Image by graciepoo via Flickr
I have been eating bread from Fattal's Syrian Bakery in Paterson for decades, but have always wondered why I don't see it in served in restaurants or sold in grocery stores.
Down to my last two loaves and not wanting to drive the 20-mile round trip to South Paterson, I stopped for bread Tuesday at Sahara Stores on South Summit Avenue in Hackensack and discovered canned goods for the same prices as at Fattal's.
After I paid, I asked Mohsen Mekawi, the friendly proprietor, why he doesn't carry bread from Fattal's, which I consider the best in North Jersey. It's simple, he said. Fattal's is the only Middle Eastern bakery that doesn't credit him for unsold bread.
The others take back the day-old bread and deduct it from the bill for the loaves that are delivered fresh daily, he said. With Fattal's, he is stuck with old bread.
I bought two packages of Kings Pita (no hyphen), a thinner, larger, Lebanese-style pocket bread, for $1.50 each. The bread is baked in Paterson, unlike Fattal's bread, which is now baked in Fair Lawn.
But Kings Pita is only a stopgap, because it isn't as tasty or as good a value as Fattal's loaves. I'll have to try some of the other brands sold at Sahara Stores (despite the name, it's only one store) when I'm out of Fattal's and don't want to drive to South Paterson.