One anonymous critic traveled the world to give you 30 reasons to book a trip now.
El Soussi is not in a fashionable part of Beirut; the dining room is as basic as they come. But this is also one of the most welcoming restaurants I visited, despite the language barrier, and where I felt as though I was experiencing the warm, generous heart of the city.
It is a given that Lebanese breakfast is superior to most other kinds of breakfast—who wants cornflakes when you can have fatteh? At El Soussi, a famed morning spot, Raji Kebbe fills a bowl with crisp pita bread, spoons warm stewed chickpeas over top, then covers it in a blanket of tart yogurt. The final touch is a crown of sizzling pine nuts, cooked in lamb fat with gobs of garlic.
The bread becomes moistened but retains much of its crunch, the crispy pine nuts and garlic zap the other ingredients with flavor, and the chickpeas provide a comforting, creamy texture.
There are also salads, plus hummus topped with meat or ful (stewed fava beans), which may be the best hummus you’ve ever eaten. Chicken livers are cooked with onions, and the eggs with awarma, aka lamb confit, are not to be missed.
Kebbe has been cooking in the L-shaped nook of a kitchen in his modest storefront for 43 years. His warmth and energy as he mans the single open flame are part of why El Soussi is legendary. If I could choose to eat breakfast at one restaurant every day for the rest of my life, this would be that restaurant. facebook.com/elsoussiresto
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