And here is my favourite of all Iranian breads, sangak, a large and very thin loaf that is pointed at one end and square at the other mainly because of the way the baker stretches the very wet dough as he lays it on the floor of the oven which is covered with hot pebbles. You often find sangak bakeries attached to restaurants, either dizi or simply kebabs like in this post about such a place in Dubai — there is an important Iranian community in Dubai and as a result great Iranian food. The bakery in my pictures is in Tehran, at the back of a wonderful dizi restaurant where the owner stopped looking at fashion in the late 60’s, early 70’s. He was dressed in a white and black suit with flared trousers and wore a hat. Quite unexpected in a place where everyone looks rather drab (on the street) because the women have to cover their hair and hips and most men are in grey or dark suits.
Breakfast is my favourite meal and I love eating it out when I am travelling, even when I am in London. When I lived in Paris, near the Trocadéro, I walked every morning to the place to have a grand crème and a croissant or tartine, normally at one of the cafés lining the place unless I wanted a little elegance, in which case I would go to Carette. When I am in Beirut, I go to el-Soussi for fatteh at least once and I alternate between different bakeries for manaqish. And of course, I go to Amal Bohsali for k’nafeh. And when I am in America (which was the case until yesterday) I make sure to try different places for pancakes, and I always go to Brown Sugar Kitchen for waffles. Theirs are the best. Really!
The Bay Area is one of my favourite places to eat out. There are so many good restaurants, it’s rare to have a bad meal. At worst, the meal will not be exciting but it will still be good. At least, this is my experience but I do have the right friends there who know the scene very well! And the other day, my friend Roberta took me to Cosecha, a fun Mexican cafe/restaurant situated in what seems like a covered coutrtyard with fun food shops all around. Like a mini market place. Everything was freshly made there from the corn chips (that were admittedly a little too salty) and guacamole to the delicious looking tarts and biscuits.
There aren’t many restaurants that I love to return to again and again but La Stalla near Assisi is one of them. For one, I love the drive to get there, through spectacular countryside with stunning views of Assisi. Then, there is the torta sul testo, an Umbrian flat bread from the province of Perugia which they still bake over a wood fire — it is a little like piadina but thicker and possibly drier.