I love this place. I’m here all the time.
It’s the best place around.
They cook it just like my grandmother used to cook it.
When you dine out as much as I do, you don’t want the same old, same old. You wanna go to a place with bold flavors, and original recipes. And when you really wanna shake things up, you should go To Beirut.
The only way to get this kind of food is to have to go To Beirut, so make sure you got your passport.
To Beirut is the name of the restaurant we’re talking about. It’s right here, in Norwood Center. It’s an awesome take-out, and sit-down Lebanese restaurant, with really affordable prices, and really tasty food.
What we serve over here is different and unique from other kind of restaurants. Everything is nice and homemade, fresh every day.
The place is run by Aziz Habr and his family, and the recipes have come down from generation to generation.
Shawarma, kabobs, falafel.
Although now, he’s shaking things up a little bit.
From traditional to a street food level, kinda type of food.
Shawarma is the number one seller here. So what is shawarma, if you don’t know? Basically it’s grilled meat, but they do it special here.
Shawarma is a slow roasted meat on an open fire.
It’s those big old stacks of meat on the rotating grill.
It can hold up to 100, 125 pounds each.
So they are cooked always, throughout the day. The shawarma’s like mesmerizing, it’s hypnotizing, it’s something about it, just the slow spin of it all. Can you just get me like a pita bread to put on the bottom, and one on top, and I’ll take that to go? They have four different types of shawarma here. You have your lamb, you have the beef, you have the chicken, and the spicy chicken. And you can get any kind, on virtually any dish here. At lunch time, they’re selling tons of sandwiches and roll-ups. You can get any of the shawarma in any kind of roll-up you like.
Everything you want, you can have on it.
So here’s how it works. You just step up to the counter, you make your order. I’ll have a spicy chicken shawarma sandwich, please. Then after you pay, you make your way to the end of the line here, right? So as they are cutting, and slicing, and stuffing your sandwich fresh, then you can customize your meal. They do it fast, they do it fresh, they do it in front of your eyes.
Because it’s an open kitchen feeling, the best part about it is they can come and talk to you, they can come ask you questions, you can show them what you’re cooking. It’s a good experience that you have with customers.
Stuffed, assembled, and grilled in a matter of seconds. Then I’ll stuff it right in my face. This right here is like the perfect metaphor for To Beirut. Traditional Lebanese, and not so traditional Lebanese. You have of course, your traditional falafel, your blend of your chick peas, and your fava beans, and tons and tons of herbs and spices inside. And this is the not so traditional falafel side, this is known as the falaffalo, invented right here, by Aziz himself.
Falaffalo is a very popular item. Myself, I like spicy food, and I try to come with a lot of spicy food. And we named it falaffalo to give it a good, real name about it also. Very unique, very different.
It starts with a regular falafel, and then things start to get a little weird, because then comes the buffalo sauce that it’s coated in. Then comes the spicy tahini on top, then a sprinkle of feta cheese over that. It’s spicy, and salty, and sharp, and savory. I have literally never seen anything like this in any other restaurant. Perfect.
These are the Lebanese nachos, different than Mexican nachos in a number of ways.
It’s a regular chip, and we mix it with our own seasoning of falafel, with chopped tomatoes, radishes, pickled turnip, and now we top it off with some regular tahini, and then spicy tahini.
First time I’ve ever ate a plate of nachos, and I actually feel kinda healthy. Now, you wanna eat like they really do in Lebanon? You do a lot of dipping. Of course, they have the world famous hummus. You wanna go for something a little more fun, a little more exotic? You go for the baba ghanoush. Baba ghanoush is similar to hummus, but it has a little more substance to it, little more char, ’cause it’s made with eggplant. What’s get you is the eggplant here, is charred, so this dip is really smokin’. Baba gha-awesome.
If you want something quick, you get the shawarma. If you have a couple minutes, you could sit down, and they will grill you up a fresh, delicious kabob. You have chicken kabob, you have the lamb kabob, you have your steak tips of course, which are incredible, or just get some nice peppers and onions, chargrilled. Kabobs here! Get your kabobs!
Now I know when most people eat Middle Eastern food, they immediately think for dessert, baklava. Here, you get knefe, this is one of the best desserts you have never heard of. The bottom, it’s like a sweet cheese, almost like a ricotta. On top, it’s crushed semolina. And then the whole thing is drizzled in a rosewater syrup. It literally is stringy, and gooey, like an actual melted cheese. See the way it’s kinda stringing?
Nice and stringy, gooey a little bit. It’s like a perfect taste combination of a cheese, and breading on top of it.
So the next time you wanna taste something with crazy flavor, you just come to Norwood, and To Beirut.