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Kalei Coffee co.

Beyond the chaotic streets of Mar Mikhael, away from the frenzied crowds and ear-splitting noise of the city lies an uncluttered café that is not to be missed. This relaxed space was created by two coffee enthusiasts and boy do they know their coffee!

 

THE BEAN

 


 

Kalei started out as a micro-roastery which later expanded into a specialty coffee shop. The owners travel around the globe to countries that produce coffee, like Ethiopia and Colombia, visiting farms in order to buy the bean that is then roasted and freshly brewed here in Lebanon. Not only that but some of the coffees they offer like the Colombian variety are both certified organic and fair trade.
So you can enjoy the authentic coffee flavor and pat yourself on the back for supporting the environment and a better life for coffee farmers.

Their coffee packs are sold both as single bean origin and blends. They can be found in many shops and restaurants, as well as both their café and on their online shop, along with different types of coffee and tea equipment. The website also offers 3 coffee subscription packages, a brew guide, and plenty of information on the origins of the beans and interesting articles.

 

THE CAFÉ

 


 

Tucked away in the backstreets of Mar Mikhael beyond the alleyways and abandoned buildings, finding Kalei is somewhat of a treasure hunt, and once you arrive, you are overwhelmed with a sense of calm.

The multi-level café has 3 seating areas, the garden (pet-friendly), indoor lounge and roof lounge.  Calling the decor minimalist is an understatement, even the colors seem to be desaturated.

Time seems to slow down in Kalei, the atmosphere is laidback, making it the perfect escape inside Beirut for a relaxing breakfast, brunch or after work drink or you can just while away the hours with a nice hot brew and a good book.

 

THE MENU

 


 

Their menu offers a little something for everyone Freshly brewed coffee, tea, alcoholic drinks, light bites, and you can find their sweets neatly displayed at the counter inside.

We love Latte art, so obviously, we ordered the Latte it had a beautiful Lotus design, almost too perfect to disturb. The Affogato was the perfect pick me up, a scoop of Raspberry ice cream drowned in rich, hot espresso, it’s like coffee and dessert!

I feel it’s important I mention, we visited Kalei after brunch, with the sole intention of having some coffee but there we were on a lovely table by the entrance, a cool breeze, and it happened! A waiter walks past us with this inviting plate of smashed avocado toast topped with a fried egg and that was that! We just had to have it. It was simple, flavourful and delicious.

 


THE BOTTOM LINE

Final Thoughts:
The atmosphere is relaxing, the food is solid and the coffee is excellent.

Additional info:
Open daily from 9am to 11pm
Check out their menu on Zomato 
Kalei Coffee Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Raising Cane’s Opens at The Spot Choueifat

RC3Raising Cane’s finally opened in Lebanon and is only a quick drive away from downtown Beirut! Yes, you’ve guessed it (If you missed it in the title) they are the newest restaurant addition to The Spot Mall in Choueifat.

Founded in Louisiana in 1996 by Todd Graves and named after his dog, Cane. This place is all about the Chicken Fingers and has become the fastest growing restaurant chain in the USA.

Read More

Lebanon’s Top Wineries

 

Ixsir Winery

Selected by CNN as one of the greenest buildings in the world, Ixsir is set in Basbina, Batroun. You can book your visit and wine tasting in which a guide will take you on a journey in the terroirs and explain the wine making process. They also have a restaurant by Nicolas Audi serving lunch a la carte daily except Mondays when the winery is closed and an extensive lunch buffet on the weekend.

ixsir_winery_visits



Château Ksara

One of the oldest wineries in Lebanon, Ksara was founded in 1857 by Jesuit monks who inherited the land and went on to produce Lebanon’s first dry wine. Visits are available all year round, you will be welcomed at the winery and taken for a tour of the historic Roman caves where Ksara’s rarest and finest vintages are stored. The tour will finish with a tasting of their wine selection.

