Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saadeddine Sweets

6126 Richmond

I stopped in at this new 'Fine Mediterranean Sweets' shop right next door to Cafe Byblos the other day.  The owner is from Lebanon but the sweets are common throughout the Middle East and originate from several countries.  I haven't had much of a sweet tooth for a many years but I do feel like splurging from time to time and I walked out with a load of goodies.

Only one item in the entire store was labeled so I peppered the owner with questions.  He was not very fluent in English and I think I overwhelmed him with all my questions and I wound up leaving without even the Arabic names of a couple of the items I bought, though I think I've been able to identify them subsequently.  The items in the lower left corner are petit fours, one with pistachio and one with coconut.  These are also available with chocolate and walnuts.  In the lower right is Halowet el Jebn, the only item in the store that was labeled.  This involves a cream wrapped in a very thin pastry; I think the cream is the Lebanese clotted cream ashta.

In the upper right is a variety of kanafeh that is rolled rather than flat and has a cream filling instead of cheese.  The two on the upper left I got no names for but I think the nest-like items are possibly varieties of borma or burma and the cake I'm pretty sure is basboosa, a sweetened semolina cake with almonds and coconut.

I also got a box of sesame cookies, undoubtedly my favorite variety of Middle Eastern cookie.  I've had these from other bakeries and they're called barazi or barazik.  Of course they have baklava, lady fingers, mamool and other familiar Middle Eastern sweets, too

So far my favorites have been the petit fours and basboosa but I haven't tried the kanafeh - I'm saving what I think will be the best for last.

There is no web presence other than on Yelp where some pictures of the store have been uploaded.

There are three tables for those who can't wait to get their sweets fix and there's a small menu of manakeesh and spinach pies; the savory menu is visible on the wall in the rear of the store in a couple of the  pictures.

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