Muncheez, the popular Lebanese restaurant in Washington DC known for late-night shawarma, curly fries, and crepes, has created from scratch a new recipe that combines Mexican and prominent Lebanese food.
The recipe called Taqueria de Beirut plays on Mexican and Lebanese flavors. The pita-based tacos include some of Lebanon’s signature food ingredients, like chicken shawarma, ground meat kafta kebabs, hummus, and Baba Ghannouj, and even incorporating different options for vegetarians, such as grilled cauliflower or fried eggplant.
Founded in 2010, Muncheez aims to create a casual Middle-Eastern environment where those who have never been to Lebanon get a taste of it, and for those who have been to feel like they never left.
“We have the infrastructure, so for us it makes sense,” founder David Nammour, a civil engineer-turned-restaurateur told DC Eater. “We have the kitchen, equipment, and staff. It was just about coming up with new recipes and food.”
Muncheez began when Nammour decided to share his experience of living in Lebanon by coming up with a concept revolving around authentic Lebanese food, funky tunes, and graffiti murals. His partner Haidar Charaf is a Lebanese chef that has over 3 decades of experience.
However, Nammour’s exclusive Taqueria de Beirut is a separate dish from Muncheez, but he says there is some “cross-utilization of ingredients.” The new venture, like many pop-up kitchens emerging during the pandemic, is testing to see if opening a standalone location would be feasible down the road.
Louis Yammine, a chef who’s consulted across Lebanon, Europe, and the U.S. was chosen by Nammour to craft the opening menu.
The two of them went to high school together in Beirut, Nammour says, and Yammine has kept in contact with him from Kuwait while running a large family of restaurants there.
As Muncheez opened its third, and largest branch last summer, more people from the west are getting the opportunity to experience a true depiction of the culinary experience we live by in Lebanon, as well as having the chance to try Lebanese food for what it really is, rich, filling, luscious and heavenly.