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dr.com Layalina Blowout Dinner

Kibbee Nayee

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OK, here we go! Our dinner will be on Tuesday evening, Feb. 2nd, at Layalina. We are going to keep it at $50 a head, inclusive of tax and tip. It will be an RSVP-type event, so if you haven't already done so, please PM hillvalley so we can track responses. To the extent that our number travels well past 20, we will then have a lottery, or, if Sam and Rima can handle it, a bigger party. We may already be close to 10 if we include organizers and a few others who expressed interest, but please reconfirm and we'll keep a tighter list.

Layalina is in the Ballston area, but I wouldn't say it's walking distance from the Metro. It's at 5216 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington. Blink and you'll miss it....there are a scant 3 spaces for parking in front, but the gracious animal hospital next door can hold another 10 or so cars. The menu will feature mostly Syrian dishes, with Rima going almost all-in with her repertoire, including special order items and off-the-menu items. I will finalize the menu with Sam this week, but we have targeted $50 a head, inclusive of tax and tip.

There will also be plenty of Kibbee Nayee, which goes without saying. I'll post a more complete menu later in the week....

There will also be Lebanese wine -- Syrian wine is not good, trust me, but the French taught the Lebanese a few lessons in winemaking -- as well as arak. And in true Syrian fashion, save room for sweets.

Come celebrate Groundhog Day, Syrian style...!?!? Actually, February 2nd is not a holiday in Syria, but maybe we can come back on March 16th and celebrate Mother's Day (عيد الأم)....!

Remember, if you're coming, please RSVP to hillvalley!

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Hi all-sorry about the confusion on who to contact about attending. This dinner is being brought to you by the one armed bandits :angry:

To put your name on the list, please send me a PM (click on the little envelop below my avatar) with your real name and number of spots you are requesting. A few of you posted on the thread before KN posted all the details. Please confirm your spot by PMing me. Thanks.

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There are still a few more spots available if you are interested in joining in the kibbee fest...

BTW I would be all over this if it wasn't for this.

What's pretty amazing about this Layalina event is that it's essentially a "Restaurant Week" dinner (the equivalent of $35.09, plus tax and tip) EXCEPT that it includes basically all-you-can-eat food, with specialty preparations, and also some free drinks.

Ummm... Hel-loooo?! This event should have 100 people. It actually makes me want to go after the marketing gimmick known as Restaurant Week and take it down a few notches. Hmm ...

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Sam and I discussed the menu today, and believe me, it's all-out and all-you-can-eat. Actually, it's probably more than we can eat, but there's always doggie bags! Please bring $50 in cash to make things easier all around. Your $50 gets you all you can eat or drink of all of the following, with tax and tip included:

Your appetizer mezze will include hummus with pomegranate, hummus bil flay-flay (red pepper), beet salad, falafal, kibbee (cooked) and tabbouli salad. Lots of each, plus endless pita bread.

Your main courses will include lamb-stuffed baby eggplant, Rima's roasted chicken with rice stuffing, grilled kafta and shish tawouk, and Rima's oozi (seasoned rice with lamb in phyllo). And, of course, plenty of kibbee nayee!

Desserts will be "selection of the day" and I encourage you to save a teensy bit of room.

Beverages? There will be limitless coffee and tea, Middle Eastern style, as much arak as we can all tolerate, and up to six bottles of Lebanese wine (3 white and 3 red).

Parking after 6:00 next door in the animal hospital parking lot is not a problem. And if you arrive as late as 7:00pm, I don't think there will be an issue. As Sam explains it, the kitchen will just continue to pour forth all night long, and we'll just be tucking into drinks and appetizers/mezze by about 7:00pm. They close at 10:00pm but in true Syrian style, nobody will get the boot if they're eating and drinking and having fun.

I am looking forward to this event....and I'm already thinking about another one....

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The list for Tuesday night. We still have room if you would like to join us.

Kibbe Nayeh+3



ol ironstomach+1


Gary Tanigawa





One last push...! I told Sam to expect about 20 people, so I wouldn't want to disappoint him with such a modest turnout for what will be an absolute Syrian feast!

