The Best of Beirut
on Nov 19, 2014 By Danielle Issa
Sometimes you just can’t be bothered with a full-sized burger. You might be sitting inside a pub, craving savory finger foods to engorge on between euphoric gulps. Or you could be sharing a bite with a companion and not want to spoil your appetite for dinner.
Enter the slider. A 2- to 3-bite meaty bundle, this is the perfect amuse bouche that won’t fill you up and will only leave you wanting more. We love them for their compactness and convenience, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re awfully cute, too!
Who’s grilling Beirut’s finest sliders? We did what we do best—that is, open, insert, close, chew, swallow, repeat—and here’s the verdict.
It’s easy to get lost among the numerous pubs lining Uruguay Street in downtown Beirut, but make a beeline for New Yorker if you spot any empty barstools. The pub is one of the few to feature 50% of their food menu from 5-8pm daily, and that means their succulent trio mini burgers with fries go for an enviable 8,000 LL. A moist lean beef patty, a slice of tomato, crisp lettuce, and a finger-licking sauce are bound beautifully between two sesame buns, and on the side, an order of McDonald’s-style French fries to round out the meal. Forget boozing—it’s burger time
You’d never guess the charming café Crostini tucked inside ABC Dbayeh’s Grand Cinemas would serve the likes of a mean mini burger, but they do! In addition to their fresh selection of bakery goods, salads, panini, desserts and beverages, Crostini recently rolled out three varieties of sliders. And while each is worth its weight in calories, I adore the chicken slider, which layers Swiss cheese atop a chunk of chicken breast slathered with pesto mayo and garnished with lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes.
ABC Dbayeh Mall
Perhaps the place credited with wildly popularizing sliders in Lebanon is Burger Bites nestled conveniently close to Universite Saint Joseph in Monot—no wonder it’s always brimming with hungry students. It may look like a shack, but don’t prejudge BB’s mouthwatering options crafted from top-grade beef ground daily in-house. 14 beef (may I recommend Le Brie and Jalapeno?), 5 chicken, 3 vegetarian, 2 fish, and 1 dessert bite figure onto the extensive menu, but if you’re particularly ravenous, order the Burger Boat featuring 8 bites and a large portion of waffle fries free. Now that’s what we call a blissful burger bargain.
St. Joseph University
It seems Cozmo Café does everything from burgers and salads to crepes and even sushi, and for a restaurant that serves up the entire cuisine spectrum, they do an admirably good job. For 16,000 LL, treat yourself to their trio of mini burgers, each enclosing a thick premium beef patty welded to melted cheddar cheese. Served on a wooden cutting board, they’re accompanied by fresh butter lettuce, a gentle reminder not to skimp out on your daily greens.
Casper and Gambini’s is a mainstay of the Lebanese dining scene, but that doesn’t mean they’re not constantly evolving their menu. Their latest version boasts Gourmet Mini Sliders which deserve an award in the creative category. Of course there’s an ode to the classic beef slider adorned with provolone cheese. The second is a piquant Tex Mex flavor complete with guacamole, mango and Emmental. And the third pays homage to our Mediterranean roots with a grilled halloumi brick, roasted bell peppers, and a delicious tomato tapenade. As an added bonus, each slider comes ornamented with an onion ring hanging from its bamboo toothpick.
Danielle Issa is a food blogger in Lebanon. You can find her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her blog, Beirutista.
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