Simurgh Bakery just opened a cafe about a week ago in Emeryville on San Pablo Av next to Arizmendi. They’re also at Grand Lake and Kensington Farmers Markets and recently started a kiosk in the SF Ferry Building where their pistachio baklava got a shout-out from Soleil Ho in the Chronicle a few days ago.
The shop has about 8 2-tops and 2 4-tops inside with a couple of small tables outside. Hours are from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm except for Tuesday when they are closed.
Linked below is a short interview I did with founder Hatice Yildiz who talks about the phyllo dough made fresh from scratch for the pistachio and chocolate baklavas.
I had grapeleaf and eggplant dolmas with dense rice, lemon juice, and not dripping with excess olive oil. . The eggplant dolma was a rounded, stuffed, sun-dried eggplant skin with olive oil, rice, pine nuts, and currants with a touch of sweetness that may have come from the pomegranate molasses, as Hatice explains. Next time I go I’ll look for a box of 6 eggplant dolmas that lists for $12.99 on their website. I haven’t tried the burek or sandwiches yet.
The pistachios and sun-dried eggplant skins are imported from Hatice’s native Turkey.
Simurgh Bakery and Cafe
4125 San Pablo Av
Stuffed eggplant dolmas/photo from SimurghBakery website
I visited their Ferry Building kiosk not long after they opened. Excellent sweet pastries and savory boreks. Now, if only they would open for business earlier in the day and offer simits…
If you are near Emeryville, Hatice says that they open every day at 8:30 am except for Tuesdays and in the video I think I see simits (Turkish bagels) at the 1:56 to 2:02 marks.
We have some Turkish friends who seek out every Turkish restaurant and cafe anywhere in the SFBA. The parents, first generation immigrants whose first language remains Turkish, give Ms. Yildiz the highest praise - the mother buys her foods!
Her daughter gave us some of the baklava to try. To die for, and I mean that. My spouse is a baklava fanatic, and he called her baklava the best he’s ever had, hands-down. Not just moist, but light with very clean flavors.
Belmo Cafe/Berkeley has decent baklava pastries, but Simurgh is way better. (altho Belmo has some patisserie that is as good or better than Masse’s and cheaper to boot.)
I also tried it at the ferry building, yesterday…the baklava is heaven, and the gluten free almond cookies are fantastic. I will definitely be going to the bakery!!!
interesting, never heard of dolmas stuffed into eggplant skins before! sounds great!