Beirutis go by landmarks of memory or desire: a narcissist may tell you to go down the alley where she got her first kiss. An old-timer will direct you to a movie theatre that closed in 1982. Hypochondriacs deliver directions by pharmacy. The pious use churches and mosques; the profane, cafés and nightclubs. The mercenary types, alas, inhabit a city of banks. All of these different Beiruts, imaginary contradictory maps, all layered on top of each other, make a city as baffling to navigate as your dreams.
And so I learned to negotiate the city through food: the baker, the butcher, the greengrocer.
- from Annia Ciezadlo’s “Bread of Beirut”
I finished Ciezadlo’s essay and Googled “lebanese food Seattle.” This is nearby. Hopeful.
UPDATE (8/4): Though I’m too inexperienced with Lebanese food to vouch for its authenticity, Cafe Munir was uncommonly delicious. Diners aged 9, 11, and 39 agreed on this. We’ll be back.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the dishes.