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Kibbee Nayee

Mount of Lebanon (Formerly Lebanese Butcher), Falls Church - In the Former Majestic Space on Annandale Road - Closed

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Over here...

Lebanese Butcher we learned is reopening soon down the street.

I'll be first in line.

 

Drum roll....it's re-opened! Sort of....

Lebanese Butcher is open just around the corner and up Hillwood about a block away from the former place. The butcher shop and grocery is open and doing well. I scored kibbeh, tabouleh, hummus, baba ghanouj, olives, shankleesh and bread today. A mezze feast will be on my table tonight. The butcher shop has an overall better layout than previously -- the meat case is much larger and loaded with more selections, and the checkout counter is much nicer. The grocery shelves and refrigerated cases are about the same cramped size as before. Overall, the look and feel of this space is much better and cleaner.

Kheder told me that the restaurant will reopen next door in about a month (inshallah!), and the renovations to the space are under way now. If it's as nice an upgrade as the butcher shop and grocery, it will be a right fine Middle Eastern restaurant. I feel a Rockwellian get-together when it opens.....

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Drum roll....it's re-opened! Sort of....

Lebanese Butcher is open just around the corner and up Hillwood about a block away from the former place.

[Actually, it has been for awhile; I've been negligent in updating the thread title.]

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... and the gored-gored is the best raw meat dish you will have this year.

Only if you choose not to partake of Lebanese Butcher's kibbee nayeh this year....

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I stopped in Lebanese Butcher for a grocery run of olives, olive oil and assorted other goods. My eye caught a sign that the grocery would soon be expanded to include the space next door. That's good news, but then I wondered what would happen to the plans to reopen the restaurant there. I bumped into Kheder and asked him, and his answer changed my life.

Lebanese Butcher bought, and is building out, the old Majestic restaurant and night club around the corner and up Annandale Road, towards Rt. 50. OMFG! A real restaurant, with lots and lots of seats, and a menu featuring the best kibbee nayee around! Opening day is scheduled for August 1, and I told him I would go there right now and sit at the front door until it opened. We hugged and kissed. When it opens, I will be in the door and rolling around on the floor in a pile of kibbee nayee, like a dog rolls around in something it likes....so to speak....

Yes, there will be a DR event there in August, I guarantee....stay tuned....

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Opening day is scheduled for August 1

Went by today to see if they're open. Not yet. Saw some contractors working on the space. I ate next door at Granja de Oro for lunch.

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I can hardly contain myself.....Bukra Inshallah! (That means "Tomorrow, God willing" in Arabic.)

I stopped by Mount Lebanon today, and saw the hustle and bustle of workers all about. Kheder spotted me from inside the front door and waved me in. The tables were set and ready, the dining area looked sparkling (and big), a few finishing touches on the interior were taking place, and he told me they will open for business tomorrow! We laughed, we cried, we danced....I told him I needed kibbee nayee desperately, and he used my plea as an admonishment for the frazzled work staff to finish today. Lady Kibbee is on alert for dinner tomorrow, and I will be the one with a mountain of kibbee nayee in front of me and a table cloth tied around my neck....bukra inshallah!

The Majestic sugns are still prominently displayed on the front and side of the restaurant, so whether they get swapped out tonight or sometime later is a detail to be disregarded for now. Come one, come all, and come hungry!

(I stopped in Present for a "goodbye lunch" of sorts, since Mount Lebanon is right around the corner and I'll probably never pass up a meal there whenever I'm in the neighboorhood.)

To complete my reconaissance, I stopped by Lebanese Butcher for some burghul....and it's now expanded into the space next door! The Lebanese Butcher is twice its old size! For me, stepping in the door is not unlike stepping into Heaven, and now Heaven is twice the size!!!! By the way, the lamb and the veal looked like perfection in the meat case today....reminding me that the sourcing of meats for Mount Lebanon will be spectacular.

Bukra Inshallah!

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Re: halal veal. Do you know if the calves are humanely raised? Or is it just the way they are slaughtered that makes them halal?

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Re: halal veal. Do you know if the calves are humanely raised? Or is it just the way they are slaughtered that makes them halal?

Halal covers method of slaughter, from what little I know. However, I know that they care for other animals, like chickens, humanely. All of their chickens are free-range, so I doubt the veal has its ankles broken if that's what you mean....

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Update -- Lady Kibbee and I did a walk-through today, and the kitchen staff was working on cleaning things up and getting ready for what is now promised as a Monday soft launch. Will check on Monday and report back dutifully....I feel like the geeky schoolboy getting anticipating his first date with the hot cheerleader....

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Chowhound made me think of this... please tell me there is a fountain? I loved the fountain in the old place. It just made my day.

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Chowhound made me think of this... please tell me there is a fountain? I loved the fountain in the old place. It just made my day.

I've done two walk-throughs, and I don't recall a fountain. Where was it located?

