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Meats & Bread: Hardcore Barbecue in Beirut...
After long months of waiting "Souk el Akel's" Meats & Bread has finally opened on Gemmayze street. Meats & Bread, by the self-taught chef Riad Abou Lteif, promises a pleasant experience blended with good music, attentive service and great food inspired by the street cultures of the world. I love what this guy does and fell in love with the place the minute I walked in. You're welcomed warmly to enjoy the food.
Riad has always been famous for his delicious meat at Souk el Akel. He is the man behind the local and popular WTF Burger and Ferdinand's renowned burgers... From this passionate food innovator and meat master comes "Meats & Bread" the restaurant.
Just a few meters from the Red Cross next to La Pizzaria, Meats and Bread is a non smoking place with loud eighties music playing in the background.
I loved the interior design of the place! One wall is made of bricks and painted in white, another one is made of ceramic tiles, and a third left in its original industrial state... the fourth is covered with concrete. At the entrance, the engine of a Beetle is turned into a sofa, next to it is a pizza oven transformed into a display for sweets under a ceiling decorated with colorful water pipes and lights hanging. Filled with a large communal table and several other dining corners the restaurant overlooks an open kitchen where the food is carefully prepared.
From the menu:
- Rations (flapping wings, angels and demons, pan de maize, upside down onion tart, tot boss, beetroot cured smoked salmon)
- Meats and Bread (holy grail brisket, pulled skinny pig, sausage links roll, sloppy Joe, WTF burger, Ferdinand burger, beef cheeks taco, bao of the day, sexy hen)
- Boring Salads (burnt napa, seasonal vegetables, confit medley, barred beetroot, green peas falafel)
- Hardcore Meat Trays (your choice of meat and sides)
- Cuts From the Butcher (dry aged, wet aged, compound butters)
- Sweet Tooth
Back to the place... I felt good there! The huge smoking furnace, the wide grilling barbecue, the metallic casseroles suspended on all sides, the passionate people working behind the bar, the books and the neon sign among others. It was time to eat!
Meats & Bread serves food with passion and culinary know how! Riad is not like any other cook you may know. Originally an architect, Riad left everything to follow his dream. From Ferdinand Hamra to Souk el Akel and now Meats & Bread, please come here with an open mind to experience Riad's creations.
- Bao of the day is homemade to amaze. It is stuffed with brisket or pulled pork with horseradish mayo, pomelo pulps, quick pickle onions, black sesame seeds and togarashi powder. If you think you've had better Bao in Lebanon, think again. Non oily and lightly sticky Chinese Bao served on a special wooden stand, filled with a cocktail of flavors and wonders. Perfect quality meat in an amazing accompanying mixture. It's about every single ingredient Riad has thought of and mixed together.
- The WTF burger is all about the patty. It's one of the country's best patties. A premium piece of meat that's not synthetic in texture or flavor.
- Beetroot cured smoked salmon with apricot glaze, smashed potatoes, herbs and sour cream served with seasonal pickles. Lightly burgundy colored salmon, juicy and flavorful with sides to add more flavors to the main deal.
I'm a big fan of Riad's work in the kitchen. The way he mixes ingredients together, the way he handles food, the way he thinks of food! Riad takes food to levels one would never even think about.
I'll be back sooner than you think.