Bekaa Valley 05 Chateau Ksara Winery Was Founded By The Jesuits in 1857



Château Kefraya

The first vines were planted in 1951 and in 1979 Chateau Kefraya started producing it’s own wine. In the early 80’s they won their first international medals and started exporting wines to France. Today Kefraya is present in more than 40 countries. They offer guided tours of the estate and vineyards where you can enjoy some breathtaking panoramic views.

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Domaine Wardy

Nestled in Zahle, Domaine Wardy’s roots date back to 1891 but the wardy family bought the company in 1997. Their wines and arak have won numerous awards in Europe, North America and Asia. Visits to the winery and vineyard are available including a wine tasting in the underground cellars where you will sample not only their wine selections but arak as well.

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Château Marsyas

Located in the Bekaa Valley, Chateau Marsyas is owned by the Saade Family who also own and operate Domaine De Bargylus in Syria. The winery was established in 2007. A tour of the winery can be arranged.

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Château St. Thomas

Château St Thomas is a family winery founded in 1990 by Saïd Touma. Their wines have been awarded more than 75 Gold & Silver medals in prestigious international wine competitions since 2002. The winery is open for tours, St. Thomas Chapel visits and wine tasting from Monday to Saturday.

Chateau-St-Thomas-vines



Domaine Des Tourelles

One of the oldest Lebanese wineries established in 1868, Domaine des Tourelles is located in Chtaura and is also famous for their Arak Brun. Described in the financial times as the most seductive winery in Lebanon Domaine des Tourelles captured admirers all over the world. The winery has also some beautiful cellars and a large garden. Guided visits and private wine tastings are offered as well.

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The images used in this post are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain.

Chez Alain – Broumana

We’ve all heard the saying “Too much of a good thing is bad for you”. Well, we tend to disagree. A beautiful hotel, stunning interior, exquisite food and impeccable service; These are the things that will make your night at Chez Alain, The Grand Hills Broumana. Apart from the beauty of the hotel and the mouthwatering dishes, what contributed the most to our perfect evening was Mounir. Friendly and helpful, Mounir was extremely attentive and knowledgeable.


The Interior


 

Just in case you were in doubt of the cuisine you’re about to indulge in, the Eiffel Tower replica is there to enlighten you. A glass of wine in hand, we sat enjoying the view both indoor and out. The interior is grand and refined, the dramatic textures and floor to ceiling patterns took us back to past times and sparked glimpses of French decadence.


The food


 

The Salmon Tartare was excellent, with perfectly chopped salmon and the right amount of seasonings. Delicious. For mains, we opted for the Beef Tenderloin with roasted baby potatoes and herb sauce as well as the seafood platter.

When we recommend a dish, it must have been pretty memorable. Luckily, this one is. Perfectly cooked meat with seasoned grilled vegetables and baby potatoes on the side. No words can describe how much I enjoyed this dish,  it was literally happiness in every bite. A must try.

The seafood platter with saffron risotto was a real treat. A tasty dish comprised of clams, calamari, mussels and shrimps with rich flavors and a generous portion. We loved it.

Whenever we see french toast available on any menu it is guaranteed we will be ordering it. We currently have a #1 spot for french toast in Lebanon that for a long time has gone unrivaled but after trying the one at Chez Alain we’re happy to say we now have 2 top french toasts in Lebanon. Beautifully presented with berries, crushed hazelnuts, and vanilla ice cream. Sweet and savory, it’s one of the best we’ve had.


CONTACT INFO

Additional info:
For reservations: 04 868922
Find their menu on zomato

Chez Alain Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

4 Bite-Worthy Burgers In Kaliningrad

Good burger intel is just as important as any other piece of information you need before visiting a new city!! Trust us this was not an easy list to make but here is our rundown of the most bite-worthy burgers you’ll find, so if you are planning to visit Kaliningrad make sure you don’t miss out on these joints !!

Огонек Гриль-кафе | Ogonek Grill Cafe

A sinfully succulent, deliciously comforting masterpiece! This place serves a multitude of great dishes but the burger truly stands out. A buttery, slightly crisp bun, a slather of mayo, lettuce and pickles, a patty the size of a hockey puck and the whole thing is topped with a perfectly runny poached egg. This burger is not for sharing … I mean just look at it!


БургерБар | BurgerBar

This place is smack in the middle of the city center. Burgerbar is hard to miss with its floor to ceiling glass walls and minimalist interior. The menu consists of pages and pages of mouthwatering burgers and your order gets prepared right in front of you !! The burgers are huge, saucy and super moist, get a few and share the love… They are definitely worth a try!


Британника  | Britannika

The Pub Burger at Britannica is a massive, juicy patty with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, gooey cheese, the house sauce, topped with 2 thick strips of bacon… Your dream burger if you will! These guys also have an outstandingly long list of draft beers as well as their very own brew. This was definitely one of our favorite spots!


Мясорубка  | Myasorubka Loft Bar

These people take their burgers very seriously, they are known for their signature black bun burgers (although you can order the boring white bun, but why would you!!) and have built a fantastically extensive burger menu with any and every ingredient imaginable!! The Falafel burger is simple flavorful and oh so messy! We cannot say that this is a healthy burger per say but it most definitely is a great option for vegetarians… If not the only option that is!

Halloween Movie Night

For those of you who treat Halloween like the most important holiday of the year, it’s finally your time to shine. Last year we had a Halloween movie night so we decided to hook you up with a few choices should you want to have your own.

1. Halloween Town

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A Disney classic! Three siblings who aren’t allowed to celebrate Halloween run away with their grandmother and discover that she’s a witch from a town called Halloweentown.

2. Hocus Pocus

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This comedy includes black cats, witchcraft and lots of laughs. Three witches are accidentally resurrected and return 300 years after being hung for their spell work.

3. The nightmare before Christmas

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Jack Skellington becomes bored with the town’s yearly preparation for Halloween and accidentally finds himself in Christmas Town. He decides to take over the holiday and kidnap Santa.  A fun musical film, the story of Jack and Sally is quite endearing.

4. Halloween

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Michael Myers is seriously scary! You might want to keep the lights on when watching Halloween. Michael killed his sister when he was little and was put away in an institution. 15 years later, he escapes and goes after his next kill.

5. Ghostbusters

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Halloween is the perfect time to catch up on the original and also enjoy the all-female kick-ass remake. Who you gonna call?

6. Casper

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No list of Halloween movies is complete without Casper! A paranormal expert and his daughter move into an abandoned mansion to get rid of the ghosts haunting it.

7. The Conjuring

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Scary movies are especially creepy when they’re based on true stories. The Conjuring is based on real investigations of paranormal experts Ed and Loraine Warren.

8. Edward Scissorhands

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If you’re looking for a Halloween movie that will make you cry rather than scream, this one is for you. An inventor dies before he could finish making a full human being named Edward. Edward’s life changes when a kind lady discovers him and takes him into her home.

9. Scream

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With 4 films so far, the original Scream movie is a Halloween classic. That’s when ghostface makes his debut and starts his murder spree.

10. Carrie

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An outcast gets her revenge on the mean girls at school using her telepathic powers.

11. The Addams Family

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The Addams are forced out of their home and find it hard to adapt to the outside world.

12. Disturbia

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After watching this movie you’ll begin to wonder whether your neighbor is a serial killer as well.

13. Harry Potter film series

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Witches, wizards, trolls and a nearly headless ghost. What more can you ask for?

 

 


The images used in this post are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain.

Coconut: Benefits & Uses!

 

My love for all things coconut started about a year ago when I was dabbling with a few healthy diets; yes I know our Instagram account doesn’t exactly inspire health but I do try to keep a balance.


How are they produced??

Coconut water comes from the coconut when it is still green, the water is colorless, slightly cloudy and sweet. In the more mature brown coconut you can also find water but in a smaller quantity and although it is very nutritious it is not as nutritious as the water from the young green coconut.

Coconut milk is a creamy liquid extracted from the grated fatty white meat of a mature coconut like the brown ones we find in supermarkets. Now unlike the water this is not easily done at home, it takes some time and a little effort!

