A Thing


I bought a Lebanese food thing today. I had no idea what it was, really, but it looked golden and tasty, so I pointed to the large platter being kept warm in a heater on the bakery counter and asked for a piece of that, “s’il vous plaît.”

The server didn’t seem entirely convinced I knew what I was ordering (he was right, of course) so he warned me, “It’s sort of like a crème brulée.” Say no more, I thought.

He proceeded to ask me a series of questions, which I didn’t quite comprehend at first. Not because he was speaking in French, but because this was a whole new world of food, and I lacked context. I eventually figured out that he wanted to know if I’d like a small, medium, or large amount of hot syrup on the thing.

Next, did I want the thing in a something-something, or on its own? I really didn’t understand this one, so I just nodded. Let’s go for the whole shebang, I figured.

To go, or to eat here? This one I understood. “To go.”

I paid for my thing – along with the plate of delicate pastries I’d gotten for later; this place has the best Lebanese-style baklava in Montreal, despite its unlikely location in a past-its-prime suburban strip mall – and headed to my car. I lowered the paper wrapper and bit into the soft, gooey thing, encased in a crunchy, sesame seed-studded dough pocket with a tiny built-in handle/finger hole. The verdict? This thing was delicious.