Tag Archives: Margaritas

Joe Peña’s (“Joe Rock’s”)

4 Feb

DIOS MIO las fajitas mexicanas de Joe Peña’s are top in town! Yes, some cool cat named Joe actually labeled his restaurant, “Joe Rocks.” Wait a minute, that’s just his name. Yes, it’s an undercover restaurant chain, and cool Joe will empty your wallet before the night is through. Sadly, it’s so worth it.

Tucked away on a side street of Gemmayze, Joe Peña’s hip milieu brings together a different crowd every night.

Let’s start with the 17,000 LL Guacamole. The first time I ever paid about $12 for Guacamole was at Joe Peña’s. It’s like paying $12 for Foul. For the record, Guacamole is not so exotic, it costs pesos to make-it-yourself at home (even in Beirut). Confession: I still order it every time.

If you like reading books, pick up Joe Peña’s drink menu, and sing your cocktail ABC’s. Margarita pitchers & fine Caipirinhas aside, Joe Peña’s also makes a mean Mai Tai.

Gettin’ to the gold: Try one of the more daring fajita mixes such as the Chicken, Banana & Coconut, the Beef & Pineapple, or the Camarones (Shrimp) & Chicken. However, prepare your stomach because these bad boys are fillers. One order of Fajitas is suitable for two.

Boutros Dagher Street, Gemmayze

Tel: +961 01 449906.  Call ahead for reservations.

Open Sunday-Tuesday 5pm-1am, Wednesday-Saturday 7pm-2am. Kitchen closes at 12.

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¡GARCIA’S! Cantina y Cocteleria

2 Feb

¡Ode to Margaritas! There are but a few places in town where a kid can get a fresh Marg– Garcia’s is one of them. Nestled between Bread Republic and Gloria Jean’s in Hamra, you can’t miss the steps to the red building with Carlos Santana booming through its doors. In Beirut, it’s hard to get a true fix of TexMex. So when a new place opens up, everyone’s there.

I was warmly ushered in by the manager Tony, who gave me the menu rundown. The following weekend, Beirut went Mexican and Garcia’s was jammed.

And there began the sad story of my margarita…

15 minutes ordered…no margarita. 25 minutes ordered twice…no margarita. 45 minutes ordered thrice…no margarita. And when it finally came, it was lonely without salt.

“Excuse me, but I ordered my margarita with salt–“

Waiter: “Do you want to wait another 15 minutes for it then?”

Now that, is serious customer service. Applause Beirut, you’ve done it again. The Lebanese have outdone the French in restaurant service reputation–another success for the Guinness World Records (plus it’s really a different story when you’re serving Osso Bucco).

The Enchiladas, however, were the tip of the iceberg. In fact, they almost flung me off of the iceberg when I had to pay $20 dollars for my half-eaten plate of dried-out Enchilada-impersonators. My mexican friends would’ve shed tears over the Burrito and the Quesadillas as they were no exception. I would’ve been happier microwaving frozen taquitos from Spinney’s.

The Truth: In the Motherland Mexico, not even gringos pay $20 for Abuela‘s handmande enchiladas.

My Advice? The bar is the safe-zone. Stick to the drinks, if you can get them.

Nehme Yafet Street, Hamra

Tel: +961 1738538

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Open Monday-Sunday, 6pm to 2am. Call ahead for reservations.

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