On our latest episode of Mechwar, we chose Byblos to discover one of the oldest cities in the world, but not the way we already know it. Yes, this city witnessed the discovery of alphabets, but NGNO rediscovers the city in its own special way.
Most of us have been here a thousand times. We have walked around its ports and castles like most tourists do... of course all its rich culture the wax museum, the old souk, Pepe Abed, the fortress and lately the new pubs and restaurants quarters where more than 30 shops share the same court. But have we enjoyed the city the way the locals do on a daily basis?
Our day started with breakfast, a loaded one prepared by Joker. Joker is a small restaurant that prepares authentic street food including all time favorites Lebanese bites: hummus and foul. It was my first stop and one that prepared me to understand the spirit around here.
Next on the list was Abou Assaf, where crunchy kaaka is prepared. Byblos is known for its kaaka, which I often travel the distance to get. A round crunchy kaaka covered with sesame seeds... Add some labneh and enjoy. Assaf and his parents start their day very early, meticulously baking these round shaped UFOs. Their manakish are also as good their kaaka, so it was man'ouche time for me along with the Laban drink, the famous Ayran.
After some hummus and manakish, I wanted to enjoy some eggs and raw meat for the whole breakfast experience to feel complete. I have been craving some raw meat for breakfast for so long and Zgheib, behind the Serail, was the perfect choice. Mr and Mrs. Zgheib prepare some homemade bites including a hefty breakfast of fried eggs, awarma and raw meat.
For lunch we went for some casual bites like the Shawarma of Rock, which has been using the same mix of ingredients and offering the same flavor for the last 40 years.
There was a lot more to see and try… I enjoyed some more lunch at one of the region's finest restaurants, Adonai, where everything is prepared and serving everything in clay pots…
What a day - come enjoy it with me by watching this video… I have fallen in love with Jbeil even more, a reference for Lebanon and the world alike.