Coconut oil is made using the milk extracted from the grated flesh of the matured brown coconut. There are many ways to separate the coconut oil, it can be filtered and kept in a jar in a cool room until it separates, it can be done by heating the coconut milk until the oil surfaces, it can be juiced from dried coconut flesh and kept in a cool room until the oil solidifies and can be removed from the cream and the list goes on ..


What are the benefits you ask ??

Coconut water is super nutritious as it is rich in natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes & amino acids and so much more. It is hydrating especially after a work out to replenish your body’s electrolytes and minerals. It also flushes out all the toxins in the body among many other great health benefits not to forget that it is a delicious and nutritious substitute for sweets and soft drinks.

Coconut milk  I absolutely love it. It can be used as a milk substitute for people that are Lactose intolerant, vegans or if you just don’t like the taste of cow milk, it adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to smoothies and of course delicious curries!
It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. I’ve also read It is super conditioning for the hair, I never used it myself as a hair mask but I can imagine it’s good.

Coconut oil  My oh my! where do I start! This little baby can be used in so many different ways I just get all giddy when I think of the endless possibilities.
I’d like to say first that not all coconut oils are created equal, as mentioned above there are different ways of extracting the oil which is why it is very important to read the label. Usually, refined and hydrogenated coconut oil does not offer any health benefits, it is usually used for cooking/baking as it has a high smoking point.
What I usually get is Virgin coconut oil, or unrefined. This shouldn’t be used in cooking because it will burn quickly (not good) but it can be added to smoothies and whatnot and a gem when it comes to personal care.
Coconut oil is one of the best multipurpose health product and I love to use it on my body, face, and hair.
I know the idea of putting oil on your face might sound crazy and counter-intuitive, especially for people with oily skin, thinking it will break them out and clog their pores, but that is not true at all!
Coconut oil, along with many other oils, are actually very good for you and will help heal and improve your skin.
Coconut oil has antiinflammatory properties so it will help to minimize breakouts and it will help break through the oils that are clogging the pores and remove them, leaving your skin feeling clean and soft.


A few of my favorite uses of coconut oil!

  • Makeup remover | Take a dab of coconut oil, massage for a few seconds over makeup (including eyes & lashes) then take a small towel or clothe run it under warm water and wipe your face with it; Rinse & repeat! Trust me it will even dissolve waterproof makeup in seconds.

  • Oil cleansing | Very similar to removing makeup. Massage coconut oil on your face for a minute (in order to heat it up on your face) run a towel under warm water, squeeze the water out and put it over your face until it doesn’t feel warm anymore and gently wipe your face. Rinse & repeat!

  • Skin moisturizer | Massage a tiny amount of coconut oil on your face after washing it. Don’t worry it won’t feel greasy or anything.

  • Hair conditioning mask | Massage it all over your hair and leave it in for as long as you want from 1h to overnight (the longer the better of course) and wash it out. Coconut oil is very soft so it will not stick to your hair and very easy to wash it out, it will leave your hair shiny, manageable and healthy. It is also a great carrier oil for essential oils.

  • Oil Pulling | Not for the faint-hearted! This method has been around for ages and you can try it with any kind of oil you want but Coconut is my drug of choice. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swoosh it around in your mouth for about 20 minutes! Yes, it sounds weird but it is said that this method will draw toxins out, whiten teeth and help maintain clean, healthy gums. I’ve tried it, was hard to get used to but I like it. Now I don’t always have 20 mins to spare for swooshing oil so I don’t do it very often but definitely something you should try.

Halloween Events in Beirut 2017

Looking for some fun and spooky Halloween events? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up 5 Halloween events happening in Lebanon this year. Boo!


