The sophisticated, cosmopolitan and laid-back Gordon’s Cafe at Le Gray Hotel in Downtown Beirut is the perfect spot for any kind of meet up, from business meetings and afternoon coffees to solo tranquil lunches and family get-togethers. No matter the occasion, Gordon’s Cafe will definitely offer you a dose of inner city tranquility topped with excellent food and flawless service.
T and I met up with a new friend at the charming Gordon’s Cafe the other week for a tasty (and not so light) lunch in the heart of the city.
We ordered a variety of dishes from the menu to share.
Frozen ginger lemonade for me (our waiter recommended it) without sugar. It turned out really delicious made with sweetener – and I think it’s going to become a regular! T ordered sugar-free minted lemonade and I sneaked a sip as soon as it reached the table (obviously).
As we waited for our order, we chatted about the usual – food, work, food, life, and food.
The service is incredibly quick here. They probably overheard us and thought we were about to eat our cutlery.
Complimentary warm bread paired with a parsley-pesto dip was served as our food was being prepared. This dome-shaped bread is massive, airy and messy. Extremely messy. But more importantly, it’s delicious and fun to pull apart as we made a mess of bread crumbs all over the table.
After we massacred it, our waiter came to the rescue with a small brush to sweep up the “crumb” scene. I know; I don’t know how I came up with that lame pun either :’)
The Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Bruschetta (16,000 LBP) was the first to arrive. Side note: I’m a big huge fan of goat cheese. The “bruschetta” was more like a flatbread-pizza; no complaints though, because it was delicious and made for a perfect light bite to start off our meal. I would top it with walnuts for an extra nutty crunch.
This warm goat cheese flatbread with a delightfully crispy edge was featured on “For The Love Of Goat Cheese: 5 Of The Best Goat Cheese Dishes In Beirut“.
Our salads followed seconds later.
Duo of Rocca & Baby Spinach Salad (24,000 LBP): Grilled Mediterranean vegetables (bell pepper, eggplant, mushroom and zucchini), fresh greens and crumbled goat cheese served with a sweet balsamic dressing. I would only add some walnuts to the salad for that missing, necessary crunch.
No, I don’t have an obsession with walnuts; they’re just brilliant when paired with goat cheese!
Moving on to the Authentic Greek Salad (24,000 LBP). Feta cheese (yum), olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and oregano, tossed in a French dressing (mustard-based), and served with freshly baked Lebanese bread. The bread was fluffy and extremely tasty, especially when paired with the salty feta cheese and olives. Though I don’t believe this salad can be called “authentic”, since French dressing isn’t really “Greek”. Greek with a Twist? Nonetheless, I loved the combination of flavours and would order this salad again, authentic or not!
The deconstructed Smoked Salmon Bagel (31,000 LBP) was my favourite; Scottish smoked salmon, whole-wheat toasted bagel, low fat cream cheese, capers and lemon. I love the fact that we had to assemble the sandwich ourselves! The whole-wheat bagel was excellent – all bread at Gordon’s Cafe is made in-house.
We also ordered mains.
We were hungry, okay?
I love Thai Shrimp Curry (and anything seafood for that matter), so when I saw it on the menu, I had to order it; plus, our friend recommended it since she orders it every time she’s at Gordon’s Cafe .
Gordon’s Thai Shrimp Curry (40,000 LBP) is served with steamed basmati rice on the side, and I love basmati rice particularly for its prominent nutty flavour – seriously, I can eat it on its own with just a pinch of salt. The coconut milk and spices in the curry were well-balanced. My only comment is that the dish could benefit from more vegetables (and slightly larger shrimp).
The Roasted Baby Chicken (39,000 LBP), though flavourful, was quite dry. Two pieces of buttered corn on the cob, hand-cut French fries, and a side salad are served with it.
No matter though, the Fish and Chips (40,000 LBP) made up for it. The battered Haddock fish was crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. It was delicious with those golden French fries and pickle tartar dip.
Dessert at Gordon’s Cafe
We were swayed to order all the displayed cakes to taste. Emphasis on “taste”. Riiight.
I don’t know about my lunch companions, but I was in cake heaven! I couldn’t control my enthusiasm – I was surrounded by lots and lots of cake from carrot, orange and coconut-banana to chocolate, double chocolate and triple chocolate!
You could get a sugar rush just by looking at them!
The Carrot Cake was my favourite; it was dense and so rich in flavour. And hey, carrot is a vegetable, so bonus! My second favourite was the flourless butter-less Banana Coconut Cake – we indulged in this one guilt-free! Third, the Orange Poppyseed! I’ll stop here, because I’ll probably just end up listing them all.
The cakes at Gordon’s Cafe are so moist and not too sweet, so they are perfect to share after a satisfying lunch or paired with a freshly-brewed coffee in the afternoon. Cakes are priced between 12,000-15,000 LBP.
The Valrhona Dark Chocolate Fondant (16,000 LBP) was rich, moist and not too sweet. As you dig in, the scent of molten dark chocolate oozing out of the cake completely takes over your senses.
The Pain Perdu (16,000 LBP) at Gordon’s Cafe was epic. It was a work of art, a masterpiece. The brioche bread was perfectly moist with golden sticky edges. Dreamy caramel sauce was poured over the golden bread causing the vanilla ice cream to dissolve into the pure melted gold. I want need one now.
This delightfully sticky and sweet Pain Perdu was featured on “5 of the Most Delicious Pain Perdu in Lebanon” <3
Our lunch at Gordon’s Cafe was a memorable one, definitely to be repeated (with cake!).
Seriously, whatever you do, don’t forgo dessert!
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