Saturday, June 5, 2010

An unusual breakfast in South Paterson

View of AleppoImage via Wikipedia

I dashed out this morning for bread, sardines, canned hummus, spinach pie and Lebanese extra-virgin olive oil from Fattal's Syrian Bakery in Paterson, then went looking for breakfast.

I drove a few blocks to Luna Bakery & Sweets (1071 Main St.), and asked for a Turkish breakfast (thick bread, hard-boiled egg, cheese, tomato and cucumber, and strong tea). 

Not wanting to turn a customer away, the Syrian baker served me tea; strained yogurt with nuts, which I ate with a spoon; a round, thin, flat bread spread with the thyme-based za'atar mixture; dough and cheese baked into a boat shape, and a pizza made with Syrian and mozzarella cheeses that was dusted with mint and a little red pepper. 

There was enough food for two and I took a few items home. After I told the baker my parents were from Aleppo, he said he was a native and described the many changes he's witnessed. Change also was evident around his business in South Paterson, he said, but he believes the quality of his dough has kept him afloat.

Across the street, the shuttered Syrian bakery Mondial is getting a makeover and a stylish, brick restaurant called Grill House is expected to open soon. On Getty Avenue, near Main Street, a storefront that once claimed to have the best falafel sandwich in the world has closed.

At Fattal's (975-77 Main St.), the sardines from Morocco and canned Lebanese hummus can't be beat (99 cents a can). Three liters of La Ziza-brand Lebanese extra-virgin olive oil rang up at $17.49. Six of Fattal's long, sesame-seeded spinach pies are $8.99, and freeze beautifully.

I turned off Getty at East Railway Avenue to check out produce in the Farmers' Market. But I ended up buying a small dogwood tree at Brothers Produce for $10, and driving home. 

(Photo: Aleppo, Syria)
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  1. I too was at Brothers Saturday morning. What a zoo, I cant deal with lines like that anymore. I dont think I will be going there on Saturday morning again for a while, too many rude shoppers.

  2. When I saw how many people were selecting produce outside, I decided not to go into the store. Judging from your experience, I'm glad I didn't. I don't understand the behavior you encountered, but Brothers isn't the only place you see it, unfortunately.

  3. In all the years I have been going there I never have seen the type of stupidity that I witnessed on Saturday. People cutting lines, people passing through lines being accused of cutting lines, just a lack of human decency. I even saw a woman cut a line, then have her husband stand in line as she went shopping and bringing more and more items to her husband to check out. Just a mess. My mother claims that on Saturday morning you should try to get there before 9:30.

  4. People are just unbelievably rude these days, in cars or on foot. What is it? Economic pressures? Maybe low prices bring out aggressive behavior. You should see the parking lot at Costco, with customers shoving shopping carts into other people's parked cars because they are too lazy to move the cart a few feet, or drivers cutting off others just because it is time for them to leave.


Please try to stay on topic.