Monday, August 3, 2015

the things that feel familiar

It was hunger that brought us into Kormacit, a small town that felt so good, so familiar, so... Lebanese. The blue-rimmed window frames, the pale ochre stone houses, the church— I could have sworn I was visiting my aunties in Batroun, were it not for the street signs in Greek and Turkish. It was just across from the aforementioned church that we found a restaurant both humble and packed, precisely what we needed. As we selected a small table in the far back of the restaurant, a nonchalant light-eyed waiter considered us a while before asking what we would like to drink. He disappeared the moment the word "beer" came out of Pedro's lips, leaving us wondering if there was a menu... or something...

Our friend soon returned with two giant beers and a series of small mezze plates of olives, yoghurt, beets, pickled veggies, and what seemed like tahini. Bread and salad followed, then the mushroom and fried halloumi cheese— a Cypriot specialty that formed big part of my happy childhood food memories!

Just when we were beginning to feel full, a fast-talking, no-nonsense woman in black dropped a steaming tinfoil packet on each of our plates without explanation.

Ah, the meat. It was lying there so tender and moist under a big fat potato, waiting to be salted and sprinkled in thyme...

When we were presented with the two pieces of sweet fried dough, I have to admit I was relieved, as this no doubt signaled the end of the glorious feast, and there was simply no more room in my body. We took our time sipping coffee while our lady in black smoked a cigarette and shared stories with a group of British tourists she knew. I decided to sketch off the feeling of fullness that again, felt so familiar, so... Lebanese.

No comments: