‘Hood eats: Lebanese

So many fresh discoveries await my eager-beaver attitude towards this cool little neighborhood where I now live. Effervescent with my ever-growing fondness, and with a brunch buzz, I thought up a new blog feature where I visit all the many dining establishments not far outside my doorstep and pair with them wines for delicious take-out feasts. Here’s the first one.

Cave de Saumur ‘Saumur Blanc’ Lieu-dit Les Pouches 2013
Loire, France
$12
Bodega Classica Hacienda Lopez De Haro Crianza Rioja
Spain
$10
Lightbulb! Brainstorm! Action! I was on the train returning home from playing tourist in the city I now call home and that sudden, lightening strike of hunger hit the very core of my belly.

The first thing that came to mind was easy, it was the dive-y little hole in the wall in my neighborhood serving up Lebanese fare that I could not stop thinking about. I oh-so desperately was just positively dying to give it a try. That night, I decided, was the night.

A quick scan of the menu on my phone was all I needed for the certainty that I’d made the right choice. The only problem was, too many options! There were so many dishes on the menu that sounded amazing.

I perused the menu on the train, gave it far too much thought on the walk (I kept having to rewind the episode of Serial I was listening to) and yet my final choice was not made until I stood at the tall counter where a very pretty young woman was taking orders. I basically ordered meat and potatoes. But not just any meat and potatoes.

In the back of mind, as I ordered, I was thinking of that half full bottle (I’m such an optimist) of Saumur Chenin Blanc. I decided to pair it with the Batata Harra, and I did good.

Chenin Blanc, I recently learned, comes in varieties ranging from super sweet to super dry and a few other stops in-between. All from adjoining regions of the Loire Valley in France.

I also had an unopened bottle of Riojo Crianza that I thought could be a nice coupling with the lamb and beef shworma. Indeed, another winning combo.

The creamy, spicy, potato with salty pickle bites (Batata Harra) went splendidly with the glass of crisp, dry, lightly fruity Chenin Blanc.

Flavorfully spiced, although maybe a tad dry, the shawarma coupled nicely with the Rioja.

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It was a good thing I was wearing the new sweatpants I had just bought! For I was in full-on feeding mode.

With the meaty shawarma the Rioja was damn good stuff. The earthy, leathery notes of the wine were the perfect foil for the musky meats. Shawarma, pita, tahini and repeat.

I had wanted everything on the menu. I studied it on my phone while on the train. I was so stressed out! And then like a dumb-ass I realized,”dude, you can totally go back for more another day!” Umm, hello. “Chill out,” I told myself. You’d think I was about to get shipped out to Siberia or something.

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