You Had Me at Unlimited Pita

About three bites into our meals at Byblos Lebanese restaurant in Federal Hill, Abby looked up at me and said, “Don’t judge me, but I don’t think I’m going to have leftovers.”

Of course, leftovers are never expected when you’re having a post-workout co-blogger dinner, but it was my own fault for suggesting that we could either order two entrees (to have leftovers) or one entree plus apps. Either way, we didn’t stand a chance. The food at Byblos is just that good.

Byblos is one of those places I’d walked by dozens of times before deciding it was worth a shot. It’s a smallish BYOB spot nestled between other family-owned restaurants on Light Street, the eight or so tables hand-carved out of a tree trunk and a “No photographs” sign hanging below the artwork. When you walk in, you’re almost always greeted by the owner.

When Abby and I stopped in last week–a cooler of Summer Shandys over my shoulder, of course–we sat down and drooled over the menu’s assortment of Middle Eastern apps and entrees. I’d been there before and thought seriously about ordering an assortment of appetizers to scoop up with the table’s unlimited pita bread but ultimately took Abby’s lead and ordered a more sensible dinner.

I got the chicken shawarma combo platter (marinated chicken served with a deliciously seasoned side salad and hummus):

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Abby got the moussaka combo platter (eggplant, chickpeas, tomato and onion, also served with salad and hummus):

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We barely talked as we devoured our plates. In the past, I’ve also ordered the beef shawarma, kebbeh (cracked wheat stuffed with ground beef, onion, pine nuts and spices) and mouhamarrah (wheat, crushed pine nuts and spices)–all amazing. I love that the restaurant is BYOB, taking a bit of the sting out of receiving the bill.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, you need to try this place. Bring me back some baklava.

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