Decadeath: LeboWeen

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This season, Decadeath promises you a highly entertaining mix of scary and funny with the most thrilling Halloween soundtrack, signed Rodge! Lebo-Ween, Saturday October 28 at St. Georges.
Regular: 40$ – 2 drinks from 9:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Regular: 45$ – 2 drinks after 10:00 pm
Table: 75$ – 3 drinks


Funked Up Halloween

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Friday 27 it starts with 60’s – 70’s groovy tunes with Frensawi and Mahmoud behind the decks. On Saturday 28 they hit the 80’s with Michel and Elie-Nicolas.
Free Entrance


Halloween Party: BOO! at Coral Beach Hotel

halloween_party_boo

Official DJ Guest: Jack Sleiman, open virgin drinks and cocktails
Ticket: 23$ – At the door: 28$


Halloween Party at Colonel

22281874_10159572168225691_7150236233384657338_nFor this event, a special craft beer will be brewed: The Pumpkin Ale.
Entrance: 10$ including one beer.


HalloVen Night! Latin Party

22045632_2066914733528519_3481980653768633426_nThis is not Halloween, this is HalloVen! Spend an unforgettable Venezuelan night (Latinos) this 28th of October at La Siesta Beach Resort (Khalde).
Entrance: 37$ including 2 drinks, variety of appetizers and great Latin, Lebanese and English music with Dj Alkoven!

 

 


The images used in this post are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain.

Iran Defeats Germany in FIFA U-17 World Cup

As a die hard Germany supporter in anything football related, last night’s game vs. Iran was pretty sad to watch. I must admit the Iranians played a really good game and it pains me to say they deserved to win. Their victory over Germany booked them a seat in the round of 16.

Iran’s next match will be against Costa Rica while Germany will be taking on Guinea. Let’s hope for a better performance from the German team in the upcoming matches.

5 Food Delivery Applications

You know that feeling when you’re stressed, overloaded and all you want is to binge eat a large pizza with a side of fries and a tank of coke but you don’t want to deal with the judgmental tone of an operator! Or you forgot to withdraw money (Story of my life) and you’re stuck at work with no clue of what you want to eat or if anything around you even delivers!
Well that’s all ancient history … In the age of digital everything, where human interaction is just so overrated, these 5 applications are here to make your life that much easier!


ZOMATO

We are sure you are all familiar with Zomato, an application to browse restaurants all over Lebanon, see their menu and information and leave your feedback and rating.
They recently introduced the food delivery service. The process is quick and painless, put your location, choose the restaurant, customize your dish and place your order. They will keep you updated by sending you notifications about your order status!
Zomato offers live chat support and plenty of discounts from various restaurants, the application also keeps a record of your favorite orders.


BITFOOD

BitFood will become your new best friend, it is so customizable and easy to use. It offers the option to filter by rating, type of food and cuisine, and not only can you order food for delivery you can also choose to pick up your food from restaurants and pay cash.
It has many features to enhance your individual experience; you can change the language from English to Arabic, Bitfood also saves a favorites list and allows you to quickly reorder your previous purchases; in the dislike feature you can save an ingredient you don’t like and it will be removed from all your future orders and most importantly you can track your order on the map from the moment it is dispatched. They are mainly active in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.bitfood-5.jpg


ONLIVERY

This application features more than 600 restaurants and delivers all over Lebanon.
It is user-friendly and lets you search by area, find restaurants, choose your dishes and customize them to your liking. Once you place your order, you can choose to either pay online or cash upon delivery.
You can order using their website or by downloading their application. These guys also run competitions in collaboration with restaurants, for their users to win a big number of substantial gifts. Check out their website for details!


TALABET ONLINE

With this application not only will you be able to order your favorite foods anywhere in Lebanon but you will feel good about yourself doing it because with every order you make they will donate a piece of their earnings to a charity of your choice.
Both the website and application are user-friendly. They store your order history for fast reordering, this application also offers the option of online payment and cash on delivery as well as takeaway. The great part is when using it you get to benefit from many special offers and deals from different restaurants.  


TOTERS

Toters has a hassle-free process, after pinning your location you will have a list of restaurants and the delivery time needed for each. You just choose your dish, add any special instructions and check out.
Toters currently delivers in Beirut but you can vote for your area to be added to their application. They also offer a small incentive if you choose to invite your friends so they will get 5$ credit once they register and you will get 5$ once they make their first order.

