Habibi’s Lebanese Gourmet Food (with bellydancers)

Beryl Gorbman, Merida

Recently, a group of six of us went to Habibi’s in Chuburna. We loved it.

As soon as you walk in, you hear the plaintive music of of the middle-eastern harps, the wooden flutes, the distinctive drumming and the enthusiasm of the musicians. Then the irresistible odors hit you. When you fill your lungs with the garlic, cumin, lamb, mint, fresh vegetables and cardomam, you become a customer for life.

The buffet has several dozen dishes, including a lamb tartare with three kinds of sauces and other unexpected delights. Fresh pita bread was served in a cloth container. They have a variety of desserts, including baklava with pistachio. One of the best foods in the buffet line was what looked like an ordinary potato dish, but was mixed with large beans and perfect herbs. The baba ganouj was especially unusual and delicious. It had a smoky flavor.

The food items we’re relatively used to, like hummous, tabbouleh, tahini, stuffed grape leaves and falafel were all there along with many dishes I’d not seen before. My favorite was a fat roll of spiced meat and rice covered by a green vegetable. It reminded me of the stuffed cabbage my mom used to make, except the vegetable was something other than cabbage. The filling was light and fluffy.

If you think you've eaten quibis, try these

You can ask for Arabic coffee and they’ll pour it into a tiny cup for you from a silver decanter. (You’ll want sugar.) The wait staff is professional and constantly available. You can can visit the buffet until you have to be carried out of there.

And while you’re eating, the entertainment starts.

All through dinner, I thought I heard parrots squawking. Young-hee and I ventured to the front of the restaurant and opened the sliding doors to a good-sized sunroom that housed three very loud large green parrots. Young-hee looked at one of them and said, “Hola.”

“Hello,” said the bird.

Habibi’s is located at 21 401 E Colonia Terranova (near Chuburna)
Tel: 953-3331

Bellydancing performances are only on the weekends.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
This entry was posted in Merida Expat Life, Pictures, Restaurant Reviews and Food. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Habibi’s Lebanese Gourmet Food (with bellydancers)

  1. peg says:

    Will definately have to give this place a try… im always looking out for great new restaurants (the food here sucks!) So far Henessy’s is my favorite. Have you been there?

  2. Jeanne Sather says:

    Love the bird! Thanks for taking some photos of him.


  3. Alan from Mérida says:

    Usually it is all too easy for me to pass over restaurant reviews, particularly since we do not eat meat and just about all food service places here dish out meat. However, “Yenta” sure make it sound as if there are Lebanese vegetarian options as well as sumptuous meat choices. Will put it on the “most try” list.

    One fan has posted some lively views of the restaurant at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rwS4JnmiIM.

    Just a bit of orientation. Unless you are used to the “greater” Chuburna area, the location can be a bit obscure. The Youtube poster gives the full address as C. 21 #401-E between 48A and 50 in Fracc. Terranova, and the phone as 953-3331.
    – If traveling north on the Periferico from, say, Caucel/Jacinto Canek, there’s a small sign on the side of the road for the Chuburna exit, which puts you directly onto C. 21.
    – If traveling on C. 60/Av. Tecnologico, on the southbound (towards el Centro) sign there’s a traffic light at C. 17. Travel on 17 to, say, left on C. 20 (which takes you past the Mercado de Chuburna) or C. 24 to a left on C. 21, and then follow it out.

    • BG says:

      Thank you so much for the good directions.
      It seems to me that at least half of the dishes were vegetarian. I’m sure you will enjoy it. High-quality cooking.

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