Lubnan: A Hankering for Hummus
I started this blog because, well…it’s fun chronicling and consuming my way through Costa Rica, but also I found such a lack of information (and misinformation) about what was out there in term of the whole gastronomic experience. I mean, who the hell writes for Lonely Planet and when was the last time they updated their CR food section? Frommers is no better either, and they have a puny restaurant guide too. So for those of you who are making a go at it here in CR, regardless of where you originated from, let me tell you… Costa Rica is poised to be the culinary capital of Central America. I truly believe that. So keep reading my posts, and I will prove it too.
For instance, who would have thought, here in downtown San Jose, you could get Lebanese food! Ok…the surprise may not be the place itself, but how I now crave grilled lamb. From the outside, it’s a nondescript little place tucked on Passo Colon, the main (and freshly paved!) road into downtown. It’s easy to miss and even harder to park, but if you can overcome those tiny little obstacles, it’s worth it.
Inside, you are transported to another world of fez wearing waiters luring you into the dimly lit, cozy dinning area. There you can sit at tables or cushions on the floor (better to smoke your hookah) and be lulled by the exotic sounds of a kanun. Or was it a rebab? Either way, you are far from the craziness of the Central Valley. I am not an expert on Lebanese food, but I know I like it. So if your mediterranean tastes are more defined than mine feel free to pick one of the dishes off the menu. BUT if like myself, it all looks so damn good, go for the mezza entre. This meal is listed for two, but easily serves more. It is basically a table full of all that is on the menu, served in small dishes.
And when I say table full, I’m not kidding. There had to be 16 dishes of hot and cold items, not to mention a big basket of pita, covering our table and everything was fresh and flavorful. Rafa and I have always been the couple that swaps plates mid meal, but with the mezza, all you do is share and nibble and drink and just enjoy. Few more glasses of wine, and I would have been sharing with the table next to me too. I could graze on the mezza at least one a week.
So if tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, kibbeh, luscious lamb, and grilled kabobs make you drool, make some reservations and hump down there (get it!…camel…hump….nevermind).
Paseo Colón, Cs. 22-24, Paseo Colón, San José, 10103
http://www.lubnancr.com/restaurante.html (Don’t even bother with thier Facebook page. It sucks.)