 

 


The images used in this post are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain.

Our Top 5 Miyazaki Films

5 | Kiki’s delivery service (1989)

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Kiki’s delivery service will ignite your imagination prompting you to believe things you never thought possible. It is the tale of a young witch who moves to the big city with her very talkative black cat to make a name for herself. Lots of cuteness, beautiful animation, and a very nice soundtrack.

4 | Howl’s moving castle (2004)

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This beautifully imagined film with magnificent visuals is based on the fantasy novel by author Diana Wynne Jones. It follows the story of the mousy hat maker “Sophie” who is cursed with an old body by a jealous witch and finds herself aboard Howl’s moving castle on a quest, with the mysterious young wizard, to break the spell. This fantastical animation is exquisitely illustrated and will have you swoon.

3 | My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My-Neighbor-Totoro

Taking place in the countryside, it’s the story of two little girls becoming friends with a huge forest cat. The most endearing of Miyazaki’s films. This animation is full of amusing animals but Totoro indeed stands out. An extremely friendly yet mysterious character, Totoro is now found everywhere. Ghibli studios even made him a part of their logo.

2 | Spirited away (2001)

spirited-away

This was a difficult choice as both Spirited away and Princess Mononoke are my top favorites. Spirited away won the best animated feature at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003, well deserved as this film is simply a masterpiece. Set in Japan in a land of fantasy, Chihiro and her parents take a wrong turn and unknowingly enter a magical world. Amazing visuals, details, and colors. It’s no surprise The New York Times included Spirited Away in their Top 25 films of the 21st century.

1 | Princess Mononoke (1997)

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Princess Mononoke became the highest-grossing film ever in Japan and was the first anime to win the Japanese Academy Award for Best Picture. This doesn’t come as a surprise, watching the film you will come to see why. Set in Japan, we follow prince Ashitaka’s journey who is cursed to die after fighting a demon in his village. Impressive soundtrack and astonishing animation this film has a lot to say about war, nature, and humanity. I consider it to be the best Miyazaki film ever.

 


The images used in this post are found from different sources all over the Internet, and are assumed to be in public domain.

IHOP – The International House of Pancakes

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You know that big stack of thick, fluffy dreamy pancakes you always saw on TV but thought it was too good to be true !!! Well, brace yourself.
In the midst of the huddled restaurants and shops at the Spot mall in Choueifat, you’ll find the beloved all American, old school breakfast (& more) joint IHOP (International House Of Pancakes).

IHOP’s interior is a typical American style diner, with an indoor and outdoor seating area and a small bar in the back where they make drinks and smoothies.
You’ll also find on each table 4 syrup dispensers in different flavors; strawberry, butter pecan, blueberry and the old fashioned. The butter Pecan was our favorite.


The Menu


 

The menu is big and very clearly sectioned with nifty little pictures of each item. There are a lot more than just breakfast dishes here so you’ll find everything from eggs and pancakes to burgers and fried chicken.

If you are anything like me and can never decide on one dish the combo section is the answer. One plate can have any combination of delicious breakfast foods from eggs, bacon, sausages, steak, ham, avocado, a stack of pancakes to toasted bread and butter. The combinations are many and you’ll definitely find something you like.

As for the pancakes, if you are a first timer go ahead and order the Pancake sampler and instead of getting one big stack of buttermilk pancakes you’ll get two smaller stacks with two toppings of your choice.


The food


 

The Eggs Benedict were tasty, we chose a rather simple dish that comes with avocados, they were enjoyable. We’d definitely order this again.

You’ll absolutely want to try their pancakes, after all, they are their main attraction! We tried the Raspberry & Peach pancakes, a thick stack of fluffy goodness topped with raspberry, peach and whipped cream. You also have the option to add a variety of different toppings to your pancakes.

The french toast has its own lengthy section on the menu and these dishes are definitely for sharing! The massive serving of thick french toast we chose came with strawberry, bananas and whipped cream; just drown these bad boys in butter pecan syrup and go wild. Take a look for yourself, does this even need convincing !!!

