But when I arrived in the city's South Paterson section, the corner that had been occupied for years by Kafe Teria had a different awning and a different restaurant, Aleppo, a Syrian place, which hadn't opened for the day. Fortunately, the Turkish bakery next door was open and I ordered breakfast. The woman set down before me a plate with two kinds of cheeses (one like cream cheese, the other like feta), sliced cucumber and tomato, a hard-boiled egg, cured black olives and honey, which I added to strong tea. A large, round, challah-like bread came with the meal. After I had eaten, she asked for $8, but accepted my last $7 in cash.
A couple of blocks away, at Fattal's, I bought fresh-baked pita, 20 cans of Moroccan sardines (99 cents each), a quarter-pound of ground cumin and a little ground cardamom for the espresso I drink at home. I then went to an ATM, returned to my breakfast place, bought some bread with cheese, tomato and green pepper, and another with ground meat, and paid my $1 debt. At my meeting, I presented a package of pita bread to the woman and she was delighted.