Thursday Best Bites - Lebanese Festival, Ottawa

Clockwise from bottom right:  Kibbeh Balls, Falafel with tahini and radish, Warack Arish, Tabouleh Salad, Hummus.  All served on a bed of rice.

Where:  St. Elias Centre, 700 Ridgewood Avenue, Ottawa (July 20 - 24, 2011)

What:  21st Annual Lebanese Festival

Comments:  This was my first visit to the festival and if you didn't attend, you missed some excellent food.  I was picking up my sister from the airport and it was on the way home.  We didn't have a lot of time to spend exploring the festival, but instead, we got down to business right away - the food.  Since I live out of town, sometimes I don't have the time on weekends to go to these events.  That has been a mistake obviously.  The food that I had was some of the best tasting, freshest, flavourful Lebanese cuisine that I have ever eaten.  It was definitely worth the stop and I will have to make it back next year.

We both opted for the Sampler plate which would satisfy all of our cravings for the delicacies that we enjoy so much.  The Kibbeh Balls were well seasoned and the proportion of meat to bread was perfect.  The Falafel was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  The radish was a nice extra touch and added a nice palate cleansing crunch to the plate.  The Warack Arish (stuffed grape leaves) were very nice.  There was a wonderful bite to the rolls and they were savoury and toothsome.  The tabouleh tasted exactly how it should - bright, fresh, a bit lemony and light.  The hummus was creamy, yet not too garlicky. The plate also came with some fresh wrapped pita bread.  I will remember this plate for a while.  Good job and see you next year!

The selections that were available.

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