Beirut and an Unfortunate Realization

I was contemplating this week’s Foodie Friday post the other day as I wasted time on the internet. I knew that Todd and I were going to go out for dinner on our anniversary, and I figured I’d just take photos of whichever restaurant we ended up going to. Then, I accidentally stumbled across a bunch of websites criticizing the trend of hipsters taking photos of their meals (such as here and here). Somehow, it never occurred to me that taking pictures of what you eat is an obnoxious trend – I love seeing photos of food, and I couldn’t be a hipster if I tried. I comforted myself by saying “don’t worry, self. This is for a blog post.” Then the realization hit me: taking photos of food for a blog is taking the trend to a whole new level. Not only do you engage in the obnoxious behaviour of photographing your food, you then go on to write about your narcissistic consumption experience. Hmmm.

I contemplated this for awhile, but it made me hungry. So I grabbed T-bone and went to Beirut, a Lebanese restaurant in the Thong Lo area. Nothing that a little a lot of garlic can’t solve. Soon, my fears had passed, and I was ready to once again take low quality, low resolution photos of food. Sorry, hipster haters.

Our meal started off with an assortment of vegetables and dips that were basically pure garlic cloaked in fat. So good.

Vegetable platter

Clockwise from left: tahini (sesame seed paste), labneh (garlic and cheese), jalapeno puree

Choosing our entrees was extremely difficult. I have a bit of a Lebanese food fetish, and Lebanese restaurants are few and far between in Bangkok. There were so many options, and I just knew that I would make the wrong choice and live with gastric regret. Fortunately, the restaurant had platter options – meals that include four different choices. And fortunately, I knew that I could coerce my husband into sharing with me (“It’s our anniversary, darling. You should celebrate our love by sharing all your food with me.”).

After much careful deliberation, I went with the following platter:

Clockwise from top left: Tabouleh (parsley/couscous/tomato/garlic salad), hummus, stuffed vine leaves, chicken shawarma

While Todd went with these treats:

Chicken shawarma, meat sambosa (meat pastry), tabouleh, mouhammara (nut/tomato/garlic/bread crumb dip)

IMG_2098

The platter with Todd in the background to give you an idea of its size

I was feeling intense fear at the thought that I would miss out on an important taste experience, so we also ordered this:

Cheese sambosa (deep-fried cheese pastry)

Maybe it’s because I hadn’t eaten Lebanese food in such a long time, but our meals tasted amazing. Pure garlic deliciousness. I was basically comatose with food joy. I could hardly speak, which didn’t necessarily make for the most riveting dinner conversation, but it was worth it. We waddled out a few hours later, and we fully intend to visit Beirut again.

What do you think? Are people who take photos of food obnoxious?

15 thoughts on “Beirut and an Unfortunate Realization

  1. Obnoxious? Definitely not! I find the photos fascinating – and enticing, when I am feeling hungry. That Lebanese food looks wonderful!

  2. In answer to your question – definitely not – let the photos continue to roll in and stimulate our taste buds. Love Dad

  3. Hello! I’m a lurker here – hoping to move to Bangkok (from Scotland) this year and so I love reading your blog…

    And to get to the point, I always take photos of food too! I think people who complain about it are ridiculous. Maybe if you take ages to get it all set up and make a big fuss, then it would be annoying for people around you, but otherwise why the heck shouldn’t you? Plus I love seeing your photos, so please carry on 🙂

    • Hi Gillian
      Lurkers are always welcome! Exciting that you’re thinking of moving from Scotland to Thailand – that will definitely be a climate change. And thanks for appreciating my low quality images!

  4. ruthel, as someone who might be accused of unintentional hipsterhood myself, I have not yet become self-concious of photographing my food. In fact it is often with regret that, having DEVOURED whatever delicious, particularly photo-worthy dish someone else made me, i realise that I FORGOT TO PRESERVE IT for posterity in the digital archive. the digestive vault is sometimes more short-lived =)

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