We must admit we felt reluctant to try the chicken and waffles. but after hearing so much about it decided to give it a try, and it’s good that we did.
We wouldn’t mind having that dish for brunch, lunch or dinner. It’s versatile and that good. It’s four pieces of waffles and breaded chicken with butter and honey mustard on the side, so the sweet and savory contrast is a bit mild which we liked, of course, you can always make use of the syrups to sweeten it to your liking. We also ordered fries on the side, they’re seasoned and addictive.


The Burger was okay, definitely not our farvorite. It’s a decent burger that can be great but the patty definitely needed some seasoning and we weren’t big fans of the bun, it’s too soft and doesn’t hold the pile of ingredients well.

The place was packed each time we visited, probably because breakfast is served all day long and kids eat free from Monday to Friday! There is also the 13000LL fixed price lunch menu section, which includes a main dish and your choice of garlic bread or side salad and soft drink, that might have something to do with it as well.
We tried the Pasta combo, it was good. The portion is not as large as other dishes but filling none the less, we also enjoyed the garlic bread as a side.

To be completely fair, this post is a combination of two visits and two different experiences. With that said we want to highlight one fairly important issue and that’s the service. On both occasions, the staff proved to be untrained, and a tad unprofessional with the exception of one Sandra, who was our waitress on our second visit. After a less than welcoming start, we thought we will be having the same service issues as our previous visit but we were pleasantly surprised with Sandra’s friendly attitude, knowledgeable input, and efficient service. Of course not only is this franchise newly opened in The Spot but in Lebanon and it is understandable that time for adjusting is needed, there is always room for improvement and we hope more effort is put into training the staff.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Meal highlights:
The Pancakes and the chicken & waffles

Additional info:
For reservations: 01 757262

IHOP Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

36 Hours in Kaliningrad, Russia

 

20170828_155220Time for some history!
Kaliningrad was founded by the Knights of the Teutonic Order and for almost 700 years was under German control.
For centuries it was known as Königsberg, birthplace of Immanuel Kant and a key Baltic coast port in German East Prussia. At the end of WWII, Königsberg and the surrounding territory became part of Russia.
The Germans were expelled; Russians were moved in and the city and the region were named after one of Stalin’s henchmen, Kalinin.

If all that comes to mind when thinking about Russia is Vodka, think again.

 


FRIDAY


4 P.M. Kaliningrad State Art Gallery
The Kaliningrad State Art Gallery opened in 1988, comprised of 8 exhibition rooms ranging from 150 to 500 sqm and holds up to 50 art exhibitions every year. Their library collection includes more than 8,000 books on art and culture, with lecture halls equipped with modern multimedia fitment. We were able to attend an exhibition of paintings showcasing the past of Kaliningrad.


6 P.M. Britannika Pub
A classic English pub with a vast variety of draft beers to choose from. They also serve their very own Britannica Beer. Loved the atmosphere, impressive list of beers both local and imported.


7:30 P.M. Dinner at Frau Fisher
On a corner street, facing Kaliningrad Plaza in the city center we stumbled upon Frau Fisher for dinner. They serve a wide range of German and Russian dishes. They do not have an English version but the menu has plenty of pictures showing every plate. Google translate was our best friend in Russia when it came to deciphering menus.

SATURDAY


10 A.M. Verkhneye Lake
A pleasant promenade, perfect for a morning walk or jog. Bike lanes are available which makes it perfect for cycling as well. Watch out not to accidentally walk on the bike lanes as certain bikers might not take it very lightly. Located in a somewhat fancy neighborhood you can notice the beautiful houses and impressive architecture.


11 A.M. Youth Recreation Park
An enjoyable park for all ages, various carnival rides with street food. Entrance to the park is free, the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back. We really loved the upside down house it was such a fun experience and a great photo opp.


