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Hassouni

Dardachat

On the land-ward side of the Corniche road, in Ain el-Mreisseh, below AUB, before the landmark McDonalds, Mosque, and Nasser monument just down the road. The name means "chatting" or "chats", from "dardasheh" - chat (the name is pronounced Dardashat...the c in the real name reflects French spelling as often used in Lebanon)

Atmosphere: 5/5. Very nice traditional Arabic decor inside, equally nice terrace outside. Sort of an old Syrian vibe or something.

Argileh: 5/5. NAKHLA SWEET MELON! This was one of the few places I went to in my February 2011 trip that had melon and it was instantly recognizable. Good stuff.

Service: 3/5. Slow. It took a while for our food to show up, and even longer for our forks to show up. The napkins we asked for never made an appearance. At the same time, they were pretty obliging accommodating an ever-fluctuating number of us, and moving big gas-flame heaters around.

Food: 5/5. Quite nice. They have an all-day Arabic breakfast, which is super sweet, and they let you choose any 4 items from the breakfast menu in a combo for 10,000LL, or $6.67. The rest of the menu is an interesting mix of Lebanese and European. No alcohol, which is unusual, but a big variety of non-alcoholic drinks.

Price: 5/5. Can't remember how much the argile was, I think about 13,000LL though, which is on the cheaper end of the spectrum. The food was very reasonably priced, as noted.

Overall: very nice if you don't mind there not being booze. The food is really good, the argileh is nice, and the prices are right. Also it's on the Corniche, which is always lively, even if it's not on the side facing the sea.

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