It’s Festival Time! This weekend, Birmingham was THE place to be for a Lebanese festival at the St. Elias Maronite Church. What comes to mind when you think of festivals? Food, crowds, music!

Food:
I sampled a selection of hummus, fallafel, and baklava. The rating went as following:
Hummus ($3) – pretty well balanced with lemon and garlic. The pita bread served with hummus was disappointing – you got half of a cold, stale-ish pita served in a zip-lock bag.

Falafel ($7) – This is definitely not Amsterdam Falafel (one of my favorite local spots in Washington DC). The falafel balls – made from ground up chickpeas and spices – were unfortunately cold and mushy. The flavor was good, but I really missed the light, golden brown balls that you typically get in a falafel sandwich. The sandwich was served in a large pita, which again was cold, and was so large that it overpowered everything that was inside – falafel balls, a smear of hummus, pickles, tomatoes and mint. This was actually the first time I had mint inside a falafel sandwich – not sold on the idea.

Baklava ($2/piece) – I saved the best for last. Dessert was great! I tried both pistachio and walnut baklava. Layers of phyllo dough saturated with honey and sugar, filled with chopped nuts. A touch of rose water and orange blossom added to this Lebanese delicacy.

We listened to live music by Amin Sultan band and people watched. And then it was time to head out.

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