Kitchen Chat and more…
Kitchen Chat and more…
This week has been a soft opening for Taboon, a new bakery at Sixth and Minna streets in San Francisco, but you wouldn’t know it. The bakery has already had a steady stream of customers and has been selling out of its baked good each day.No wonder.
Considering the fact that the Bay Area only has a handful of kosher bakeries — and according to J Weekly, Oakland’s longtime Grand Bakery will be closing its doors for good next week — Taboon’s opening comes at an opportune time.
The team behind the new bakery are three friends from Israel: Isaac Yosef, Avi Edri and head chef/baker Yanni, who — like Prince, Beyonce and Madonna — prefers to go by one name only.
A fourth generation baker, the recipes come from Yanni’s great grandfather, Mosheh, who immigrated from Iraq to Israel and owned a bakery in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market. Edri, a former diamond merchant, has known Yanni for 30 years, and as a school kid would frequent Avvi’s family’s bakery.
While Taboon, which takes its name from a traditional Middle Eastern clay oven, is already attracting customers looking for kosher offerings, Edri wants to introduce San Franciscans to their foods of their youth, too. That means sambusak, stuffed pastry pockets with a wide variety of fillings, like potato-chive and feta-green olive ($6.99-$7.99), or flaky puff pastries called bourekas ($1.99 small; $6.99 large), also featuring different fillings like cheese, spinach and potato. The bakery is also turning out about 1,000 pitas a day — available plain or with toppings like sesame, za’atar and finely diced onion with tomato sauce (99 cents-$3.49 each). On the sweet side, look for babka ($12.99 for a loaf), rugelach ($1.79 each), and just in time for Hanukkah, traditional sufganiyot ($2.79 each), which will be available year-round.
“All of my life, I was dreaming to open my own bakery. It’s a dream come true,” says Edri.
More offerings will be added in the coming weeks as the bakery ramps up, including fresh juices, espresso drinks and many other baked goods, including cakes and even more bourekas.
Busy week, isn’t it?
Holiday party on Wednesday. Family coming in on Thursday. Festivus potluck on Friday.
What we’re getting at: it’s holiday crunch time. And you’re going to want to be the kind of person who’s prepared for any festive gatherings that happen to cross your path.
Now seems like as good a time as any to let you in on a little secret…
You’ll smell it well before you arrive. Fresh, yeasty bread. Buttery pastry. A fantastic, herbaceous smell you’ll quickly place as za’atar.
That last smell hails from Israel, as do the three friends who are behind this place, which is named for a traditional Middle Eastern clay oven. There’s one sitting proudly behind the display case bursting with breads and pastries and pitas.
Start by eating something immediately. That oven is constantly working, meaning everything you see is still warm. Perhaps a sambusak, a savory pastry pocket filled with things like feta and olives.
Perhaps one of their rotating items like a box of sufganiyah (basically jelly-filled donuts) or a shareable-size loaf of fresh, airy challah.