories high. The housing structure looks Balkan, with wooden balconies hanging over the mostly narrow streets of the suburb. Most commercial activity is done at street level. The city is dynamic and industrious.

Most streets in Bourj Hammoud are named after Armenian cities such as Yerevan and rivers such as Arax. Many streets are named after cities in modern-day Armenia and Armenian cities now in Turkey, such as MarashSisAdanaAragatsCiliciaArmeniaYerevan, etc. Many of these city names remind the inhabitants of historic Armenia in general, and Cilicia in particular, where most Lebanese Armenians hail from.

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I headed down to the part of Burj Hammud around the municipality… Parked my car and got lost inside this rich city… that waiting to be enjoyed…

For our first visit to Bourj Hammoud, we started our day at Wannes where we had a tasty man'oushe and Saroukh Sojok followed by another breakfast at Resto Foul, a place famous for their Foul Halabi and Mammounieh… Yes more than one breakfast… and trust me there was a lot more… 

If you happen to be in the area, make it a point to stop by Abou Hassan for a visit. Foul, Hummos, a special Fatteh with tahina and eggs with meat not Kawarma... Abou Hassan has been preparing these tasty creations for the last half a century. 

One of my favorites was definitely Ghassan, who does a very tasty kaaka filled with Akkawi cheese and red spicy sauce alongside some famous Armenian bread called Tahinov Hats.

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And believe it or not, Lahme Beajine has a king... The king of Lahme Beajine is Ghazar, who offers a selection of five different meat sandwiches. Lahme Beajine with Laban, with pomegranate, with meat, meat-free with mushrooms and soujok Lahme Beajine…

Prepared in a special oven, the taste of these Lahme Beajine is breathtaking… and original to say the least. For the first time I tried a special Lahme Beajine with eggplants. It was exceptional.

If you’re looking for the peek of originality in taste then Rass Nifa is your address. Nifa is a well-cooked lamb head. It is boiled; cooked and grilled to perfection … the outcome is meat that's tender like butter. The tongue, cheeks and eyes can be eaten and believe me they are worth trying. I don't remember ever eating something that soft and smooth before. 

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A lot of street food discoveries yet to be enjoyed…

I then enjoyed a hefty lunch at Badger, the rural association and restaurant located in the heart of Burj Hammud where some really good food is waiting to taste and enjoy…

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Come get lost with me in Burj Hammud… now you have an idea of what to see and try. (Check out the photo gallery)

Visited Places:

  • Badguer +961-1-240214
  • Ghazar Bakery +961-3-254835
  • Ghassan Bakery +961-1-256947
  • Wannes bakery +961-1-249507
  • Abou Hassan +961-1-266 888
  • Resto Foul +961-1-263984

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