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It's my second visit to Magnolia and the second time I enjoy some tasty food; salads, pasta and sandwiches are all up to the standards when compared to fine restaurants in town. You might not be a fan of their cupcakes, so ignore them and come for the savory menu, which has been the talk of town for some time now.
Famous for its freshly baked, classic American desserts and decor, Magnolia Bakery offers guests over 100 varieties of handmade desserts, including cupcakes, cakes, pies, cheesecakes, icebox desserts, muffins, cookies, and its world famous banana pudding. In addition to its extensive dessert menu, Magnolia Bakery Lebanon also offers a variety of savory menu items, including sandwiches and salads.
At Magnolia Bakery everything is prepared fresh from scratch on premises, all day, every day, using only the finest ingredients. Magnolia, located next to the street entrance of ABC, facing Noura and on the same floor as many of the other restaurants, has a perfect location, occupying the corner of the street with a terrace offering a view of Beirut's hustle and bustle. I loved the place so much that I took the time to write about it while waiting for my friends to arrive.
As you walk in, you are welcomed by a display of cakes and cookies that will make your mouth water. Colors and beautiful pieces covered with cream, chocolate chips, cookies, or simply left as is. Stunning frosting will make you want to skip lunch and plunge straight into dessert.
Features and décor:
- The floor is covered with stripes of wood parquet, coupled with white and black marble dots
- Facing the entrance is an open kitchen, where cakes are prepared on an hourly basis
- Cakes, bites, muffins and other sweet things are displayed and your eyes will soon be watering from excitement
- Beige wood stripes separate the front of house the from the kitchen
- All the walls are decorated with American-themed utensils and designs
- Filling the space are rectangular white marble tables surrounded by grey metallic chairs
- All tables are decorated with vases of flowers, napkins in metallic containers and artfully presented sugar
- The ceiling above the kitchen has a reflective, metallic design and 19 chandeliers hang above to provide light
- One table, bigger then the others, can host up to eight guests facing the mirror-decorated wall
Just remember, Magnolia "Bakery" is not a bread maker. In the States a bakery is a shop that bakes cakes, a dessert shop, as well as a bread parlor. So, come along and let's discover Magnolia's sandwiches and salads together.
The savory menu:
- Warm sandwiches
- All day breakfast
Let's have lunch:
- Pecan Goat Cheese Salad 17,500L.L: Warm goat’s cheese on a bed of mixed greens, baby spinach, dried apricots, dried tomatoes with honey vinegar dressing. I can safely say that this salad is one Magnolia's finest offerings. In a generously filled bowl of salad sit chunks of goat cheese covered with caramelized pecan nuts that explode into flavor. Served warm, the pecans add a certain touch of finesse that adds a dash of style to the salad. The honey flavor is like a cherry on top, putting a smile on your face.
- Goat Cheese and Veggie Club LBP15,500: A perfect, healthy sandwich. Just imagine... Roasted zucchini, roasted eggplants, baby spinach, basil, oven-dried tomatoes, mixed greens and goat’s cheese, all in a whole wheat, brown pain de Mie. Grilled vegetables laid majestically on a generous spread of goat’s cheese in grilled, lightly toasted bread. I simply loved it!
- Magnolia House Salad LBP17,000: As simple as it could be, a tasty salad, created out of mixed greens, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, black olives, herbs, marinated feta cheese, homemade croutons with a lemon herb vinaigrette... Enjoy!
- Creamy Salmon Pasta LBP22,000: Al dente cooked tagliatelle mixed in a creamy sauce and some fine bits of smoked salmon, while fresh chives add the finesse you’d expect from this generous plate, one that's finger licking good. I rarely finish all my plates, but today I did so...
- Open Faced Eggs Florentine Sandwich LBP13,000: At Magnolia, you can order breakfast all day. An open-faced pain de campagne sandwich topped with eggs (scrambled or sunny side up) and a crumble of goat’s cheese with cherry tomatoes, dried herbs and a salad on the side. Innovative!
After lunch was dessert time, and what else could I have than the famous Snickers cake, or the banana pudding? You can’t come here and not have one of those two.
- The famous Snickers cake: The trip simply starts with a crunch that forces you to lick your lips, and it turns out to be heavenly when the Snickers flavor erupts. A dark chocolate pie crust, covered with white cream and slices of Snickers chocolate on top. This cake's textures are exquisite... Feel the crunch, feel the softness, feel the caramel, all combined make you scream from joy!
- Apple double crust pie, piled high with apples and a touch of cinnamon LBP12,000: Enjoy this apple tart, baked the American way, that reminded me of a Tom and Jerry episode where the old fat lady bakes those apple pies which Tom eventually receives on his face, thrown by the mischievous mouse. An apple pie, covered on the top and filled with a generous mix of cooked apples with a cinnamon aftertaste that’s so enjoyable
- Pecan tart, a southern American classic LBP12,000: This tart is tasty if you like pecan nuts, but different since its heart is moist. I personally prefer Azrak’s famous one.
My second time, the same enjoyment… Magnolia is a great choice to have lunch.