Take Beirut Express: it looks like your common-and-garden urban caff, if decorated in a distinct Levantine style of 80s marble and nickel surfaces. The only giveaway that you can also feed your face here, are two giant kebab "elephant legs" slowly swivelling in the corner. Luckily, I know that they have way better stuff up their sleeve. Check their menu and you will see the classic Middle Eastern lineup of starters, grilled meats and sweets.
Last time I went there with a Japanese girl friend who does not eat much anyway, it took us close to three hours to finish the gigantic platters of starters (meze) and mixed grilled meats (meshawi). This time around there were three of us to feed on those and that filled us up for the rest of the day.
Make sure to try their jellab drink - rose-flavoured date juice, intensely fragrant and sweet.
Pro's: Superlative Lebanese grub. Friendly service. Big portions. Affordable.
Con's: Tables next to the entrance are a tad drafty.
In a nutshell: Levantine cuisine at its usual best.
Beirut Express 112-114 Edgware Road London W2 2 DZ
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