Friday, January 05, 2018

Faisal Kabab Hut

I went to Faisal Restaurant in northeastern part of the city this past New Year's Day! The Brave called me and we went together as part of the dinner I owed him. The first time I went there was with him and The Chef. The second time it was me and The Chef. Faisal Restaurant is a Pakistani restaurant with normal things that you should expect from a business like that: run-down building, old and dirty furniture which are assembled in an odd shape, noisy, filthy mats, light bulbs and chandeliers covered in dust so much that the obscure light, customers coming and going for food pick up, waiters running up and down, you name it! In spite of all the above the food is not bad. It actually is good. None of us have gotten sick the past three times we were there. However price-wise it's expensive for what they serve. A dish of Chickpeas which is dipped in traditional Pakistani flavor is sold for a $8.95. This plate probably has half of a can of Chickpea which is sold for, say, $3 and they make the flavoring by adding some herbs and stuff which is practically nothing. So a dish of that kind must have at least 50% profit. I don't eat traditional Pakistani (or in general East Indian) bread mainly because it's made out of White Flour but they sell one for $1.5 (or $.2.5. I have to double-check the receipt I got from them because I remember they have mentioned that in two different rows and different prices). That bread does not even cost ¢40! How much Flour and other stuff they use to make one?! Their Kabob is not bad either. I don't know what they mix with meat but the taste is not bad and they bring it to you in a sizzling plate with raw Onions, which I like. The price of Kabob is $8.95 for a plate and you get two pieces, which easily fill you up, if eaten with Bread, Rice or Chickpea. The funny thing is the slight difference between the price of Chickpea and Kabob, leads to think that most of their Kabob ingredient is probably not meat! They have other dishes including Rice but since I don't eat Rice I have no experience to share.
In a nutshell if none of the disturbing things which were explained above bothers you, I recommend Faisal Restaurant but what is the story behind the word Faisal
There's a picture of a little boy as soon as you pass the restaurant's door frame. It says: Welcome to my restaurant! Apparently the owner has named the restaurant after his little son but the most prominent Faisal was King Faisal Al Saud who ruled Saudi Arabia in the 60's and 70's and was assassinated by his nephew (actually his half-brother's son, although no one cares!) in revenge of the guy's father who had previously been executed on the order of King Faisal
It's said that King Faisal brought Saudi Arabia from a mostly fundamental society to a modern day one by introducing many concepts of life, such as television, which were at the time considered forbidden (or Haram in the language) by religious leader and that eventually led to his death.
Another question for me was then how the hell a Pakistani would call his son Faisal? It's not uncommon for people of that region to use Arabic names but Faisal's usage probably stems from King Faisal's trip to Pakistan in the 60's. Saudi Arabia has always been a supporter of Pakistan, either during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and after that as a main rival of Iran in the region. Apparently the king suggested that a mosque should be built in Islamabad, the capital of the country and promised aid. Faisal Mosque then was built which for years was the world's largest mosque. The king was then a popular figure in the country. In addition to that there is this old city in Pakistan called Faisalabad. It originally used to be called Lyallpur (which has another story!) but the government of Pakistan changed the name to Faisalabad in honor of King Faisal. So I guess that is how the name Faisal has become popular in Pakistan. There is so much to write about the country and I always wanted to visit there but now it is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world to travel to especially for someone such as me who his origin goes back to a Shia dominant country! They would probably kick me out right at the airport or rain me with questions and if I ever get permission to enter, chances that I come out alive is very slim!
It's important to mention that during Arab-Israeli War of 1973, King Faisal was one of the first leaders who stopped exporting of oil products to Western countries. That was an admirable move although later on all of the freaking coward Arabs became the US's slave and kissed Israel's ass. That is another subject for another post, maybe!
So go to Faisal Restaurant and Faisal Mosque and Faisalabad and enjoy them all, as much as you can. I guess Faisal Restaurant would be the only option for me and that would be when I'm not concerned about money! 
(Photo: King Faisal bin-Adbul Aziz Al Saud the king of Saudi Arabia for 11 years. I wonder if that was the only Saudi king who has been assassinated or there are anyone else. I recently have found a book called The Bin Ladens by Steve Coll. I have to find time to read it. It must be interesting)

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