Beirut brings lil’ Lebanon to Troy

Troy has always had great food, and anyone would be hard pressed to argue against that. It doesn’t just have incredible choices in the American classics either; it provides a variety of diverse cultural foods, with the greatest example for me being Beirut.

The small Lebanese restaurant sits unassumingly at 184 River Street. The place is no large scale operation; it’s a family run business created with a home-cooked ideal in mind. With this home-cooked ideal also comes home made hospitality. The owners are husband and wife Elias and Hala, who are always warm and welcoming.Their ability to be incredibly accommodating to their customers is a great addition to the fact that they also provide great food.

Having lived in the northeast my entire life, I haven’t had many opportunities to eat good Middle-Eastern food. After having experienced the culinary excellence of the region, I can barely stomach frozen falafel or some of the other cheap and butchered copies. Having finally found a place that can do authentic and delicious Eastern Mediterranean food, it’s hard to pass up, especially when it’s so close to home.

While talking about the food, I should probably discuss the actual menu. It has all the classics done right; shawarma, falafel, grape leaves, and I was even pleasantly surprised to find baklava and even halva for dessert. However, the highlight of the meal everytime I go are the garlic fries. The fries are cooked in vegetable oil, then a paste of garlic and mint is used as a “dipping sauce,” and let me tell you, I don’t think I can describe the taste and do it justice. The only word I can use to express the sensation is “refreshing”; the fries with the paste have a fresh feeling of mint with a mild taste of garlic, which allows one to savor the fries while not being overwhelmed by the garlic.

There’s really nothing to complain about; if you like Eastern Mediterranean food it’s a must try, and if you’ve never had any before, it’s a good place to start with. Beirut, like its namesake in Lebanon, is the beating heart of the city we live in.