I recently had the opportunity to visit a great new restaurant in the southern part of Beirut, House of Fatteh.
The name says it all -in Arabic and English
I love a great bean restaurant, and this is a great bean restaurant. First, and most importantly, it is very clean. I've eaten beans in some dives and I hate risking gastroenteritis for a good meal. Now I no longer have to do that! I can get my sense of adventure from the menu, which has dozens of bean dish choices.
The service was great. The staff was friendly and courteous, they knew the menu, and they didn't rush me. In fact, they brought me tea to drink while I was pondering the menu, and some cardamom and cinnamon to chew on as well.
Nice. These are classy beans.
I decided that since I was at the House of Fatteh, I'd go ahead and order what may be my favorite food in the world, fatteh bilaban. The service was fast and before I could say "Hey, where's my food?" it was on the table.
The taste was just as good as the presentation. One of the things I really like about House of Fatteh is that they manage to combine the experience of a real, authentic bean house with a very upscale and modern setting. It's beans served the way we all wish they could be served. This place screams "business lunch."
Give a client this and he will buy anything.
Did I mention that the portions are large? Sometimes it's difficult to judge the scale in a photo, so I have placed my full, distended belly in the shot to give you an idea of how much food I ate. This meal whipped me, I could not eat all of it.
This reminds me of a scene from Monty Python...
This leads me to my only complaint about House of Fatteh. Their takeout service does not take customers out to their cars after they have eaten too much to move. Those guys in the kitchen look strong enough that I think 3 or 4 of them could have managed to get me into my minivan. I did manage to make it out on my own after some effort.
The meals are also priced right. Most of the menu is in the $5-$8 range which makes it a perfect place to take your kids or your buddies. If your wife is a cheap date, take her here! In the interest of full disclosure, the owner is a friend of mine, who knows how to operate a really great bean house. Drop by the House of Fatteh and you will not be disappointed.
Jesr Sfeir, In front of Hachem Gaz Station, Beirut, Lebanon