Saturday, July 15, 2006

Trees of Lebanon

After a long lie in to see off a threatened migraine, I reward myself for spurts of Greenbelt emailing and house-tidying, with periods of sitting out in the garden reading accompanied by Arcade Fire of the stereo.

Early evening I call around for S and we head to The Cedar Tree in the Northern Quarter. As we walk through the streets, we’re struck by how much things have changed in the past few years. Trendy bars, delis and shops nestle amongst the surviving older businesses, the textile merchants, the curry cafes and the wealth of shops that specialise in the unusual (be it paper bags, sewing machines, craft material or whatever).

The Cedar Tree too survives and its surge in business due to the revival of the area hasn’t spoilt its charm or service style.

By which I mean that the bizarre ‘wall from a B-movie alien swamp’ is still as inexplicable as ever, the proprietor propped at his table at the rear of the space, still ignores the no-smoking signs and halfway through the meal the waitress tours the table explaining that ‘yet again’ the credit card machine isn’t working, so can we pay in cash please.

Such eccentricities only add to its charm and the food is as fantastic as ever. Picking at dishes of falafel, baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, stuffed baby aubergines etc is just perfect in this hot weather.

Of course, it’s not lost on us, that as we chow down on these Lebanese goodies, the land of its origin is being bombed out of civilisation.

Sometimes the world makes no sense.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I think that's my favourite restaurant in Manchester