My parents have been going to Mounir Restaurant for the past 38 years.
And it remains the restaurant of choice for my visits to Lebanon. Its quality of food, generous portions, pleasant ambiance and value for money has not changed in 38 years.
A feast at Mounir is best enjoyed when there is a large group of people to sample the most foods and when you have 3 to 4 hours for lunch.
Bonus is a cat waiting in a planter at the entrance welcoming all guests.
Of course, a Lebanese feast is not complete without Arak. My readers would have seen references to the best Arak around - El Massaya.
While typically Arak is drunk in a little cup, some of the people around the table were drinking it in large glasses. But El Massaya is so pure that no one was drunk despite an average of 4 - 5 glasses each.
Along with Arak, a mezza spread appeared - humus, baba ghanouj, potatoes, pickles, olives, cheese rolls, labneh, fatoush, halloum sails and on and on.
Throughout, warm freshly baked pita baskets kept on appearing to add calories to the mix.
A must on a Lebanon trip is Kebbeh Nayyeh. You have seen all the versions of Kebbeh on the blog, but not this one.
This is the same recipe, but served raw with olive oil - heaven on earth.
After a view break, the main meal appeared, comprised of every meat option.
There were fried Melva fish with fried pita bread.
And a selection of grilled chicken and meat kebobs.
Garlic lovers would have been in ecstasy.
This is pure fresh garlic whipped with olive oil that comes with any grilled chicken in Lebanon.
Half a teaspoon put me over the garlic edge.
And then there were desserts.
A fresh fruit spread along with two desserts:
Bou Sfeir jam - peels of sour oranges turned into jam as a full peel.
The other dessert is a white and creamy one.
Ashta (cream) covered with fresh dates jam and its syrup.
The dates are whole with the seed removed. Mix and enjoy.
Three hours later with very satisfied tummies, the welcoming cat is still there; though looking sleepy in the afternoon sun.
A perfect feast and all for about $30 a person. Mounir, when are you opening in Vancouver?