Crepaway’s new menu: The pluses & minuses

Everyone has been talking about the new Crepaway menu, so I was very excited to try it.

During November, I opted for the Crepaway option whenever I wanted to eat out or to order some food at work, to be able to try the most of this menu before writing my review.

My first impression was “overpriced”. Come on guys! The new items’ prices fall in the same price range of the old menu’s most expensive items – each item for its corresponding category!

Anyway, now back to the food, let’s dig into these creations’ details!

Appetizers

Crepaway crunchy bites  picture

Crunchy bites – delivery order

The crunchy bites are a delight: battered shrimps that are deep-fried and served with cocktail & tartar sauces, priced 14000 LBP. To describe them best, I’d say crispy golden bites that don’t taste the frying oil. Bravo!

Burgers

Crepaway Hole Good Burger picture

The Hole Good Burger

I tried the Hole Good Burger, for 21000 LBP. It was good, but I think I prefer the regular buns to the sesame bagel they are offering. It’s a bit chewy, in addition to being very hard to cut. They should be serving it with some better knives.
Now the quality of the meat was excellent. In the menu, it is said to be a 100% Black Angus beef. Personally, I think it would be better if they asked how we preferred the meat, instead of just offering the well-done option. Note: I am usually fan of rare or medium rare meat, and that’s why I am complaining.
The sauce, a combination of Dijonnaise and cocktail sauces, is delicious. In addition, the burger contains some green leaves, pickles, tomatoes and some cheese, topped with some onion rings.
The burger is served with a side-coleslaw and some excellent seasoned fries, along with cheddar sauce and ranch sour cream. I loved the Cheddar and think there is no need for the sour cream.

Crepaway Cordon Blues burger picture

The Cordon Blues burger

The cordon blues burger is what I call a good burger. A delicious Black Angus beef patty, stuffed with cheese – same comments for the well-done meat though. A combination of Ketchup, mayonnaise and Dijonnaise sauce, with some extra cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. I could not feel the onion rings alone…  But this does not apply to the bacon which adds crunchiness and deliciousness to the whole experience. All served in a yummy bun, along with coleslaw and regular fries. A bit expensive though, for 21000 LBP.

Pizza

Crepaway Mexitalian pizza picture

The Mexitalian pizza

The Mexitalian pizza is what impressed me most. I am usually not a big fan of American-style pizzas, but this one is just delicious: a thin crust topped with chicken cubes, colored bell peppers and mushrooms on a cheesy-tomato sauce. The cajun sauce generously added gives the pizza its uniqueness. I would come back for this item, I am sure. For 17500 LBP.

Light menu

Crepaway Honey Chick Sandwich picture

Honey Chick Sandwich

The only new addition to the light menu is the Honey Chick Sandwich for 14500 LBP. They were out of the cereal ciabatta, so we had to opt for the regular one. The regular sandwich only has 370 calories, and consists of layers of grilled chicken strips laid on honey mustard spread with rocket, pickles and tomato slices. It was simply light and delicious. The sandwich is served with a side salad: a mixture of green leaves, cherry tomatoes and sliced mushrooms. I personally prefer the old oat dressing.

Salads

Crepaway Quinoise salad picture

Quinoise salad – delivery order

The quinoise salad is a big no for me. I had it delivered to my workplace to try it. How I found it? “A combination of ingredients, without any purpose”. Nothing that reminds of the Niçoise salad to be called “quinoise”. Having eggs and tuna is not enough. The broccoli, the mushrooms,  the carrots and the beetroots are all combined to give you the feeling of “too much”. Too much ingredients and to much wasted flavors for one salad. And, most importantly, a big lack of both delicacy and fineness! All this mess, for 17000L.BP.

Crepaway PastaLocca salad picture

The PastaLocca salad – delivery order

I just tried a bite of the “Pastalocca“: penne pasta, rocket leaves, Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes and grilled chicken, all sprinkled with pine nuts and tossed with a pesto dressing. The salad is fine. I think it’s an interesting combination, but I can’t see it competing with the Chef salad or the Love bites, especially that it’s ore pricey (17000 LBP. compared to 14500 LBP. for the other two).

Dessert

Crepaway melteaser dessert picture

The “Melteaser “

I have to admit. I am not a big fan of Crepaway’s kind of desserts. I usually prefer smaller desserts, richer in taste, to be enjoyed alone with a coffee, instead of after a big meal. But my friend insisted on trying the  “Melteaser” (for 9750 LBP), and I agreed to have 2 small bites. “Not more”, I insisted.

