One of my favorite parts about visiting big cities is eating food from cultures that are underrepresented in Austin. On this trip to Portland I was really excited to go back to Al Amir and have their magnificent eggplant and vegan baklava again, but alas it wasn’t to be. Luckily the city is packed with Lebanese restaurants and my loving and wonderful hosts Hannah and Ryan picked up take out from Aladdin’s Cafe for us to enjoy at home.
We decided to share all of the vegetarian appetizers so we had a tray full of the usual Falafel, Homous, Baba Ghanouj, Grape Leaves, and even got some extra pita as well. Everything aside from the underbaked pita bread was top notch. I thought the homous was deliciously smooth and creamy, and as always I wanted more falafel. We also tried the deep fried vegetables, which had cauliflower and carrots and then two dishes I had never had before. The Mehumara, described on the menu as “a blend of walnuts, toasted bread, garlic, onions, pomegranate, jalapeno and extra virgin olive oil.” It was not quite what I expected, a little bit sweet and sour, but I think it was my favorite part of the meal. We also had the Foul Mudamas which were fava beans cooked with garlic and onions and perhaps something smoky too, it had a very unique flavor.
We were unable to eat everything but we gave it our best shot! Actually that could describe my entire trip to Portland.