Dubai was an introductory course to the nuanced differences in Middle Eastern cuisines, as well as a taste of what really good Middle Eastern food could be (an incredible step up from the chunky grocery-store hummus packs and beyond the simple shwarma and falafel stands I frequented in Paris).

Myra’s cousin, who lives and works in Dubai, took us to an excellent Lebanese restaurant called Bazerkan in the Dubai Marina (along the Jumeirah Beach Resort “walk”), where we plopped down at a sunny table al fresco and stuffed ourselves with smooth, creamy hummus (the one with pine nuts was phenomenal), crisp and fresh vegetables, a surprisingly delicious lentil soup, grilled lamb chops, a fluffy spinach-and-cheese flatbread, kabobs, and a succulent white fish flayed and grilled with really good spices.

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