1:00 P.M Farmer’s Market
We stayed almost 2 months in Kaliningrad, waited patiently for every weekend just to get a chance to visit the Farmer’s market taking place Saturday and Sunday in the city center facing Kaliningrad Hotel. Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, dried fish, eggs, cheeses, honey, spices and so much more sold by local farmers and growers. It became tradition to go every Saturday and feast on the best piece of pork grilled right in front of us and served with a side salad and corn bread.


4:00 P.M. Hmel
One of the things we loved and enjoyed in Kaliningrad is the overflow of good local beer everywhere we went. Draft Beer is available pretty much anywhere, even in supermarkets and the airport. Hmel is located in Clover Mall on Victory Square and serves its own beer. Their menu is pretty huge and thankfully is available in English as well.


6:00 P.M. Dinner at Madam Bushe
In the beautiful fishing village, on the pergola river strip is a french restaurant situated inside an old lighthouse. You can choose to sit in the restaurant or book a romantic table on the last floor of the lighthouse with views overlooking the river and the Königsberg Cathedral. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the fishing village afterward.


8:30 P.M. Catch the newest release
Dinner and movie never gets old. Grab a huge popcorn and coke and catch a movie at Kaliningrad Plaza’s cinema. You can purchase the movie tickets at the door from the ticket box (English available) and pay using your card to avoid the language hassle. At the time of our stay Wonder Woman was released and to our luck movies in Kaliningrad are released in both Russian and English. The English screening was empty leaving us enjoying what felt like our very own private theater.

SUNDAY


9:30 A.M. Croissant Café
One of our favorite places to have breakfast was Croissant Café, their unique mouthwatering croissants and the selection of breakfast dishes they offered kept us coming back throughout our stay. Go for the Mediterranean plate that comes with sunny side up eggs, toasted bread with strips of bacon and a Greek salad.


11:00 A.M. Take a walk around the Königsberg Cathedral’s Park
No matter how many times we visited the park we always stood in awe at the sight of the cathedral. A brick, Gothic style monument surrounded by a beautiful park where people come to sit with their friends or families, walk their dogs or simply read a book under a tree.

Very Berry Porridge

Breakfast is the best part of waking up and breakfast foods are quite the obsession of mine. Now I know porridge doesn’t exactly sound like an indulgence or at least that’s what I used to think, but in my efforts to become healthier I started testing out a few new recipes and porridge quickly became a favorite. It is so versatile and easily adaptable to any dietary preference not to mention full of soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals… and perfect for a warming winter meal or fruity fresh summery breakfast.

Porridge is made by boiling oats, quinoa, millet, buckwheat or any other grain of your choice in water or milk (or both) you can even use 100% fruit juice like apple juice, for example, to give it a sweeter fruity flavor; but the fun is in the add-ins, because up until now the mixture is very bland and flavorless (fruit juice aside) so to jazz it up, you can add your favorite fruits (fresh, frozen or dried), nuts, jams, nut butter, chocolate… You can even make yummy savory porridge but we’ll keep that to another time!

Very Berry Porridge

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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As I mentioned before, porridge can easily be made using the grains of your liking and the liquid you prefer but in my recipe, I used the Bjorg “3 céréales” made of oat flakes, wheat and spelled and unsweetened almond milk. This recipe does not contain any added sugars and is only sweetened by the banana… I’m not kidding when I say healthy!!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Bjorg “3 céréales”
  • 1/2 cup of Bjorg almond milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup berries of your choice (I used frozen blueberries & cherries)
  • 1 heaping tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts (or chia seeds, flax seeds)

Directions

  1. Add the grains, milk, and water to a pot and let boil stirring until mixture becomes thick.
  2. Mash the banana to form a paste and add it to the porridge mixture after removing it from the heat, stir well to combine.
  3. Let it cool for a few minutes. Top it off with the berries, peanut butter, and hemp hearts or chia seeds.

You can also prepare this recipe overnight and keep it in the fridge for a breakfast on the go, just add a splash of water in the morning, pop it in the microwave for a minute and you are good to go!

Hope you enjoy this simple, delicious and nutritious breakfast idea. Let us know what kind of recipes you would like us to share and until next time…
xx