Andrew Bossone

Correspondent

  • Beirut, Lebanon, Middle East

Andrew Bossone is a correspondent who lives in Beirut and covers the Lebanese city and Sharm El Sheikh for Forbes Travel Guide. He has contributed to several international media outlets including National Geographic News, Reuters, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Fodor’s, McClatchy Newspapers, The Daily Beast, The Washington Times and BBC Radio. He taught media ethics at The American University in Cairo, holds a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Middle East Studies at the American University of Beirut.

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  • On September 18, 2012
    Andrew Bossone answered the question: Andrew Bossone

    What’s the best way to get around in Beirut?

    Most visitors travel by one of the white taxis in Beirut, but there are a few things Forbes Travel Guide editors think you need to know first. Taxis in Lebanon don’t have meters. Instead, you’ll have to negotiate a price before getting in. Most places in the relatively compact city cost $15 to $20. If you don’t mind riding with others, then you can take a servis taxi. If you tell the driver “sir-veese,” it means you’ll pay 2,000 Lebanese lira ($1.30) for the shared ride.
     
    The cheapest way to get around is by bus, but takes longer than by car and it can be complicated if you don’t speak Arabic. Rent a car if you plan on traveling farther than an hour away from Beirut or if you’re staying overnight outside the city. If you want to take a day trip close to Beirut, get the number of a taxi company from the front desk and ask the rates each way. Gratuities are rarely given, so they’re not expected.
  • On September 18, 2012
    Andrew Bossone answered the question: Andrew Bossone

    What is the best thing to bring home from Beirut?

    If you fall in love with the delicious and often healthy Lebanese cuisine, buy a couple cookbooks and the special spices for Lebanese specialties. Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you pick up some zaatar, which is Arabic for thyme, but refers to a powdered mix that also includes sumac, sesame seeds and salt. When you get home mix it with olive oil to make a paste that can be spread on warm bread. To jazz it up Lebanese-style, top it off with plain Greek-style yogurt, chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and olives. If you have a sweet tooth you can also find packages of bite-size desserts with variations of baklava and other Balkan delights.
  • On September 18, 2012
    Andrew Bossone answered the question: Andrew Bossone

    What are the five best Beirut food experiences?

    No visit to Beirut is complete without trying Lebanese culinary specialties; the cuisine here is considered among the best in the Arab world and the Mediterranean. Beirut also has a large Armenian population, with some interesting twists on traditional Lebanese fare. Fresh fish is plentiful, meat is grilled to perfection and the variety of mezze (appetizers) is a delight for vegetarians and food lovers in general. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best Beirut food experiences.
     
    1. Manouche. This bready delight is cooked in a superheated oven where it gets crisp and bubbly, then drizzled with olive oil and spices. Some people swear by Zaatar W. Zeit, others are fond of the manakeesh at Furn el Hamra.
     
    2. Soujouk. This meaty and spicy cured sausage that might show up at breakfast with eggs or stuffed into sandwich. Try it at Mano; its spicy and tangy taste is really addicting.
     
    3. Falafel. Made from ground chickpeas and or fava, seasoned and fried, falafel warm from the fryer is absolutely delicious. We especially like them tucked into a flatbread along with tomatoes and slathered with garlicky sauce. You’ll find two first-rate shops side-by-side called Falafel Sahyoun; they’re run by brothers.
     
    4. Foul. A filling and sustaining bean stew with pureed fava beans and whole chickpeas, foul is garnished with chopped tomatoes, onions and parsley. Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you try it at Sousi restaurant.
     
    5. Ice Cream. If you’re thinking you’ve had ice cream before; trust us, you haven’t live until you’ve tasted Hanna Mitri’s Middle Eastern ice cream with sensuous flavors like cardamom, rose water and saffron.