Kitsch cuisine on the go

There's a new fast food chain in town and it features Mexican and Lebanese on its menu. While take-out is an option, it might mean soggy burritos and tacos chips

It's a smart business strategy: Adapt two popular cuisines -- Lebanese and Mexican -- that lend themselves well to the vegetarian diet and serve them on the go. The result? Leb Mex. With three outlets already in Bangalore, the year-old chain has only recently offered its first serving at Girgaum Chowpatty to whet the city's voracious appetite. The plan is to have the second one in Lower Parel fully operational within the next week.

Leb Mex
Food: Yummy
Service: Okay
Ambience: Basic

The Original Falafel is a pita pocket stuffed with falafel bullets, thinly
sliced gherkins and pickled veggies, with lashings of spicy Turkish sauce
and Tahini, a paste made from white sesame seeds.

For those who came in late, Leb Mex also offers a combination of Lebanese and Mexican cuisines under the rather accommodating umbrella term: Fusion cuisine. This is where the falafel, burritos, nachos and hummus get to swap their culinary characteristics and be served incognito on a paper plate.

Don't equate 'salad', with low-cal in the French Fries Salad, which has
sour cream, guacamole and salsa slopped
over deep-fried potatoes,
and is garnished with spring onions.
Pics/ Pradeep Dhivar

Who's complaining?
We can't remember the last time we walked through the Golden Arches seeking a gourmet meal. That's probably because we never have. Point being, if you're looking to make a night of your afternoon/ evening at Leb Mex, you're better off staying in.

The night we strolled in, we didn't know better than to clamber up the mezzanine section and plonk our weary behinds on the black Rexene sofas. Five minutes of staring at the fluorescent walls (orange on one and green on another, if you must know) and with no one to rescue us from our existential misery, we realised sheepishly and thanks to no one else that we had to head downstairs to place our order.

Did you say, Hor-chata?
We quickly ordered the Original Falafel (Rs 120), which is a pita pocket with falafel bullets, pickled cabbage, cucumber and tomato tossed with Tahini, Hummus and Turkish sauce (a spicy red sauce made with chilli powder and vinegar). Filling. Though, the pita bread was less than fresh.

The Mexican Burrito (Rs 150) was better. Stuffed with re-fried beans, which the management assures us are black beans -- not rajma or kidney beans that tend to impart a sweeter flavour -- salsa, guacamole and rice, the thin tortilla has to be eaten before the sauces and sour cream make it soggy.

Did we enjoy the French Fries Salad (Rs 95)? You bet. Crispy fries with spoonfuls of two chatpata sauces and melted cheese... what's not to like! The Horchata (Rs 60), said to be a traditional Mexican milk-based drink laced with cinnamon was most unusual. Will we go back? Sure. For the same reason we walk through the Golden Arches.

At: Leb Mex, Chowpatty (near Sukh Sagar).
Call: 23828000/ 08

At: Todi Mill Compound, Lower Parel.
Call: 32227202

Leb Mex didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.

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