The Lenten season is in full swing, which for fasting Christians translates to meat-free meals and abstinence from indulgences. Our Mediterranean cuisine is rich in fresh vegetables and legumes, fitting even a vegan’s diet effortlessly! And fortunately, a number of restaurants throughout the country introduce Lent-exclusive meals and items in an effort to cater to those observing.
We at Bitfood seize this opportunity to wish all the faithful a blessed and holy fasting season.
If you’re simply craving a classical Lebanese breakfast served all day, every day, Furn Beaino should be on your radar. A zaatar mankouche always hits the spot – thyme, sesame seeds, and olive oil, need we say more? But you can certainly graduate to a cheese mankouche combining Akkawi and Majdouli (braided) white cheeses. New to the delivery menu is a Fruity Halloumi salad featuring Granny Smith green apple, strawberries, and a tangy vinaigrette. Also check out Furn Beaino’s Lent-exclusive crab and tuna wraps!
Fast casual Lebanese eateries like Kababji, typically a meat lover’s paradise, offer a special menu to suit the vegan diet. Highlights include hindbeh, or steamed chicory with garlic and sautéed onions; arnabit wraps of fried cauliflower; muhammara, a spicy walnut and pepper paste; fatayer, or stuffed spinach turnovers; and kibbet laktine fashioned from pureed pumpkin. There are additionally classical salads like tabbouleh, fattouch, rocket leaves with sumac, as well as the pillars of Lebanese mezza, hummus and baba ghannouj.
Does the thought of parting with burgers find you down? Fret not, for Classic Burger Joint is boasting a variety of alternatives to their beef and chicken burgers. The Salmon nestles a grilled fillet inside a seedless brown bun slathered with tartar or spicy sauce and decked with pickles and green bell peppers. For the more conservative of fasters, there are seven different quinoa-patty burgers, from Veggie, Mushroom and Lebanese to Mexican, BBQ, and Honey Mustard. There’s even a newly released falafel burger garnished with pickled turnips, fresh parsley and tahini!
Now that falafel has got the international culinary scene in a frenzy, let’s talk about this 100% vegan wonder. The world-renowned street food blends chickpeas and fava beans along with a mélange of herbs and spices (each family has its own recipe!) to create the meatless pita wrap we all love and adore. Have you tried Falafel Karim Sahyoun yet? With a network of 20 outlets spanning the entire country, you can easily get your fill of the fried (or grilled!) spheres drizzled with tarator, parsley, tomatoes, and pickled horseradish.
Sushi hardly sounds like a pity meal to us, but if the glove fits, who are we to complain! No matter how you slice it – bound into a roll as a maki, wrapped into a cone as a temaki, sliced into strips as a tataki, or diced into cubes as a tartare – it’s sure to stroke your appetite. The menu at Sushi Ko is prolific, leaving nothing to be desired, even for those who prefer cooked Japanese delights. We recommend the Wild Dragon whose spine is formed from shrimp tempura, tuna and salmon all blanketed in salmon tataki and mango.
Danielle was born into a Lebanese household in Southern California. Growing up, she constantly found herself living between two realities: outwardly, she was an American girl who loved swinging on the monkey bars and reading The Baby-Sitters Club. Inwardly, she was Lebanese, speaking Arabic at home and forbidden from attending sleepover parties.
With age comes awareness and self-confidence, and Danielle learned to embrace these differences. She accepted that she'd forever be suspended between two worlds, and that she'd be like a tapestry, one culture woven into the other. As she grew older and worldlier, Danielle promised herself she would one day settle in Lebanon.
And here she is. Three college degrees and a few consulting gigs later, she is now in her parents’ homeland, working in strategy management, fleshing out her blog Beirutista, and contributing to Bitfood. Danielle gets her hair coiffed several times a week, like any proper Lebanese girl, and she loves the traditional mezze. But she still prefers peanut butter to Nutella. And her American accent is unmistakable.