The dahieh, meaning “neighborhood” in Arabic, is the word used to describe the southern suburbs of Beirut city. It’s the same area that was rearranged like a chessboard during the July 2006 war. Usually associated with Hezbollah and cheap car maintenance, dahieh is rarely thought of when it comes to dessert. Unless you’ve heard of Cremino.
Across from the Shiite Consulate is Cremino Patisserie, a bakery established in 1993. On big dessert holidays such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, the only cakes sold are vanilla or chocolate black forest (foret noir) with the exception of pre-ordered cakes. On any regular day, by 11am, most of the croissants are sold out. The patisserie is so popular that they have recently relocated to comfortably accommodate all their different stations: cakes & assorted desserts, chocolate & gift items, bread, and ice cream.
|Ice Cream Section|
They’ve moved to the adjacent building and purchased the entire ground floor and parking lot. It is accessible directly from the old Airport Road on the right side (when driving away from the Intl. Airport). The baking factory part of the business occurs underground in the basement level. Their old location will be bought by Siblini, a trusted neighboring butcher who also has expansion plans and who shares most of the same customers.
The readymade cakes come in 3 different sizes: full cakes, slices, or mini slices. The full cakes run from 25,000-50,000 L.L., slices for about 2,250 L.L./each and the mini’s come on a platter for 24,000 L.L. The mini’s are an assortment of bitesized versions of the larger slices and are a good choice if you’re bringing dessert to a house dinner.
Recommendation for full cake: The Concerto.
Recommendation for slice:
Being that dahieh is a religious area, the cakes have no alcohol flavoring in them yet they have rich flavor – maybe it’s their awesomesauce extract. There’s something magical because everyone seems hooked and the only time that it seems to be empty is lunchtime during the month of Ramadan.