Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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As far as I know, McDonald’s prides itself in the quick turnaround of its customers’ orders – hence the term fast food.  I mean they’re not cooking slow roasted baby back ribs.  We’re talking hamburgers and fries, dipped in boiling hot grease to ensure quick turnaround (and clogged arteries).  This is why I am assured that I have officially found the SLOWEST McDonald’s in the World.

Fix your eyes on this:

According to the receipt, the order was taken at 8:55 and the customer (in this case Ryan) did not receive his burger and nuggets until 9:21.  I’ve seen Mickey D’s that have little stop watches for their employees to push them to get their orders out more quickly.  The stop watch equivalent here is being pushy.  Pushing your way to the front of the line. Pushing past the other customers and pushing the person making the order.  The flipside of not pushing is waiting indefinitely for your order.

Unfortunately, it took less time to eat this than it did to make.

City Mall McDonald’s – I officially confer upon you the title “The Slowest McDonald’s in the World.”

2,500 Lebanese Pounds

Yesterday, I ate a Potato Sandwich – a sandwich made with a thin flat bread filled with coleslaw, ketchup, mayonnaise and french fries that is rolled up and eaten.  For all intents and purpose, it’s kindof like a burrito.  I paid for it with the money shown above.  Is that a US Dollar, you ask.  Why yes it is!

As in many countries around the world, US Dollars can be used along with the local currency – in this case Lebanese Pounds or Liras – in everyday transactions.  1500 Lebanese Pounds is roughly equal to a Dollar.  And this number remains fairly stable, because since 1999 (according to Wikipedia) the Lebanese Pound has been pegged to the US Dollar.  Thanks to undergrad International Finance classes, I can tell you that that means when the Lebanese Pound rises and falls with the Dollar.

I’m more fascinated with the ease that people deal with this mixture of currency than I am with their monetary policy.  In everyday transactions, you can easily see a US 20 Dollar bill right next to several Lebanese Lira.  And with ease the store attendant or cashier will give you precise change.

At least someone will take our money.

I remember during the lowest valley of the US economic crisis when one of my colleagues went to Canada for vacation.  She told us that she went to the store to pay for something and they refused to accept her US Dollars.  I thought to myself, what has this world come to when even Canada won’t take our money…

For the past two weeks we’ve been hosting a group of American college students from Andrews University on campus.  It’s been great seeing students make friendships and learn about other cultures.  I’ve totally enjoyed hearing the voices of other Americans on campus, though I know it’s short-lived.

To show-off some of the best of Lebanese culture, this past Saturday night, we had Shawarma and Cocktails.  Before coming here, the only Fruit Cocktail I knew was made by Dole and consisted of small cubed pieces of fruit doused in sickly sweet syrup.

This cocktail is a mix of strawberry and avocado (yes! avocado) juice with sweet chunks of fruit mixed inside.  It’s a delight!  (LOL.  I can’t believe I just called something a delight).

Fruit Cocktail

And Shawarma…when I think of Shawarma, I think of gyros.  Given that I don’t eat meat, I’m probably not the best person to explain this dish, but the picture should speak for itself.


Off to sleep as I prepare to finish up the last few weeks of the year….

Spice, spice, spice it up!

Buckets of Spices at the Grocery Store

Olives Flavored with Lemon

Amazing variety of olives

It was about midnight sometime last week.  A group of us was preparing for a big event at the school when we got a call to pick up some sweets for the visitors that would be coming on campus.  Normally, I hate looking like a tourist, but this time, I clicked away.  There were trays and trays of Lebanese delicacies gracing all over the countertops.  Here’s one of the treats I found:

Falafels.  Always a crowd pleaser.  Shwarma for my carnivorous friends.  The last place I had falafels that I enjoyed so much was in Spain.  Mickey D’s eat your heart out…