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Beirut cafe: Zombies love brains

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gourmaniac May 3, 2012 11:20 AM

In honor of the upcoming Boston Zombie 5K race, I tried the lamb brain sandwich at Beirut Cafe (formerly Sami's) in JP. Delicious and unusual creamy concoction with pickles and hot sauce in a housemade pressed pita ($6.99) . Next time, i think i would leave out the hot sauce as it masked the delicate flavor of this most cerebral of organ meat. The Lebanese chefs who took this place over a few months ago seem to be dedicated to a few Lebanese specials each day in addition to what looks like good Schwarma etc. My Algerian barber is very happy with this place. Prices seem very reasonable. I will be back.

  1. hiddenboston May 3, 2012 11:54 AM

    mmmmmmmmmm...............lamb brain sandwich.............

    1. Dave MP May 3, 2012 04:04 PM

      Glad to hear a nice report on this place. I stopped by just before I moved away from Boston to take a look at the menu changes, but didn't get to try anything. I hope others report back about things they've tried there!

      1. j
        jphound May 5, 2012 02:32 PM

        I tried Beirut Cafe after reading this post---what a pleasant change with the new kitchen (!)

        Had a chicken kabob sandwich with fries inside. spicy and delicious with pickled turnips. Yum. Also ordered a spinach pie and rice pilaf, which were both pretty good, but not amazing. Am excited to explore more -- daily specials and lebanese desserts.

        10 Replies
        1. re: jphound
          g
          gourmaniac May 8, 2012 07:37 AM

          Tried some more of the menu on Friday with a group of four. The lamb and beef schwarma was tasty and good value. Reminds me of Saab's market, which I like better. The veggie combo had good falafel, tabbouli and hummus and so so grape leaves and pilaf. Their lamb kibbe is a little odd, shaped like a Wendy's patty and tasting more like meat loaf. Others enjoyed their sandwiches. Overall, I'm glad to have it close by but not a destination. They have a few Lebanese entrees daily (e.g. lamb stuffed eggplant), but didn't try these. I will try the chicken and fries kebab next time with the hope that it reminds me of Paris.

          1. re: gourmaniac
            opinionatedchef Jul 5, 2012 09:17 PM

            someone on another thread alerted me to this thread and now I remember why it slipped out of my awareness and i never read it>> i'm not a brains eater. So i'm glad to have read through it now and learned your experience w/ specific (and non-brain) dishes. I'm looking forward to trying it as I'll likely never get to Saab's Market in Norwood. Another web comment mentioned "thin pita"; do they use that thin pita (saj?)found at Garlic n' Lemons?
            And the beef schwarma, is it spit roasted? thx much for posting about this place. The owner says they have " the best baba g."; that will be interesting.......

            1. re: gourmaniac
              e
              eatntell Jul 6, 2012 11:07 AM

              Does the lamb and beef schwarma come with real pieces of meat or are they minced? Any vegetables in it?

              I really like Esperia's pork gyro with a mountain of real pork pieces. But with only tiny bits of onions and tomatoes.

              1. re: eatntell
                g
                gourmaniac Jul 6, 2012 11:17 AM

                OC and EnT, Beirut Cafe'e schwarma comes with real meat on a vertical spit and it is tasty and good value. That said, I prefer Esperia's gyro both for its grilled porky goodness and the quality of the thick pita. Pita at BC more closely resembles Garlic and Lemons pita (ie. thin). By the way, i've been enjoying Roksana's on Mt Auburn near Watertown Square lately, especially their kibbedeh. Housemade pita from a proper pita oven (also thin like G&L).

                1. re: gourmaniac
                  opinionatedchef Jul 6, 2012 11:23 AM

                  oh boy, a much closer place (to me) to explore! thx much. Did you hear that, stripey? - it's in your 'hood That more unusual Torsh kabab looks like it might be really good.have you tried that yet gourmaniac, or other things than the kibbedeh?thx again!

                  http://www.roksanas.com/our-menu.html

                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    t
                    Taralli Jul 6, 2012 11:43 AM

                    Fyi: Roksana is take-out only, unless something has changed.

                    1. re: Taralli
                      g
                      gourmaniac Jul 6, 2012 11:49 AM

                      True, only take out. I forgot to mention that the food is Persian (not lebanese). They also have small take out dinners (chicken with pomegranate. The owner is very nice. If you go try the crispy saffron rice. I've been offered a free piece when i've asked.

                      1. re: Taralli
                        opinionatedchef Jul 6, 2012 11:51 AM

                        taralli, you are a good person. and correcto! they just have 2 benches if one wants to eat there. I suggested that they put that info on the website cuz...it aint there!

                    2. re: gourmaniac
                      e
                      eatntell Jul 6, 2012 11:26 AM

                      Oh well, I guess I'll stick with Esperia's gyro. Yes, the crusty burned bits of the pork are heavenly.

                      BTW, Beirut Cafe should advertise their lamb brain sandwich at MIT and Harvard. Maybe brainiacs love brain?

                      1. re: eatntell
                        opinionatedchef Jul 6, 2012 11:46 AM

                        just remember- esperia is closed through 7/20 for their annual july vacatn.

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