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If you didn't try Fouad yet, you are really missing out on a lot in your life.
Fouad is a small restaurant in Nabe3 el Mghara, Hrajel located far away from the tourists and the main road. A few know it since the owner, Fouad, doesn't know anything about marketing or social media advertising to let people know about his place. It's just it! The best authentic Lebanese restaurant serving food the way our ancestors used to prepare them. No advertising is needed as the restaurant is always fully booked.
At Fouad's, every plate has a story and every recipe has a passion behind it.
Fouad himself welcomes you to his house's balcony decorated with old Lebanese farmers harvesting items. The minute you pass the door step, and with a smile you are welcome with a proverb depending on the mood and the season. A feeling of relaxation rushes through your body as you immediately know that the journey of enjoyment starts here!
Peaceful and down to earth:
- Arak is served for everyone
- They have no credit card machine
- The bill is written by hand
- Smiling and having fun are a must
On the menu, the way Fouad describes them, with a melodious and singing accent:
- Tabboule am fattouch?
- Hommos ma3 lahme
- Mtabbal batenjen ma3 debes remmen wou basal bi nosso
- Bemye bil zeit, msa23at batenjen, hendbe?
- Batata mad2ou2a da2!
- Batata ma3 el kezbra, mouka3abet
- Arnabit toum kezebra basal akhdar tarator janba
- Basterma bidoun shaman
Some phrases are added here and there like: "Mech ghalat abadan!"
- Tajen ma3 el jawz woul lawz
- Ba2le batenjen ma3 debs el remmen wou basal akhdar
- Fishe bi t7ine
- labnet me3ze mka3zale ma3 el jawz
And here Fouad asks "Wade3 el naiy salim 2aw ghayr salim"? And if you answer 'NO' to raw meat, Fouad says: "Cancel el naiy niha2iyan!" and the choices continue...
- Makanek ma3 el batata
- Soujouk ma3 che2af el 7amod
- Sawda djej ma3 debs el remmen
- Sawda ghanam me2liye bel 7amod metfiye
- Omelette bel jebneh, me2liyye ma3 2awarma laban 7adda
- Bayd 3youn me2le 3al khebez festo2 rachet mele7 wou semsom
- Shmamit mghatsa bellaban
- Batenjene bel foron jebneh 3ala wejja
- Sader m7alwan
- Haniba3el (La7met el ketef bi wara2 el ghar)
- Kebbe ma3 laban
Those are a few of the plates offered at Fouad: As you may have noticed, the delicious, mouthwatering and fantastic preparations are not found anywhere else. Al Halabi, Mounir, Karam or Mhanna may be considered the best Lebanese restaurants in town but believe me they are far from serving such delicious creations.
As I already mentioned, every plate served on the table has a story and a proverb which the waiter says out loud as he places the plates on the table.
Here are some of the ones I could remember:
"Fattouch bi 3alli el rmouch" "Mtabbal ma3 debs el remmen bi khali 7abibak 3ech2en" "Arak m3attar bel anfas, byenzel la a7la el nass" "Batata mad2ou2a btetrok lal ness 72ou2a" "Khebez m7ammas lal chab el m2almaz" "Kebbe bel laban bteb3od 3anna el fetan" "S7oun mdawra la a7la wjouh mnawra" "Jat fwekeh la Hal maleyke" "Makanek ma3 el batata bet3ich bikel bassata" "Na3na3 bikhale hawakon yetla3la3"
The restaurant is very simple:
Wooden tables and wooden chairs, a concrete floor, trees and greenery around, no music and no sound pollution except for the background melodies of the Nahr EL Kalb river passing along the rocks.
Here and there the famous signature sentence all the waiters repeat "Mech ghalat abadan".
"Mech ghalat abadan" is what made Fouad famous. Everything is more than delicious. Plates are light and simple with a pronounced taste yet clear and tasty. The staff is so welcoming and so happy to be part of the Fouad's family. Sakr, the head waiter is phenomenal and funny: I appreciate his professionalism.
- The best dish at Fouad's is the Haniba3el (La7met el ketef bi wara2 el ghar bel fokhara)
- The only restaurant on earth where I eat garlic is at Fouad's, followed with some mint leaves.
- They have the best ever Mouhallabiya dessert in the world.
- Fattouch at Fouad's is exquisite
Nothing can describe the experience itself, all you have to do is drive up the mountains to Fouad and live in Paradise for couple of hours. Pass once, you'll get addicted.