Manousheh NYC: A Real Taste of Beirut
If you’ve ever been to Lebanon or know anything about this country, you would know that there is a bakery on almost every corner of every street. Each baker has his baking secrets and locals argue for hours over the one that offers the best bread, manousheh, or croissant.
I was fortunate to grow up in a neighborhood with a very famous bakery, so whenever I wanted to fetch a cab I just had to tell the driver: ‘I live next to Foron Obeid’ (foron stands for bakery in Arabic). Every morning while going to school, we would pass by the bakery and smell the freshly baked bread, zaatar (thyme) and cheese baking in the big wood-fired oven. The baker would be dusted in flour, making the dough and feeding it to the oven while the local radio played old Fairouz songs.
Today, whenever I smell zaatar, I hear Fairouz in the background and I reminisce over my childhood in Lebanon and all the beautiful memories growing up there.
Like a baguette for the French, Lebanese people are very picky about their manousheh (manakich for plural): a dough topped with zaatar, cheese, or ground meat, and is garnished with vegetables according to taste. The manousheh is usually served in the morning with tea and is found in every bakery in Lebanon.
Unfortunately, a manousheh in the States does not compare to the ones found home. Either the dozen is sold refrigerated in major grocery stores, or the ingredients are replaced with cheap substituents. The lack of a tasty, well done manousheh, especially in NYC, pushed Ziyad Hermez to open his own bakery Manousheh NYC off Bleecker street.
Thanks to Ziad, New Yorkers are getting introduced to the authentic Lebanese Manousheh. With the dough made to perfection and ingredients imported straight from Lebanon, Ziad’s business has been growing and international/local critics are raving about his place.
The bakery is nested in West Village and creates a haven of Beirut in the Big Apple. It is beautifully decorated with Arabic graffiti, a big wood-fired oven, and enough seating for you to enjoy your manousheh with a cup of tea, while listening to Fairouz playing on the radio.
Not only does Manousheh NYC offer the traditional cheese, thyme, and ground beef manakich, it also serves a fusion of other manakich such as Avocado & Zaatar or Eggs & Potatoes.
I had the Zaatar & Veggies manousheh and I had to sit down in awe after the first bite! For a gluten free option, you can opt instead for the Avocado & Zaatar bowl!
So next time you are in the Big Apple, make sure to pass by Manousheh NYC and salute Ziad for us.
Don’t forget to spread the word and the love for Lebanese manakich!
193 Bleecker St New York, NY, 10012. 347-971-5778
Have you ever had a manousheh before? What did you think? Share your delicious experience with us in the comments!