I have now been in Beirut for about six weeks thus this is my point of reference. The first thing to note is that in Beirut the prices for food can be very high, especially for what you get in terms of quality of food and service. Do not use your Western mind to evaluate the value equation as it won't work. Being in Beirut has also reinforced the feeling that tipping should be what service personnel should make a living on as it usually encourages better service. Service in Beirut, in general, is horrible even though they try to be Western in their restaurant design.
Today, November 3, 2013, I went and ordered a breakfast of eggs, bacon, coffee, and juice which came to 11.67. I was looking forward to a great breakfast but the server determined differently. After ordering my American brewed coffee, the server never brought it. I kept asking and they kept said it was brewing (another thing to get used to in Lebanon....not exactly telling the truth). So after 15 minutes and asking 3 different people all with the same answer, it was brewing, my cold eggs came out. I then asked for my juice and coffee. Again I waited. They disguise this restaurant as one that is Western but it is far from it in terms of quality of food and service. There were only 2 tables in the restaurant at the time and 3 waitstaff. The one table had coffee and I didn't see what the other had. There should not have been an issue getting my coffee in less than 15 minutes as it doesn't take that long to brew coffee nor are the servers too busy to get to it. Again, this should be taken in the context of Beirut in which the majority of places have very poor service and hit or miss in terms of quality of food. Save your money and go to Starbucks across the street where you know what you will be getting for your money and you will get Western service. I cannot stand going to chains while abroad, but they do tend to offer a level of service that others can give but fail to give.
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