Beirut Cafe - St. Petersburg
I've found my newest haunt - a local Mom and Pop Lebanese restaurant in the Tyrone area of St. Petersburg. On Friday, I had a meat pie and two desserts (pecan bahlawa and mahmoun which was a cookie similar to the "Mexican Wedding Cookies" my mom used to love) for lunch. More than one, as they have a $10 minimum for debit card use and I have no will power when faced with sweets. I dragged two friends back tonight for dinner and between the three of us we had - baba ghanoush, hummus, tabbouleh, grape leaves, and felafel. Everything I've had has been homemade and tastes like it comes from my grandmother's kitchen. Well, my grandmother if she had been Lebanese, anyway.
Seating is for maybe 15 people, there is a dessert deli counter and table service. Meals take their time, as everything I've had so far was made on site. They are well worth it.
My daughter and I stopped by the Beirut Cafe last week and ordered a small take out of one shawarma sandwich, an order of hummus and one of baba ghanoush. We were on a tight schedule and it took half an hour while we waited (they had one table finishing up and a two-top just sat down). We thought the shawarma was a little short of meat but was tasty, the baba ghanoush was just okay, but the hummus was the best my daughter ever had, she said, and I had to agree! Next time we will allow more time for the slow (but friendly) service and be sure to have some breath mints for the ensuing garlic dragon breath!
re: Robert R
The best I've had so far have been the meat pie, the tabbouleh and the walnut bahlawa. I make tabbouleh at home often when I can get farm-fresh tomatoes, and this sets up against mine! According to the owner's son, bahlawa is the Lebanese pronunciation/spelling and baklava is Greek and not as awesome. I don't care what it is called, as long as I can eat more of it. I was mopping up the rose water/syrup with a finger rather than let a drop go to waste.