Now, how do I describe it? The dessert is huge. To be shared. Ideal for 3 I guess. Layers of marbled ice-cream, on a biscuit, probably made of Maltesers. Some Maltesers’ balls inside the ice cream give a pleasant taste. Some “croquants” that shouldn’t really be there. And, to finish, a lot of caramel and chocolate sauces that I wouldn’t usually add to any dessert. I personally think it makes it look cheap. It’s like trying to please any chocolate or sweet lover with the sauce instead of the dessert itself. To sum it up, a light & satisfying ice cream dessert that has been loaded with unnecessary extra sauces (& calories! I felt awful after eating it. And yeah, you should’ve guessed by now, I almost ate half of the dessert!).

Note:

Why did you change the grilled potato’s sauce?! You can add ranch sour cream as a second dip but you can’t remove the blue cheese one. For years, we ordered it because of the dip!

Advertisements

Broccoli and Hot Dog Pasta Bake Recipe

Pasta and broccoli bake

A colorful pasta bake, prepared with broccoli & hot dog, in a delicious creamy tomato sauce

Did I tell you I make real good pastas?

From the super easy dishes to more complicated lasagnas and cannelloni, all the pastas that I prepare rarely fail to please.

And, surprisingly, the best ones are always the simple ones, prepared with the smallest number of ingredients usually, and this is probably because you can enjoy and feel all the flavors that are combined in your dish!

For today, I am posting a recipe that I prepared with ingredients I already had at home. Nothing fancy, just some penne with broccoli and hot dogs, covered with a “rosé” sauce and sprinkled with cheese.

I have a small gratin dish that I used for this recipe; very practical when you’re cooking for one – or two as well, since I have two. Once baked, it turned out delicious. In case you don’t, well, you either need to multiply the ingredients by 4 at least for a small regular baking dish, or you can just skip the baking part and cook your pasta with its sauce in a pan.

One note though, I used homemade tomato sauce because I did not have any strained sauce – Pomi – left.  It was surprisingly delicious. It is mainly different because it contains some small chunks of tomatoes that disappear after straining the sauce.

Women in the Lebanese villages still do their homemade tomato sauces. It would be interesting to talk about the process once…

As I said in the recipe, to get the same texture of the sauce I used, you can mix 6 tbsp of strained tomato sauce with 2 tbsp of crushed tomatoes.

If you ever try this recipe, don’t forget to let me know what you think!

 

Broccoli and Hot Dog Pasta Bake Recipe

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 100 g penne pasta
  • 1/3 cup cooking cream
  • ½ cup homemade-tomato sauce (In case you don’t have any, you can replace 6 tbsp of strained tomato sauce like Pomi to which you add 2 tbsp of crushed tomatoes)
  • 100 g broccoli florets
  • 1 small hot dog
  • A pinch of dried chives
  • Salt, white pepper, black pepper and red pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese

Preparation:

  1. Boil some salted water and cook the pasta according to instructions. Do not overcook. Drain and put in a small oven dish.
  2. Boil some additional water and cook the broccoli for 3-4 minutes. Drain and add to the pasta. Slice the hot dog and add it to the pasta.
  3. Mix tomatoes and cream and season with salt and the three kinds of peppers. Pour over the pasta. Sprinkle with chives and top with shredded cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until top is slightly brown. Serve hot!

Vegetables gratin recipe

Vegetables gratin picture

A colorful dish to enjoy as a side!

You don’t need a fancy dish with a lot of ingredients to impress! And most importantly, you can prepare a meatless dish and still hear these “bravos”, “yum”, “wow”… sounds that I really love.

In a country where meat is considered as a must for honoring our guests, this post might seem weird.

Well, for the last few months, I managed to turn some delicious vegetarian sides to the “chefs-d’oeuvre” of our dinners, regardless of what other specials were served: birds, duck…

Last week’s hit was a simple vegetables gratin, made of layers of marrows, eggplants, tomatoes and onions, and seasoned with some oregano. Once tender, the veggies are sprinkled with cheese and baked until golden.

Take your time while preparing it; having a beautiful presentation is always crucial!

Raw vegetables gratin picture

All it needs is some cheese!

