Driving on Mansourieh highway all the way up to Beit Merry, it came to my attention that almost all restaurants are fast food places. Start by Abou Arab, Sandwich w Noss, Burger King, and Mc. Donald’s, to name a few. Al Pesto stands out, an Italian eatery selling pasta, pizza... burgers, sandwiches salads... everything food!
American decor, black walls, and a black ceiling, wallpapers of wood slices, decorative signboards, red and black leather seats, a big cashier; anyway, there’s not much to say because the restaurant doesn’t look Italian, doesn’t look American, not Lebanese for sure; bizarre to say the least!
On the menu, as I described earlier, you can find everything! All kinds of salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, and pastas... it’s disturbingly big!
One person does it all helped by a cleaning agent in the kitchen! He takes the order, serves the tables, even runs back to the kitchen to cook... prepares, runs back to the dining room with white powder on his hands to serve the plates... while the other customers wait.
I was excited to try the food; I ordered a sandwich, a burger, pizza, and pasta.
- Tagliatelle four-cheese: not bad at all! Four kinds of cheese mixed in a creamy way and where pasta bathes. A bit too creamy, too watery, too American... not the way I like it, but good enough.
- The burger is a new discovery: Swiss mushroom with cocktail and ketchup sauce? Shredded mushrooms, non-cooked, laying in a thick condensed patty looking and feeling like Kafta. The bun feels homemade but has a certain chewiness to it because of microwave heating. Where is the Swiss cheese anyway?
- Submarine: a homey sandwich made with good tender bread, loaded with vegetables, an adequate amount of sauce and cheese -that’s not melted enough — a good, fast-casual dining sandwich.
- Pizza: thin crust, fluffy in the middle and crunchy on the sides, white sauce, melted cheese, salmon, and chunks of lemon. Italian pizza with a Lebanese bakery inspiration; it’s good enough.
Pizza and pasta are surely not Italian but inspired by the Lebanese cuisine; they have a homey feel to them. The submarine is a sandwich I enjoyed but surely not the burger. I’ll work on the decor, get a chef or waiter to help, remove burgers and sandwiches that do not fit the concept or turn it into a "Lebanese snack". The restaurant can have a future if someone professional comes to help.
- Credit or card payment is not available.
- Staff needs serious training for service and food handling in the kitchen.
- Decor needs to be clear: Italian or Lebanese cafe?
- Divide the menu items by two.
- Make sure to change the furniture.