N/W Train to 30th Avenue
On our way back from Rego Park last week, Meg and I stopped at Laziza, a Lebanese bakery that's well known in Astoria--and one of Meg's favorites. Located on Steinway Street in the Little Arabia section of town, Laziza exemplifies Middle Eastern culture to the max. Its facade is colorful and welcoming, showcasing its name in both English and Arabic. And once you step inside, it's a Middle Eastern haven, with all the pistachio, walnut and date treats that your heart desires. But if you're a chocolate lover, this might not be the place for you.
I followed Meg's lead when picking out my pastries. She recommended the coconut-almond cake, baklava, pistachio cookies and a variety of date treats. I bought a small sampler tray of all these things and even added an apricot cookie to boot. They were all delicious but I liked the date pastries the best. They were sweet, cinnamony and great substitutes for chocolate. One thing that I did not buy but got to try on-site was Lebanese fried dough or Balah El Sham. The Lebanese version of doughnuts, they were slightly crunchy on the outside and juicy and sweet on the inside--enhanced by syrup. Yum! Meg loved them too and they're sold in small trays of about 12.
Below are some of the other delicacies that you could find at Laziza:
Baklava with Cream...$2 each
Kanafa with Nuts...$2 each
Balah El Sham...$7.50/lb
Another great thing about Laziza is the staff. The nice man who was helping us was extra friendly and informative--he even went as far as to explain what everything was and how it was made. You could tell that he was very proud of the many amazing pastries on display. He made us feel really welcome, which is not always the case in Little Arabia--I sometimes feel like an outsider there.
I strongly suggest that you pop in and check Laziza out, you'll be hooked in no time. I'm already looking forward to my next visit.