CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Al Zouwada, Mar Charbel: Afif's Bakery in Hrajel
Meet Afif: Ambaratouriyet el Lahme Beajin, Hrajel
If you're a ski fan or happen to live around the Kesrerwan area, you'll definitely know this one... Afif, the man behind Mar Charbel Bakery, has been an important stop during my journey around Faraya's street food joints - especially if you're looking to have a laugh while enjoying some delicious bites. I say, "a laugh" because Afif is known around the country for his funny sense of humor, his extraordinary memory and his welcoming songs, and of course his tasty Lahme Beahine.
As you walk in, Afif, standing in front of his furnace will shout out to Azar to welcome everyone. "Ra7eb bel jamahir ya Azar." And here, with a smile on his face, Azar recites a song in highest tone of voice, welcoming us in…
"Ahla bel 7akim, Ahla bel MTV," says Afif. How did he remember that I'm dentist? How did he know that I have a show on MTV? The last time I came here was like two years ago... A memory of an elephant, amazing!
Mar Charbel Bakery or better yet known by "Ambaratouriyet el Lahme Beajine" is located just a few meters away from the Hrajel roundabout. This small eatery is owned and managed by Afif Zgheib who works hard to sustain himself as well as his younger brother.
Just imagine a thin and crunchy crust, covered with local fresh meat from the village and enjoyed with homemade yogurt "Laben". Yes, it's pronounced "Laben" ... the Keserwani way. Be prepared to be amazed.
Good food, welcoming, humble, fresh homemade laban and some entertainment... The simplicity of the Zgheib brothers will definitely make you start your day with a smile ...
From the minute he opens until the minute he closes, Afif's ship is filled with hungry customers coming from all over. It was 9am already when we arrived and the shop was already filled. Everyone in here is happy; everyone is enjoying the ambiance and food.
I enjoyed Afif's character so much that I forgot all about the lack of hygiene in this place. As he says: "3al barake!"
The experience can't be written in words. Please watch the video that speaks for itself and don't miss the Apple and Steve Jobs joke.
A must try!