Monday, April 12, 2010

Who is Sergey Chilikov??

A few years ago, I was really drinking the p4k kool-aid on this new band, Beruit. “They” were the brainchild of 19 year old Zach Condon, who recorded Gulag Orkestar in the bedroom of his parents' New Mexico house. How he recreated the sounds of 19th Century Eastern Europe on a MacBook, I’ll never know, but I was really digging it and streamed their MySpace tracks while prepping tax returns in the Spring of 2006. I ended up buying that first record, but when I played it for the LOML, she thought it was kinda scary and all the chantings/old-world music* reminded her of Muslim Jihadists (I’ll admit that not all of their songs are as cheery/pop-friendly as “Postcards from Italy”).

Well, this weekend, the LOML and I took our little one to the 12th Annual Lebanese Food & Cultural Festival at St. Elias Maronite Church! A friend of mine at work is a HUGE FAN and I was really bummed we missed it last year. My wife is such a good sport, that we didn’t make the same mistake twice.

I ordered the BEIRUT CLASSIC (Deluxe Baked Kibbee Plate) which included baked kibbee, grape leaves, spinach pie, rice, green beans (Ioobia), Lebanese Salad, and pita bread. The LOML had DJAJ MISHWI (Grilled Chicken Plate) which had half a grilled lemon chicken, rice, green beans (Ioobia), Lebanese Salad, and pita bread.

To me, there seems to be a lot of similarities between Greek and Lebanese food. I’ve ordered Kibbee (which kinda reminds me of Lebanese Meatloaf) at the Olive Branch in Cahaba Heights before, but I think my favorite dish was the green beans. They were in a tomato based sauce and had CINNAMON, which was kinda funky, but still tasty.

Apparently, there are a ton of Lebanese food fans in BHM, because St. Elias was packed. Even though the meals were a little pricey ($15 for the BEIRUT CLASSIC) I had enough leftovers for dinner last night. PLUS it’s all for a good cause. I’m glad to see so many folks supporting local events like this, and I really want to keep taking our sweet little baby to stuff like this as she gets older.

After lunch, we took a quick tour of their sanctuary which featured some impressive stained glass. You’ve probably driven past St. Elias hundreds of times and didn’t know it. It’s located right off I-65 in Southside and you can see the steeple from the interstate.

* BTW, I saw Hawk and a Hacksaw open for WILCO last spring. They were gimmicky/redundant. Not sure I’d go see Beruit play live . . .


The Hardens said...

yummmm! Lebanese is my favorite. Seriously my favorite restuaant in the WHOLE world is a Lebanese place in Clarksdale, MS. My grandmother (Italian, not Lebanese) could cook Lebanese too. All the Sicilians/Italians and Lebanese in the MS Delta were outcasts and socialized together. So most of the Delta Italians can also cook Lebanese and vice versa. Wish I would have learned her Kibbeh skills before she died. Anyway, next time you are over we should either drive there and eat or I will get a big platter from there. My family always brings me back kibbeh, grape leaves, and cabbage rolls to freeze and eat later. Okay epic comment....just really excited about Lebanese food!

skemaddox said...

Boom. Lebanese rule.

A said...

Love the EPIC comment!! Heather, you would've loved this fest . . . i had no idea there were so many Lebs (is that ok to call them "Lebs"??) and Italians in the Delta. There are a TON of Greek folks here in BHM and that always confuses me, too??

jccvi said...

Just don't call them Syrians.

The Delta had hispanic workers for a time. They introduced the tamale. There were also a number of Jews and Chinese. There were close to 50 synagogues there at one point.