Byblos has a decent amount of patio seating outdoors, and just a few tables inside. We choose an inside table, and perused their menu. Everything looked delicious. We wanted to try a few different things, so we ordered the cheese labneh to start.
If you haven’t had labneh, it’s Greek yogurt that is spiced and drained of water until it becomes thick like cream cheese. You dip bread or vegetables in it…or just get out a spoon and enjoy it by itself.
For our entrees, I ordered beef kebabs and my husband ordered a chicken shawarma with the complete lunch, which included rice pilaf, hummus, salad, and hot pita bread.
My glass of white wine came out immediately, along with my husband’s non-alcoholic blended lemonade. As you can see from the photo, it’s like no lemonade you’ve ever seen before. It had a layer of pink lemonade, and a layer of blended mint delight. I’m a hardcore wine devotee, but for the first time, I was almost ready to trade my wine for this house specialty drink. Well, almost.
Our food came out fast and fresh. Their rice pilaf was perfectly cooked, and the salad reminded me how much I love salads. It had a mint-parsley vinaigrette that was one of the best vinaigrettes I’ve ever tasted. The meat, however, was the obvious star of the lunch.
My husband’s shawarma was open-faced, so he ate the chicken first without the bread wrapping. The chicken was tender and so flavorful. Sometimes I get “chickened-out” from my healthy husband’s love of chicken breasts, but this was a delight. It was only surpassed by my beef. I could sing odes to the beef kebabs. The meat was tender enough to be cut with a fork, and it sang in my mouth. About half-way through my meal I thought about taking the rest of it to go. It was so good, though, that I couldn’t stand the thought of not eating it. That night at dinner time, I was crying tears of regret, because I wanted MORE of that delightful meat. It was truly some of the best meat I’ve had in Panama.
I normally take pictures of my food, but I was so overcome by the desire to eat it, that I completely forgot. Sorry. I'll snap some next time. If you beat me back there, please send me some of your favorite pictures.
Byblos Restaurant is owned by a Lebanese-Canadian couple who arrived just as we finished lunch. We were able to chat with them and wax poetic about their food. The husband has a nice way with customers and eyes that sparkle as he talks about his food. I wish them all the success… and can’t wait to go back again.
INSIDE SCOOP REVIEW: 5 stars