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It has been two years since I last visited Fawzi up in Faqra... I remember the food as being good and most importantly full of life and passion. During the week we were filming "48 hours in winter around Lebanon", I made sure to visit Fawzi again. Food is better than great now and I could see improvements on all fronts, generosity of service, and plates full of delicious Lebanese offerings.
On the hills of Faqra, before reaching the army checkpoint towards Mzaar, is a restaurant which has expanded yet has maintained their good quality of food. Yes, the service is bad and there's a lot of pretentious attitude, but one can't deny that the food is really good, really good food... Albeit at a high price.
Rabaet Tilal el Assal: an old house, a pile of wood for the winter season, glass windows and inside this square space, a warm and soothing spirit. Enter into this space, where wood covers the ceiling and walls, while a brushed concrete covers the floor. Enjoy the beautiful view of the valley while seated on the sofa that surrounds the entire space, or take one of the wooden chairs.
Lunch is served:
- Fattouch: fresh, crunchy, beautiful looking and a light feel, a blend of small pieces, cut homogeneously, and easy to eat. I loved its lemony flavor, which makes all the difference. I could have had a large portion all on its own for lunch.
- Labneh: it feels homemade, is rich with the aromas of the mountain; the labneh is fresh, has a thick texture and is very enjoyable. Add some olive oil and enjoy.
- Local goat cheese: awesome! It reminded me of my childhood. I love this cheese, which I used to eat every day in our summerhouse. A chunk of white cheese, unsalted and moist, prepared carefully by the shepherds of Keserwan. It's a special version of the goats cheese, which isn't dry and comes soaked in salt water before being served. A must try.
- Grilled cheese rolls: eight grilled rolls, fresh and tasty with an interesting burnt taste on the sides.
- Hummus with meat: a very good recipe. Soft hummus and tender meat combine for a smooth and enjoyable dish. The fries are homemade, crunchy, well salted and perfectly cooked.
- Meat Ras Asfour with pomegranate molasses: as good as you’d expect it to be.
- Fried cheese rolls are addictive!
- Special labneh mix with black olives and diced tomatoes is surely not to be missed.
- Eggs and Kawarma served in a metallic marmitte. Juicy and fatty, as they should be.
- Grilled potatoes cut in slices and served with butter.
- The best of the best are the fries. French fries with a lightly crispy crust and a tender heart. I'm a fan! I believe their photo speaks for itself.
- Grilled meat is so tender! So juicy and so tasty!
The improvements since last time:
- The bread is served in individual nylon bags.
- Ambiance of the restaurant is fresh and homey.
- Prices justify food prepared a la minute at home.
- Flavors are really really good.
A recommended restaurant for sure.