Sunday, February 19, 2012

Grocery shopping in Beirut, Lebanon

Nobody in our family likes shopping, and least of all grocery shopping. Because of this, and in an attempt to save money, we only go to the store once every 7-10 days, filling out with only fruits and vegetables in between.

Before we moved to campus, we did almost all our shopping at Idriss, which was just across the street from our old apartment. For alcoholic beverages, pork products and a few other special items that we couldn’t find at Idriss, we would hike up to TSC at Concorde once in a while. Now that we live on campus, Idriss is no longer the most convenient store for us. Traffic through Hamra makes it the least accessible store of all, and walking there and having the groceries delivered is not an option after what happened when I tried it last time. Two of the delivery guys followed me home hand-carrying my grocery bags. Not only was the whole ID-card process to get them onto the AUB premises a hassle, but during the entire walk through campus they made embarrassing passes on every single female student they met. Then of course they wanted an enormous tip since the walk was so long and inconvenient. TSC at Concorde is not very accessible any more either, since it’s a too long of a walk for Abraham, and again, because of traffic through Hamra, taxi is an unpleasant option.

So what are the grocery stores we’ll go to?

Spinney’s in Jnah is our best alternative, because it a/has most everything we need, b/the prices are among the best in town, and c/it’s easy to get to, via the Cornishe past the beach. Even if there’s traffic, it’s usually not as bad as anywhere else. We always call a taxi company, who charges the standard 10,000LB each way, and there’s rarely any hassle.

Monoprix in Jnah has the best deli and bakery in town, and we love going there for all their wonderful cheeses, cured meats and breads, however there’s no alcohol there at all, and other groceries that we rely on, such as cereal and cans, are more expensive and the selection is not optimal. An added value to Monoprix though is their home department with everything from lamps and curtain rods, to toys and electronics.

TSC in Jnah is gross, with most of the grocery area taken up by a restaurant where people seem to mainly sit and smoke. Yuck.

I've been to Fahed's past Ashrafiye a few times, and it's a good store for things like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and other household items especially. They have most of everything, with good prices on cereal and a lot of ethnic foods, including American foods. It's the store that is the farthest away from us though, and their meat section and deli leave a few things to desire. 

Spinney’s in Ashrafiye is well stocked (they even have fresh pork!), prices are excellent, and we could do all our shopping there all the time if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s so, so horribly hard to get to because of the traffic. Really, it’s awful. The store is also a little bit crowded compared to Spinney’s in Jnah.

The TSC signature store downtown is nice, although again, the restaurant - which takes up a large part of the store - bothers me, the prices are significantly higher, and they don’t have everything we need.

I've heard of other stores, like Euroshopper, but after our recent discoveries in Jnah, our exploration desires in this department have faded a bit. Will keep you posted though.

No comments:

Post a Comment