#foodbeast Cravings Culture Features Restaurants Video

Giant Middle Eastern BBQ Platters Are Served Up At This Lebanese Restaurant

Located in the heart of Southern California’s San Fernando Valley lies a gem of a restaurant that’s been catering to both celebrities and the local community for decades. Established in 1984, Carnival Restaurant is Lebanese cuisine with flair, where chef and owner Wahid has served everybody from the Hadid sisters to Bill Clinton. Here, the word feast is more of an understatement. That’s because they specialize in massive Lebanese bbq platters the size of Captain America’s shield.

Dubbed the VIP Platter, this monolithic meal is a whole team of Lebanese delicacies: kafta, lamb chops kastaleta, beef, lamb and chicken shawerma, and a whole roasted chicken. This is big time eating, friends. Perfect to squad up on while rocking stretchy pants.

Dining fit for a sultan’s soiree is definitely the vibes with the Carnival Restaurant’s VIP Platter, and as highlighted in the video above, the irresistible trust fall into Lebanese cuisine our faithful tastebuds deserve.


This Restaurant Serves Tableside Shawarma You Can Slice Yourself

Photo Credit: @BrunchBoys

There are few things in this world as mesmerizing as watching someone slice roasted meat off of a spit. Many times have we stood on the opposite side of the counter top at the local shawarma joint, wishing we could just hop on over and slice off a piece of meat for ourselves.

Looks like a Lebanese/Middle Eastern restaurant in New York will let you do just that — at your table, at least. Au Za’atar, located in NYC, offers patrons a full-on shawarma slicing experience by offering what they call Table-Side Spinners, which are essentially mini roasting spits.

Table-side shawarma is the definition of LIT 🔥 @auzaatar

A post shared by Emily Fedner (@foodloversdiary) on

Each spit comes complete with a bed of pita bread, vegetables, and fries. Currently, there are three meat options available: beef, chicken, and lamb.

After you slice your meat, it falls directly onto the bed of veggies and pita so you can just scoop up and enjoy. Man, sounds like the perfect family-style meal.

Because customers probably don’t want to wait hours for their meat to fully finish, the off-menu speciality needs to be ordered in advance — though they do have a couple ready-to-eat spits available for when the restaurant opens.

Photo Credit: @BrunchBoys
#foodbeast Cravings Hit-Or-Miss Recipes

Shawarma Egg Rolls Are A Real Thing And Here’s The Recipe

shawarma egg rolls

If you don’t know what Shawarma is then you’re missing out on one of the most important Middle Eastern dishes you’ve never had. Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish comprised of either lamb, chicken, or beef that is prepared on a vertical rotating spit. A typical beef shawarma sandwich is served in a pita with gherkin pickles, turnips, parsley mix and a drizzle of tahini.

I’ve always been inspired by my Lebanese heritage and cuisine, considering that it was what I grew up with. So when Canada’s bad boy Josh Elkin came through the office this week, we grabbed some shawarma sandwiches in Little Arabia, located in the always sunny Southern California. As we were coming up with ideas for some new recipe videos, the thought of rolling up an entire shawarma sandwich inside an egg roll came to mind. Having an Asian girlfriend was my inspiration, but Josh had the know-how to make it possible.

On our way to the store we wisely consulted my Lebanese mother on how to get the the shawarma recipe just right. Although we don’t have a vertical spit for our shawarma, there’s still a way to to make our dreams come true using an oven and the right spices. Here’s the recipe below and check out the video for a detailed visual look.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 deep fryer or large pot
  • 1 basting brush
  • 3 liters of cooking oil
  • Egg Roll Wrappers
  • 1 plastic bag
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 pound of thin sliced flank steak
  • 1 cup of sliced pickled turnips
  • 1 cup of chopped gherkins
  • 1 cup of tahini paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup of red vinegar
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of shawarma spice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 largely sliced onion with pedals separated
  • 1 cup of finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of sumac spice

Preheat the cooking oil to 375 degrees F.

Step 1

Slice the flank steak into small bits and add it to a plastic bag. Add the red vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, onions, shawarma seasoning, lemon juice, and lemons and mix well. Put this in the fridge for about 2 hours (overnight is better).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 2

Add the contents of the bag to a baking tray and cook for about 20 minutes or until the onions become wilted.

Step 3

Combine the parsley lemon juice and sumac in a small bowl and mix well.

Lay out one egg roll wrapper. Paint the perimeter of the egg roll wrapper with the beaten egg.

Step 4

Lay out some turnips in the center of the egg roll wrapper. Add the sliced pickles and some of the parsley mixture. Top it off with a few strips of the shawarma beef.

Step 5

Roll the wrapper from one corner to the next. Pull it back to create a cylinder.

Step 6

Fold in the two side corners of the wrapper over the cylinder and roll it up closed.

Place the egg roll into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and bubbly.

Step 7

Combine the tahini paste with water and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix until the tahini becomes a light, beige color. Season with more salt to desired taste.


Pita Bread, Lebni, Za’atar & Sriracha

A friend of mine was recently turned on to the simplicity of Arabic-themed breakfasts, a hodgepodge of pita bread, Lebni spread (yogurt with oil) and za’atar (a mix of dried herbs, sesame seeds, dried sumac, often times salt and other spices). While those ingredients are all fine and dandy by their lonesome (hit the above ingredients with a freshly sliced cucumber and you’ll be in Middle Eastern breakfast heaven), our friend Matt is one of the 99% who believe that everything can be made better through Sriracha.

Apparently this new dish is “the bomb.” For those up on their Middle Eastern cuisine, you’ll notice that most dishes aren’t traditionally complimented by a side of hot sauce, particularly Sriracha. But this new look might become part of my early morning breakfast routine!




Where friends gather for Lebanese food — when we saw that tagline, our wandering group veered off the beaten pub crawl path and grabbed a table. Les Amis in Fullerton, CA is as nonthreatening as ethnic Lebanese places come. They have a simple but expansive menu, an orderup desk accented by a beautifully decorated indoor seating area that makes you feel you’re spending a pretty penny on your meal, when in fact, you are not.