Bayridge Brooklyn, or Arabville for the locals, has a thriving Arab community. Walking down Fifth ave after 67th will bring you into a strip of Arabic Restaurants, clothing stores, Middle-Eastern Grocery stores, deli’s and Bakery shops! You are suddenly transformed into the middle east with every store awning written in Arabic. Every store that you walk into will sell traditional arabic sweets such as Ma3mool (date cookies) or Baklava (no explanation needed here) however you go to go to a bakery to get the real deal! One of my favorite spots is Nablus off 68th and Fifth ave. The name of the bakery, Nablus, which is one of the oldest biblical cities in Palestine, sells some great Arabic style pastries in NYC.
Although I prefer homemade or Laziza in Astoria Queens, this place comes close to home. They have everything you can think of in Nablus from Baklava, almond cookies, Moroccan chebakia, awamat and my favorite item, BASBOUSA! In Nablus, you will find trays of Basbousa with different flavors, such as coconut and date filled. Be Careful though because they name it “harisa” but in actually it’s just Basbousa!
The basbousa is always good. Topped with chopped almonds and dripping in syrup, just the way I like it.
The awamat are basically donuts which are deep-fried and smothered in simple syrup. They are similar to Indian gulam jamun but much lighter. A great Arabic dessert to enjoy at home with a hot cup of coffee after dinner.