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19 June 2013
Wanderfood Wednesday: Bab El Mina in Byblos

Lebanese tabbouleh is the BEST
Lebanese tabbouleh is the BEST

After our Jordan adventures, we took a quick side trip to Beirut to visit our Habitat teammate Hanine. We were treated to an amazing whirlwind tour through an amazing city by an amazing friend, who reinforced the notion of Arab hospitality through force-feeding. After stuffing our faces at breakfast the first day, Hanine and her boyfriend Hadi drove us out to the town of Byblos for a late afternoon meal of seafood treats.

Byblos is quaint and more than a little touristy, and as such it evokes nearly all Matador's "words and phrases we never want to see in travel writing again."

It's "sun-dappled." Really, look at this:
sun-dappled


It's both a "gem” and a “jewel.”
gem!

jewel!


It's "breathtaking." Might even be "nestled" into the hillside.
breathtaking


And, as we were about to find out, it "boasts" phenomenal seafood.
boast!


Hanine and Hadi took us to Bab El Mina, a lovely restaurant in the heart of Byblos's fishing port. Since we're total omnivores, we let our friends order whatever struck their fancy. While they assured us it'd just be a few small plates to sample, in true Arab fashion the ensuing cavalcade of deliciousness was a wonder to behold.

and so it begins
and so it begins

shrimp and calamari
shrimp and calamari

baba ganoush
baba ganoooooooush

saucy shrimp
saucy shrimp

just a few nibblies
just a few nibblies

crispy salty goodness
crispy salty goodness

somethingorother fish
somethingorother fish

a spot of dessert
a spot of dessert


Hanine entertained us with some coffee ground fortune-telling, and Mark got in on the act.

apparently we're all destined for a long, happy life
apparently we're all destined for a long, happy life...

...or maybe a mudslide
...or maybe a mudslide


After all that pigging out (yet again) we needed to walk it off a bit, so we took a stroll through the historic quarter of Byblos. Lots of cool stuff to explore... medieval buildings, an adorable little souk, a funky Maronite Catholic church.

Crusader Fort
Crusader Fort (unfortunately not open so this was as close as we got)

love this cobbled courtyard
love this cobbled courtyard

creepy-cool stonework
creepy-cool stonework

Eglise Saint Jean-Marc
Eglise Saint Jean-Marc


Not a bad way to spend an afternoon/evening.

Hadi and Hanine


If you find yourself in Beirut with a hankering for fresh seafood, it's worth the drive out to Byblos.

Bab El Mina Restaurant
Byblos Port, Lebanon
+961.9.540475


No, I didn't use all 10 forbidden words in Matador's list, but if you're curious about what they are, the link's below. For more mouthwatering travel food photos, check out Wanderlust & Lipstick's WanderFood Wednesday.


RELATED LINKS:
* browse all Byblos pics

* Wanderfood Wednesday: epicurean despot
* all Jordan posts
* all Jordan pics
* Matador Network: 10 words and phrases we never want to see in travel writing again 

A love note to Team Pedro

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments
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