Arts, Culture & Media

Geo Answer

We're visiting the world's largest restaurant for today's Geo Quiz. This place has enough tables and chairs to accommodate over 6,000 diners at a time.

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That beats the Royal Dragon in Bangkok that can only handle 5,000. The place we want you to name shares part of its name with the Syrian city that is its home. The city was designated the Arab capital of culture this year. Serving thousands of diners requires more than 200 cooks and helpers and a big kitchen. Very big, as in the size of a large supermarket.

During Ramadan, this restaurant welcomes crowds of customers who arrive after dusk for their evening meal.

So, can you name this Syrian restaurant that can seat a party of six thousand?

Today's Geo Quiz is a bit of a tall order. We're looking for the name of the world's largest restaurant. It's in Damascus, Syria -- one of the world's oldest, continuously inhabited cities.

The answer is Bawabet Dimashq or Damascus Gate. The Guinness World Book of Records says it's officially the world's largest restaurant.

The World's Aaron Schachter interviewed Muhannad Al-Samman, General Manager of the Damascus Gate Restaurant and sent us an audio postcard.

Al-Samman: We have the Syrian traditional food, Arabic cuisine, we have Indian, we have Chinese, we have Iranian and we have the Gulf food.

Schachter: I imagine it's hard to have to have kitchens cranking out six different types of foods? Why not just have Syrian food, or Middle Eastern food?

Al-Samman: Nowadays you have a lot of people who travel around and have tried the good food around the world so they want to have a bit of that. And I managed to get some Indian chefs and some Chinese chefs from India to cook that food. And we did find a lot of demand for that food because you don't find it in Syria.

Schachter: It makes me think that when you have a restaurant for 6,014 people you just can't make food the same way as if you had 60 people. You talk about how you have a factory here for making food. Factories can't make great food, can they?

Al-Samman: I think you can produce anything good when you can organize it well. When you have over 200 people in the kitchen, well organized, each one given their own tasks to do, I think it would be a much easier job and they can produce something good. Why do large factories produce good cars? I think it's the same concept. The main thing is for them to be organized.

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