Our Tripoli street tour started at Akra, a renowned foul and hummus place known as ‘the cave’. In the heart of the old souk, a few meters away from the clock, Akra is a wonderful place and I'm happy we came here.
Foul, hommos madkouk, foul bi thini, hommos lahme, malizia and fatteh, everything is prepared without garlic unless you ask.
In this old setup, very much like a cave, different rooms welcome people as soon as the sun rises in the morning. Stone arcades, metal works, windows and old utensils decorate the walls. The only modern thing in there was the LCD TV displaying photos of the old souk.
An army of women worked hard to satisfy all the guests while two men, one handling the cash and kitchen and the other touring around the tables, make sure the quality remains as high as possible. What struck me here was the cleanliness and calm. Come through the door and you'll feel like you’re sitting somewhere away from the chaos of Tripoli and the busy streets outside.
The place's details are so nice: you are welcomed by the open kitchen to the left, before reaching an intersection that takes you to one of the rooms. A water fountain serves fresh water distributed free to all tables. Inside is the cave of Ali Baba: a low ceiling, stone arcades, light yellow colors and big chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, adding just the right amount of light. To the left is a large room with a very high ceiling and some stairs taking you to the upper floor, where another restaurant waits to be discovered.
We chose a table and waiting until two plates of vegetables landed in front of us: bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, pickles, beetroot and olives.
- I started with the Malaysian plate, a mix of fried nuts, pepper on a bed of a fine hummus mix. What a plate! A soft hummus mixed with olive oil, spicy seasoning and those nuts that made all the difference. Amazing to say the least.
- The normal hummus is again, excellent. The work and effort put into it is clear. A beautiful flavor of chickpeas is followed by an aftertaste of lemon. Yum! Another plate has the same core but covered with minced meat and fried nuts... I knew I’d eaten something great that day.
- Fatteh is one of my favorite breakfasts: in a bowl filled to top, a mix of overcooked chickpeas mixed with a cocktail of nuts and topped with laban and pine nuts. The mix just melted while I felt every spice used and every premium ingredient used to create a masterpiece.
- Foul on the other hand has this flavor, this fresh lemon feel, this premium olive oil... This perfection put on a plate was so good, even without the garlic. You feel how good it is and how great the ingredients as soon as it reaches your mouth.
While eating, the girls passed around asking us if all was OK. It was all unbelievable, to find such a place in the heart of a local neighborhood. Everything was clean, the food was excellent, the staff was welcoming and overall, it’s a place that will make me travel from Beirut just to eat there.
Tags: Lebanese Food Foul Hummus Hommos breakfast Street Food Tripoli Fatteh North Lebanon akra hommos madkouk foul bi thini hommos lame malizia fatten
Categories: Street Food
Suitable For: Authentic & Traditional