DC establishments like Compass Rose and Maydan are selling mezze to help the people affected by the Beirut explosion.
On Tuesday, August 4, a massive explosion shook the Lebanese capital of Beirut leaving more than 300,000 people without a home. After news of the tragic incident reached DC, several local restaurateurs decided to start a city-wide fundraiser in aid of the victims of the explosion.
Chef Marcelle Afram (Maydan, Compass Rose), who’s of Lebanese descent, kickstarted the fundraising initiative alongside chef Roro Asmar (Asmar’s Mediterranean Foods) under the hashtag #Beitna, which means “Our House” in Arabic. The restaurateurs will be donating the profits of the mezze they sell through August 12 to both Disaster Relief for Beirut Explosion and the Lebanese red cross and have urged their fellow restaurant colleagues to do the same.
“To our restaurant friends & colleagues,” reads a post on Compass Rose’ Istagram. “This recent tragedy that struck Beirut hits very close to many of us in the DC community. The explosion of a warehouse in Beirut that happened today has caused injuries surpassing 3,000 and many deaths. Beirut is a major metropolitan city in the Middle East and a major port that brings in supplies for its Levantine neighbors who are in major crisis as well, such as Syria. There is especially a focus on food due to the port and its import/export services so the need for a humanitarian presence is crucial.”
“We have found 2 organizations that we believe allying with could help bring direct resources to help alleviate the impact and provide direct access to those affected.
We are asking for you to put a menu item on at some point this week that concludes on Wednesday, August 12, and to donate the profits to either the Disaster Relief for Beirut Explosion or Lebanese Red Cross.”
Several other restaurants around DC have now joined the initiative and are selling manoushe, hummus, kebabs and other dishes to help raise money. Here are some of the establishments you can buy food at and contribute to the initiative:
Albi has put a new item on the menu to help raise funds– Mahshi. The stuffed squash dish with smoked lamb neck and cinammon is one of chef Michael Rafidi’s childhood favorites. All proceeds will be going to Impact Lebanon.
The Korean eatery is donating all proceeds from its hashweh fried rice special (beef, Lebanese seven-spice, zucchini, pine nuts, sun gold tomatoes, herbs, and pita with Lebanese za’atar) to the Lebanese Red Cross and Impact Lebanon.
Asmar’s Mediterranean Foods and Zikrayet
Both of chef Asmar’s ventures will be donating proceeds to the Lebanese Red Cross. Zikrayet will be donating a portion of all mezze sales while Asmar’s Mediterranean Foods will be redirecting a portion of its original Hummus, available in Whole Foods and Harris Teeter, to the nonprofit.
The Italian deli will send all profits from its new to-go cocktail “Beirut” to the Lebanese Red Cross.
At Compass Rose, Afram is selling man’ousheh with a side of labneh. The flatbread comes topped with minced lamb, roasted tomato, sumac onions and mint and costs $18. Proceeds are going to the Lebanese Red Cross and Impact Lebanon.
The U-street restaurant will be donating most of its proceeds to the Lebanese Red Cross as part of the #Beitna initiative.
Lebanese Taverna owner Grace Abi-Najm Shea has started a GoFundMe to help raise $50,000 for the Lebanese Red Cross.
The Hawaiian ball restaurant is donating a portion of their popular OG & OG Vegan musubi.
The burger bar is donating all profits of its adana burger (a patty made of halal beef, charred red pepper, labneh, sumac onions, and fresh herbs) to disaster relief.
At Maydan, all proceeds for their new harissa braised goat hummus, topped with pine nuts, sumac onions and shishito peppers, will go to the Lebanese Red Cross and Impact Lebanon.
The Green Zone
This Middle Eastern cocktail bar is donating all proceeds from three of its cocktails to the Lebanese Red Cross. These include their Mint Lemonade with Jun Lebanese gin, the Lebanese No. 1 with cognac and apricot, and their Shi Salbeh with Barr Hill gin.
Z&Z is donating %100 of proceeds for their manoushe to the Lebanese Red Cross.
[Featured image: @chefrorosworld, Instagram]