I also tried this place for the first time this past week. Overall I really liked it.
I too had the Pali Cali, and I also felt the meat was a bit dry. The caramelized onions on it were good but were spread quite thin. I felt like if the sandwich had a sauce on it (yogurt-based? tahini-based? garlic sauce?) it would have made it better and more complete. Or just more substantial caramelized onions. However, having said all this, I definitely enjoyed it.
The pickles and olives are phenomenal.
Leaving, I purchased the simsim, and I thought this was great—just as good as the excellent version of this that I had in Istanbul. I would happily go back just to buy this as a snack! Looking forward to trying other baked goods here as well.
The lemonade w/ orange blossom and mint was pretty strong but good. Would be nice to mix it with some seltzer, and I’ll try this next time.
I’ve had the wraps at one of the pop-up stalls around town, and I agree that the chicken was a bit dry, but the beef “bacon” was tasty. Planning on going for lunch this weekend, I’m excited to try some of the new baked goods on offer (I’m currently obsessed with nigella seeds). Thanks for the write up!
They still run their Saturday morning ferry building farmers market stall. I got the classic mana’eesh has zaatar, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and mint. As a bready product, this is on par with some of SF’s best pizzas. I love how the toppings fuse with the crunchy, elastic bread, and that each bite of vegetables spreads the flavors of charred wheat and seasonings.
Good question! I was too transfixed by their set up to look at who was cooking— those sloping griddles are pretty cool ( also, I was running back-and-forth between them and El Molina Central which had some rockin squash blossom quesadillas)
I tried their eggplant mana’eesh this Saturday at the ferry building. It’s delicious as all hell, strong on the eggplant flavor and garlicky oil, but I felt that the flavor of the flat bread didn’t come across as well as in the other wraps.
As much as I like their Ferry Building offerings, I like that they offer simpler items at the brick and mortar like the Khobz Sim Sim turnover you mentioned, a pouch slit at the top filled with Akkawi and nigella seeds. I find the combination of the toasty bread, briny curdy cheese, and aromatic seeds irresistible —- it bridges two food memories of my youth—- everything bagels with cream cheese and farmer’s cheese pierogies.
They were closed that day. But here’re the dinner and Saturday menus. Has anyone tried the ful akhdor (fava bean and lamb stew) from the dinner menu? I’d imagine how well this stew dish is will tell us a bit about how Dyafa’s non-flatbread dishes will be.
Reem’s was my first stop on my Bay Area trip, how could I resist after looking at all these delicious pictures? I had a simple lunch, since this was my 2nd of 5 meals that day, I’m not doing Reems justice.
I got the cheese scone with a nutty butter and honey. I don’t know if it’s Palestinian or not, but rereading the reviews, it may have contained akkawi cheese. The scone had a pronounced cheese flavor but it was denser than how I like scones. I enjoyed it with a nutty (pistachio?) butter and good-quality honey.
My main meal was the Lahm Bi Ajeon, $7, a flatbread spinkled with thin slices of beef and onion, served with lemon and labneh. It was good, more an appetizer than a meal, a lot like a quesadilla without cheese.
Had a lovely glass of black iced tea, it was different than American iced tea, probably my favorite of the meal.
It was an experience, I got to see the “famous” Fruitvale BART, my 62 year-old husband almost got into a fight with a group of teenagers… we had to walk around the neighborhood twice before finding the small cafe, it’s next to a mini-market.
But I LIVE for this stuff! This is about as Oakland as Oakland gets. I’m excited to see what’s happening here. As for Reems, I’d visit it again because it’s so different from anything I’m used to (as is Fruitvale) but honestly, it’s a bit pricey for what you get and the food to my untrained tongue was just ok. However it’s not the food that attracted me, it was Reem Assil herself and this wonderful community hub she has created, replete with yellow shelves, uneven tables and controversial murals. The community is worth the price of admission.
Stopped by Reem’s a few weeks ago and tried a za’atar manoushe. Hot off the grill. Very nice texture, kind of like a naan bread but maybe a little denser and with a pleasant chewiness. Cut in slices and coated with olive oil and an herby za’atar spice mix that also had some crunchy sesame seeds.