As you walk in the front door, there is a small bar area on the right and a large bar area directly ahead. Neither are stocked with alcohol, and that will remain the case if it's halal. There is a nice wooden dance floor that is now covered with set tables. I wonder if they'll get around to Middle Eastern entertainment at some point down the road....?

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I was looking for a website but I found their Facebook page instead. The restaurant's name, according to their FB page, is "Mount of Lebanon" or Jebal Libnan.

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I was looking for a website but I found their Facebook page instead. The restaurant's name, according to their FB page, is "Mount of Lebanon" or Jebal Libnan.

In Arabic, Jebal Libnan or جبل لبنان means Mount Lebanon, which is an actual and somewhat well-known geographic location in north-central Lebanon. They are certainly allowed to call their restaurant Mount of Lebanon, but it may be simply that their ability to translate into English is a bit rough. I'll be eating there no matter what they call it....

[by the way, I stopped by today for an update. I had a part-Arabic, part-English conversation with a young man who indicated they were waiting for a license of some kind, probably not for liquor, and hoped to be open soon, "inshallah"....I couldn't help but think how difficult it will be on the staff to serve food all day during Ramadan while not being allowed so much as a drop of water themselves until after dark every day....and yes, they will call themselves "Mount of Lebanon" however inaccurate, and their phone number is 703-241-2012.]

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(please provide facebook link, thanks)

Facebook Page

I had the 10 appetizer sampler yesterday

1. Stuffed grape leaves

2. Olives

3. Kibbeh

4. Falafel

5. Small chorizo like sausages

6. Ground lamb patty in a red sauce (harissa?)

7. Hummus

8. Babaganouj

9. Yogurt

10. Tzatziki-like dip

For $35 - definitely enough food for 2. The pita doesn't seem to be fresh baked. Big room, almost too big. Lots of TVs.

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Lady Kibbee and I stopped in today for a nice mid-afternoon snack. We ordered from the mezze menu -- hummus with pine nuts, lamb brain sandwich, fettoush, tabbouli, and (wait for it) kibbee nayee! The food was absolutely top-notch, and the kibbee nayee was far above and beyond any I've ordered at any restaurant. I'm in kibbee nayee heaven. And yes, it's on the menu every day, you don't have to order ahead, and it's a mere $9.95 for a very generous portion. Is this heaven?

[Let me add, this is downright wonderful kibbee nayee -- a generous serving of at least 10 ounces (my estimation) drizzled with olive oil and pine nuts, surrounded by sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, Lebanese gherkins, cucumbers and a nice mound of olives, sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley....it was almost calling my name. When Anthony Bourdain, toward the end of his second Lebanon episode, tasted kibbee nayee and declared it the best raw meat dish he ever had, better than any tartare, this was the version he was tasting. This is my death row meal, my last supper, and Mount of Lebanon absolutely nailed it.]

The hummus, the brain sandwich, the fettoush and the tabbouli were up there with the better versions available around the area, so this kitchen appears to have the potential for pumping out some of the highest quality Middle Eastern fare around here. I'm not sure I've seen lamb brains on many other menus around here, but remember, this place is owned by the Lebanese Butcher family. There might not be a restaurant in the entire DC area, and that includes any of the 4-star establishments, with a more pristine source of meats.

We chatted up Mustafa, who was serving as maitre d today, and he was extremely gracious for a man fasting all day during Ramadan. He confirmed that Mount of Lebanon won't be serving alcohol, maintaining the halal observance, but the list of juices is quite extensive. So is the list of tobaccos available for shisha on the outdoor patio once the weather cooperates. Mustafa mentioned that they're expecting good crowds for "breakfast" which in his definition meant the breaking of the Ramadan fast, and which he accurately noted began at 8:04pm tonight.

The place has the look and feel of a converted dance club, with high acoustic ceilings, bars (that are no longer serving alcohol) on three walls and a wooden dance floor now covered with tables and chairs. The lack of alcohol is a minor inconvenience, but the omnipresent kibbee nayee is worth the sacrifice for me. And obviously, there will be no pork products here, but I can live without pork when nose to tail lamb is available.

It will be a rare day that I pass through Falls Church for any reason and not stop in Mount of Lebanon for a plate of kibbee nayee. Please feel free to join me.

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The hummus, the brain sandwich, the fettoush and the tabbouli were up there with the better versions available around the area,

Ya think?

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Ya think?

OK, I have not come across the lamb brain sandwich at any of the other dining establishments in our area, but that's their own damn fault. One bite of this one by any respectable restaurateur will surely make it the hot menu item of 2012....!

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I tried Mount of Lebanon last week. I was a regular at their old place before the fire and was looking forward to their reopening. Boy was I disappointed. I went there just after they opened one day and was the only patron in the place. I ordered the schwarma which was overcooked and gummy with caked on spices to the point of being inedible. It almost seemed that it was left over from the previous day and reheated in a skillet. When they saw that I barely touched my meal they kindly offered to make something else ( which I declined) and they would not let me pay. They also explained how they had just opened and were still working out the kinks. Given how many enjoyable meals I have had there before, I will probably give them another shot

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