I consider myself a restaurant connoisseur of sorts. I love going out for dinner, I love good food, wine, good value and great service. I trawl Brisbane for those little hole-in-the-wall places that you only find out about by word of mouth.
One place that I feel I am doing the community a disservice by keeping secret is Baalbek at Morningside. It's tucked away, around the side of the Woolworths complex and is disguised as a run-of-the-mill kebab shop. I stumbled upon it one night being at a loss in Morningside and seeing 'Lebanese Cuisine' it piqued my interest.
It's casual dining, with BYO and an outdoor section. I have a love for Middle-Eastern food, so this was already my type of place. The owner is Syrian and very loud and friendly. The food is rich and delicious. Humus, falafel and tabbouleh, like it's imported straight from the desert nations. I usually get a platter- this is where you are best served. It's an array of food and colour, on a huge plate with dip and a basket of pita which comes free. It's a bit of everything off the menu so it eliminates food-envy.
I go here once a month with a large group of friends. The owner always comes out and has a chat and a laugh with everyone, and would you believe, he remembers nearly everyone's order from over a month ago. It's service the way it should be, with a smile (or more of a cheeky grin in his case) and food so good and authentic my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
It checks off my 3 requirements- good food, good value and BYO in one swift hit. It's a great place for a quick meal, a long chat or a large group catch-up. I highly recommend it.