Vegetables gratin recipe

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 6 small tomatoes cut into ½ cm rounds
  • 6 marrows cut into ½ cm rounds
  • 4 small eggplants cut into ½ cm rounds
  • 4 medium onions cut into ½ cm rounds
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Butter spray (I tried the new Lurpak Mist)
  • 1 cup shredded Emmental cheese
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Coat a baking dish with butter spray.
  2. Alternate the marrow, tomato, onion and eggplant slices all around the dish, just like in the picture. Only use one layer of vegetables. Try to find the vegetables with the same diameter so that the dish looks nice.
  3. Sprinkle with the oregano and generously season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on top and generously spray with butter.(Omit the butter for a healthier version)
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender. Top the vegetables with the shredded cheese and bake for additional 20 minutes until lightly golden.

Red Lentils and Cauliflower Curry Recipe

Indian lentil and cauliflower dal picture

A delicious curry!

For my third dish with red lentils this month, for the “ingredient of the month” category, I chose a curry from the Indian cuisine. I started on this recipe from taste.com and adapted it based on the ingredients I had at home.

This dish is also called “Red lentils and cauliflower dal”, “dal” meaning lentils in Indian and generally used to refer to all lentils dishes, just as curry is used to refer to all meat or vegetables dishes cooked with Indian spices. So, to sum it up, “dal” are curries that are prepared with lentils.

What can I tell you about the result? The combination of red lentils, curry paste and tomato paste is excellent. Way better than expected. The cauliflowers give the dish some crunchiness, and I think for next time, I could add some more veggies. Served with yogurt, this dish is exceptional. It is the best lentil dish I ever had. Easy to prepare, I’ll be doing it again soon, I am sure.

I used some biryani curry paste I have at home, and as it is not hot, I added some red chili. Beware in case you are using hot paste. One last thing, the stock is already salty. Do not add salt before tasting your dish.

 

Red lentils and cauliflower curry recipe

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Indian curry paste
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 250 g cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Chili powder to taste
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and garlic then add the curry paste and cook, stirring from time to time, until onions soften.
  2. Add lentils and stir well to coat. Add the vegetable stock and tomato paste. When the stock boils, cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Season with salt, white pepper and red pepper.
  3. Add cauliflower and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or more until cauliflowers are tender and lentils are done. Serve with yogurt.

Food & Childhood: that wonderful smell of Grandma’s house!

Do you remember the scene from “Ratatouille” movie where food critic Anton Ego tastes the ratatouille of the chef and instantly evokes his childhood home and his mother’s ratatouille?

Bringing those memories back!

Food is always associated to childhood memories. We all remember waking up to the smell of that one dish that only our grandmother would prepare. I remember I used to sleep in my grandma’s living room, just next to the kitchen.  She used to wake up very early, and she was always busy cooking. At 7, the house was already filled with the exquisite smells of “zlebe” (fried dough) or “lezze2iyet” (local appellation of the crepes) that she always prepared for us – my sister and I – for breakfast. I didn’t have “zlebe” for more than 10 years now I guess.

Her fried “fatayer”, her unique Lebanese-style pizza that looked nothing like a pizza but was really excellent, her marble cake prepared in regular oven pans, rectangular or round, her sweet “herro osba”… all these foods never tasted the same again after she passed away. Even the boiled artichokes or corn cobs are not the same when anyone else does them.

And do you know the ring-shaped kaak that we do for Easter and Eid? There were always some “kaak” specially prepared for us, shaped into braids and birds… And these always tasted better than the regular ones!

During winter, she never used her stove or oven. She always cooked on top of and inside the “stouf”, just like a lot of women in villages. You could always see two or three pots where stews and rice were slowly simmering for the whole morning, while the pizza, chicken and potato bake or “kebbeh bel siniyye” were cooking inside the “stouf”. Till this day, whenever I see food cooking on a “Stouf”, I feel I can smell the “chekriyye and rice stew” or the baked fries she used to do.

Do you ever feel that you can tell how much one loves you from the food he prepares to you? I do. And for this, I think no one ever loved us like grandma did.

Traditional baked potatoes picture

Baking onions and potatoes is one good reason to visit the village every week, no?

What is a “stouf”?

But wait a minute, do you have an idea what a “stouf” or “babour” is?

For the ones who might not be familiar with the terms, it’s a rectangular-shaped “soubya” used in the villages during winter to fight the cold. There are 2 kinds of “stoufs”, depending if they’re fed with wood or fuel, and both still exist in Lebanese villages.

Few years ago, my parents decided to get one for their kitchen. So a new era of wine evenings started – knowing that they almost exclusively use the “stouf” for baking potatoes, onions and occasionally garlic. And who doesn’t love baked potatoes? I’ll be adding some interesting ways of serving them soon, so keep tuned!