Jump to content

Mediterranean Bakery


Kibbee Nayee
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have written often about Mediterranean Gourmet Market in Franconia, which I believe has better food at better value than Mediterranean Bakery in Alexandria. However, I noticed that there is not a specific thread on the Mediterranean Bakery, nor can I find it in the restaurant guide, so here is my homage to this grocery/bakery/restaurant.

There is a common adage about groceries that the best plan of attack is to stay on the outer perimeter. That is largely correct for MB as well. As you enter, the right hand side of the perimeter is the spice aisle, which is quite extensive, as well as the refrigerated section, which contains the meats and cheeses (such as soujok and shankleesh) and hummos-baba ghanouj-tabouli, etc. The outer perimeter that is the rear of the store is my favorite. That's where you can order your lunch, get zaatar bread, and grab bags of the freshest Syrian bread (or pita) in town. That is also the area where one of the most extensive collection of hot sauces on the metropolitan area can be found. Farther down the rear perimeter is what has to be the most extensive collection of olives in the area, as well as the refrigerated case for the prepared dishes like marinated olives, followed by the case where the meat-spinach-cheese pies (ftayer and sfeehah) can be found. Rounding the corner and coming down the left-hand perimeter to the cash register are the glorious sweets and pastries, some of the best in the area.

There are treats to be had in the interior as well. not the least of which is the best olive oil selection I have ever seen in this area. To the right of my stove top in my kitchen are 9 different bottles of olive oil, sort of my ongoing tasting and sampling, but some of which I use in specific dishes. My favorite from the eastern Mediterranean is Saifan, and you can get it in two or three different sizes here.

I like the Mediterranean Gourmet Market on Franconia Road for its better prices and overall better restaurant food. But if you're looking for variety, or fresh bread, or exotic olives, then Mediterranean Bakery merits a visit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do love this place for many of the reason stated here. I love trying the various oils, and I am a big, big fan of their mujaddara. If you see someone bent over the case searching for the mujaddara with the most onions, that's me! I also highly recommend their cashew baklava which might be my favorite of their many, many types.

That said, their prices on oils, groceries, &c. are indeed too high sometimes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I do love this place for many of the reason stated here. I love trying the various oils, and I am a big, big fan of their mujaddara. If you see someone bent over the case searching for the mujaddara with the most onions, that's me!

Killer mujadarra, agreed! Best ever. Good lentil soup, too. Eggplant dishes good, too (moussaka with chickpeas, yum, baba ganoush, too). For those who have never been there, the coolers on the right hand side as you enter the store have a large selection of take-out dishes in plastic containers. Those plastic containers are reuseable, don't throw them away! You can use them many times over bringing food from home to work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the mujadarrah comments. It is the Syrian-Lebanese rice-and-beans dish, that all cultures share as peasant comfort food. Who thought that little more than rice, lentils and caramalized onions could be such comfort food. A trick my father used was to top it with a good dollop of gazpacho or high-quality salsa. Excellent marriage of flavors...!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made an expedition here over the weekend. Heading up to mom and dad's this weekend, and mom has a thing for crystalized ginger. Mediterranean Bakery has the best, and for a very good price. She likes it a lot, so I always take her some. I asked what else she wanted. She said, "I don't know what else they have!" So I ran down the list of dried fruits, including the fact that they seem to be the only place I can find unsweetened dried tart cherries. Then I hear dad in the background yelling, "Bring those!"  Offered spice mixes too, but he said he has enough of those right now. So, shopping. 

Got some urfa pepper, aleppo pepper, and rice flour there too for us. Sadly, no fruit roll cookies. "The baker is on.... vacation?... maybe 2 weeks?" Those cookies better come back! She better be right about "vacation!" Those are the best cookies. I got some halvah though. I like that. Nobody else here does, so I don't have to share.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went on Labor day to purchase a mezze feast for lunch on Rosh Hashanah.  The bakery side was *really* hopping; the case was missing several of the normal pastries.  Their hummus remains the only commercial hummus I really like.  The only disappointment was the halal stuffed grape leaves; they were just too dry.  If only they were a little closer to home; we found them when we lived in Alexandria's West End, but have since moved out toward Dulles.  My Palestinian hairdresser is even further out and agrees that there is nothing closer to us that compares. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...