You might notice that the countdown pictures I have to share today aren't technically from Saudi Arabia, they are from Bahrain. While we have less than 100 days left of our year living in Saudi, we certainly won't be spending all of them in the Kingdom. We want to take advantage of our ability to travel as much as possible so hopefully this countdown will include photos from some exciting locations that we will get to check off our bucket list before we head back to the United States in December.
Day 95: The Pork Section at a Grocery Store in Bahrain
I've mentioned before that the religious laws are a little less strict in Bahrain and we sometimes like to take advantage of our trips across the causeway by indulging in some of the things that we don't have access to in Saudi because they are considered Ḥarām (sinful) in the religion of Islam and Saudi operates under Islamic law.
Pork is a big no-no in Saudi and even in Bahrain it is only sold in restricted areas and is always very clearly labeled. This photo is of a blocked off section of a grocery store butcher counter where you can buy pork products. And just in case you were wondering, we didn't actually purchase any pork products on this trip to Bahrain but we did have some bacon at the restaurant pictured in the photo on Day 94 below.
Day 94: Ric's Kountry Kitchen in Bahrain
Juffair is a neighborhood in Manama, Bahrain that is known to have a good bit of American influence because of it's proximity to the US Naval Base. Here you can find a ridiculous number of American chain restaurants as seen in this YouTube video made by someone back in 2012.
But if you truly want a taste of home, this neighborhood is also where you will find Ric's Kountry Kitchen. Ric's advertises itself as "The Best American Food in the Middle East" and I am inclined to agree with their slogan. They have the slogan carved into this great wooden sign that I would love hang over a sofa or in our kitchen when we move back to the States but it's gigantic and sadly not for sale. The food here is so delicious and definitely hits the spot if you are feeling nostalgic for a taste of home. It's American food at its finest: biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings, pulled pork, and fried chicken.
Now I love some biscuits and gravy and they are usually hard to pass up if I see them on the menu, but the last time we visited Ric's for breakfast our friend from the Philippines was with us and she suggested that I try the Pinoy Breakfast. This delicious breakfast came with a Filipino cured pork called Tocino. It. Is. Amazing. It was almost like a really thick sweet bacon but that definitely doesn't sound as appealing as this dish tasted. I found a recipe for making Tocino that I will have to try when we move back home.
Day 93: The Grand Mosque in Bahrain
This is the Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Manama, Bahrain. We drive past this Mosque on just about every trip to Bahrain and it's quite beautiful. I don't know much about the Grand mosque but it's supposed to be one of the largest mosques in the world and Wikipedia tells me that the dome shown in the photo is the world's largest fiberglass dome. There is a sign outside the mosque that says it's open to visitors and that they offer tours. Ion and I keep meaning to go inside but haven't yet so we are planning to spend a weekend in Bahrain before we leave this part of the world to visit the Grand Mosque along with the National Museum and the Tree of Life.