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Hassouni

Al-Balad

[font="arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif"][size="2"][font="arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif"][size="2"][font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Downtown, but not in the main strip of cafes. This is a full fledged restaurant, known for superb, homey food, at knockout cheap prices. Of course they have argileh too...[/size][/font]
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[font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Atmosphere: 5/5. Well, it's downtown, and has a big outdoor terrace. That's good enough for me.[/size][/font][/size][/font]
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Argileh: 4/5. Mixed feelings. My 2 apples was a 3/5, hit only OK at best. My cousin's grape was a 5, no issues there. I'm gonna average it to 4. I'll be honest, this place is ALL about the food, I think argileh is an afterthought, and frankly if I'm going for a big dinner, smoking while eating is not my favorite.[/size][/font][/color][/color]
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[color="#5D5D5D"][color="#1C2837"][font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Service: 4/5. Very quick and efficient. My one complaint is their tendency to upsell. See below.
[/size][/font][/color][font="Tahoma"] [/font][color="#1C2837"][font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Food: 6/5. Yeah I know that's cheating but my God is the food good. Make sure to get the Lahme bi Ajin with pomegranate syrup (this is sort of like a Lebanese pizza). The desserts are superb but ENORMOUS. We had a group of I dunno, 8 or so, and we ordered 3 desserts to share and they insisted it wouldn't be enough but we said look let us order what we want and we'll see if we want more (they did this with the food too). The "small" portion of each dessert would have been enough for all 8 of us.

Price: 6/5. Again, cheating, but it's unreasonable how well priced they are. Huge quantities of superb food, alcohol, desserts, can be had for $20ish per person.

Overall recommendation: If you want to go downtown to eat real Lebanese food, this is the place. You can have a smoke while you're at it. If you want to go downtown to smoke and merely nibble, go to one of the places on the main strip. That's about as plain as I can make it. [/size][/font][/color][/color]

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