Author Archives: alghatrif

Jeffersonian Dinner: Debating Ideas by Relating to Each Other

Over the two years, I have grown into the habit of stopping by Syriana, mostly at dinner time, to “check on business”. I frequently ended up being asked to join our patrons on their tables over deep discussions. I have experienced the mutual joy of bouncing ideas off other minds, and the thirst for exploring others’ views. These discussions over dinner became the reason for my visits and the “check on business” thing became a distraction. These captivating discussions brought […]

The Mezza

The Mezza: More than Starters it is a Celebration of FoodMezza describes a number of small-plates used as anti-pasti in the Eastern-Mediterranean and Central Asia.The word could be derived from Persian Maze meaning “to snack”. In Arabic, Mezza means to sip, and also refers to sweat-sour food eaten with drinks.While sharing the same name, Mezza’s components vary between regions, even those dishes that share the same name.In subsequent blogs, I will discuss the different components of the Syrian variety and […]

What’s in a Kabab?

Time for Entrées?The Syrian cuisine is not complete without grilled meats, Mashawi in Arabic. Chicken, beef, and lamb are our common choices with the latter being the premier meat with a tender, fat-rich body and unique flavor.Each of these meats are marinated in a special mixture of spices that accentuate meat flavors rather than masking it. Of note, Syrians spices are more about complimentary aromas rather than “heat”.Finally, the smoky flavor of grilling does the rest. The type of meat […]

What is Baklavato?

Breaking into the Future.. Baklavato from AffogatoVanilla gelato on top of crushed pistachio baklava all drowned in hot Syrian Coffee with chocolate syrup.How about that??One thing I learned from history is that the lovely things we inherited was not from great guys in the past copying those before them; we would have been still eating berries off bushes if that was the case.The greatest discoveries, including the most delicious meals came when people, well rooted in the past, pulled from […]

Why Gelato?

No, Gelato is not Syrian Ice Cream, but here is why we have it. Opening Syriana Café and Gallery in late 2017, we planned to introduce Booza, an iconic Syrian ice cream the following summer; the introduction was postponed due to the Ellicott City summer flood. Working on the logistics, however, we realized Booza can’t be kept in regular ice cream freezers as those have lower temperatures, making it freeze like a rock. Looking for alternatives we dove into the […]