The side strip on Hessa Street beside the Saudi German Hospital is turning into quite a little Beirut with a growing number of Lebanese restaurants and cafes vying for attention and custom. Qalat Baalbak is one of the newer such eateries and possibly the most humble and modest. If you like meat, it’s also the best. Located in the Shahab Adbul Rahman Building two doors down from Allo Beirut, Qalat Baalbak’s interior is simple, unpretentious, believable. I instantly liked it over Allo Beirut. There are two sections to the restaurant; on the right (facing the restaurant) there’s what should be a stand-up area where you grab a shawarma or sandwich. On the left is the proper restaurant.
First things first, the chops at Qalat Baalbak are the best I have had outside Al Damyati & Iskandaron and the Meating Room / Boho. In fact, all their grills are amazing (although not as good as Layali Kish higher up on Hessa Street).
Like many similar restaurants, different daily dishes are offered on each day of the week. But the grills are so amazing it will be a while before I am prepared to venture elsewhere on their menu. My sister and I started with their cold mezza and were equally impressed. I am told their shawarmas and sandwiches are the stuff of legends.
I found the staff friendly and chop chop fast, especially the feisty little Filipina from Manila. So, if you’re looking for a Lebanese meat-fest of epic proportions, look no further than Qalat Baalbak, a restaurant well worth a detour.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on email@example.com.