BarTartine. Even if you haven’t been yet, you’ve most likely come across the name by now. This latest hotspot has built quite the hype for itself and understandably so, since it’s managed to snatch one of THE prime locations in town. Think Mar Mikhael, an isolated beautiful outdoor court yard and a smoking terrace. (shared with SUD)
From the folks who brought you Zaatar w Zeit comes BarTartine, a casual restaurant, with laid-back and no fuss items on the menu such as soups, salads, and freshly baked sandwiches, thanks to its own little bakery located right down the steps on the main road below.
We were lucky enough to get a table outside on a busy Saturday lunch hour as management informed us we couldn’t reserve in advance by phone. Staff were quite helpful and well-informed about the menu. We had burned our fair share of calories that day and so it felt well-deserved to stalk up on the appetizers. I was a little disappointed that soups weren’t being served just yet (November) since I’d usually order a soup in Europe mid-July with no problem.
Luckily I got the chance to sink my choppers in two of the most amazing hearty Quiches I’ve had in Lebanon so far. The first was a chèvre (goat cheese) quiche with roasted cherry tomatoes on a fresh warm flaky buttery pastry that took it to the next level and though I’m not usually a fan of the pungent goat cheese, this one was one of the creamiest and smoothest experiences with this cheese I’ve experienced to date. Delightful.
The second Quiche served that day was one very similar to the Quiche Lorraine, closed-topped with a ham and cheese in a creamy béchamel sauce. The glutton inside me just wished they were a tad bigger especially for sharing; one bite will not be enough, trust me.
Finally as part of my everlasting quest for the best burger, I decided to go with the Lean and Mean Burger topped with Camembert cheese and caramelized onions in a homebaked bun. Though I loved the concept and the effort put into it, I didn’t love the actual burger, the main reason being the patty.
The beef was cooler than I prefer and tasted like the kind you would have at a local Lebanese cafeteria, regardless of the sophisticated Camembert or onions, which most of the time dominated the taste of the meat, and we all know a successful patty would never allow that to happen. But when I actually could taste the patty it reminded me of a soggy kafta trying to be a burger, I’m not quite sure if it was due the spice mix (or lack of) used but it just didn’t make it in my book of burgers. It was also not solid enough to hold itself together along with the bun, which although was uber fluffy and fresh, couldn’t keep up with all the ingredients and fell apart half way through, obliging me to eat the rest of it using cutlery. And though it wasn’t a bad burger per se, for (around $19) 28,000 LL and with class act burgers popping up all over town, there is no room for mediocre burgers in this city. So no it’s not one of their fortes. But the fries and sweet coleslaw were fantastic!
Though I won’t be visiting BarTartine for the burger again, I will definitely be paying this joint a visit to taste and review the rest of their baked items, including the pizza and baked desserts.
Price: 2 course meal for two with soft drinks should cost around $55-$70
What’s you favorite item at BarTartine?
More Reviews HERE