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We are still on! No sign of rain or snow at 4:00pm, and I know the kitchen is working hard to make sure we are all well-fed. If the messy stuff starts later this evening, we should still be in good shape for a nice feast and a safe ride home! Thanks to all and I look forward to seeing you tonight!

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Looks like I'm the first one that made it home in the snow :angry:

I'm still digesting, but...WOW - that was a great meal! Everything on the menu above was delivered and it was all quite tasty. Personal favorites included Rima's oozi AND Rima's chicken - both featuring a wonderful seasoned rice, the lamb-stuffed baby eggplant, the kibbee nayee (as amazing as promised), and the hummus bil flay-flay. Service was great, even with several other tables in the place. The arak did go well with the kibbee nayee, as I was told, and the desserts provided a nice variety of flavors, textures, and fillings. Layalina is a little gem - I will definitely be heading back, hopefully with a group to enjoy an assortment of dishes like we did tonight.

Thanks to Kibbee Nayee for putting this together, and to Hillvalley for her assistance in organizing! I'm sure others will have more to add; I'm still in a stupor....

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That was awesome, a Middle Eastern blowout not soon to be forgotten. And one which will be repeated, in bits and pieces anyway. We gorged ourselves on seven or eight appetizers, followed by the four mains plus rice, and an assortment of desserts, all washed down with Lebanese wine, arak, water, soft drinks, tea...you name it.

First off, the kibbee nayee was absolutely addictive (if you're a raw beef eater), and even better than I had expected. All of the apps were quite good, but I was especially taken by the shankleesh, the hummus bel flayfley, and the beet dish. Really, we could have stopped after the first course and declared an early victory.

It wasn't easy to pick a favorite among the mains; they were all solid contenders. I suppose I'd give the nod to the lamb-stuffed eggplant, although both chicken dishes were close behind.

I no longer have to long for the restaurants of Detroit (no, seriously). Big thanks to Kibbee Nayee for organizing all of the details, Sam and his staff for an embarrassingly generous feast, and hillvalley for herding us cats. And it was great to see the other board folks at the table, even though I didn't manage to talk to everyone.

Now, to resume digestion...

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I am going to be perspiring garlic for a week.

Two things that hit me, first was that I no longer need to wait 25 minutes at Ravi for great kabobs, I can get a superior dish in a much finer setting, and the second is that I finally found a Baklava that I actually liked. I likely take my wife to Layalina for dinner next week.

It was an excellent dinner, thank you again Bruce for arranging it.

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And one other thing: you know how hard it is to get a Middle Eastern pastry that doesn't have walnuts? I know, they can be made with almost any nut. But they seldom are. One quick word with Sam about a walnut allergy, and "don't worry, I'll take care of you", and out comes my very own pastry with pistachios. :angry:

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Thank you for posting photos! I so wanted to go to this, but I am what feels like 500 weeks pregnant so, instead, my husband and I went to Layalina -- which happens to be one of our special restaurants -- for dinner two weeks ago and vowed to come back after the baby comes (with lots of friends) so we can partake of a similar feast.

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Wait, I thought that you didn't like sweet dishes. I liked the flavor but thought that it was a bit too sweet for my taste.

I don't like sweet dishes, which is why I only had a small bite of each baklava. I didn't think the beet was overly sweet - you probably don't like it because it's a vegetable.

I got this e-mail yesterday from my wife - picture an Asian doctor

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it..... Don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speed up heart not make live longer; that like say you can extend life of car by driving faster. Want live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. What are these? Vegetables. So, steak nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give 100% recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine. That means they take water out of fruity bit; get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made out of grain.. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: If you have body and you have fat, ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Cannot think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU NOT LISTENING!!! .... Foods fried in vegetable oil.. How getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only do sit-ups if want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: You crazy? HELLO… Cocoa beans! Vegetable!!! Cocoa beans best feel-good food around.

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming good for figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is shape!

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