I know this is old news, but I HAD to go to Sevan Bakery in Watertown to pick up a hostess gift for Abbylovi, who put me up (or put up with me!) during the NY Chowsocial...Okay, actually, I got it to prove that the Boston version of Tahini Bread beats the pants off the Queens verion!
Sevan Bakery's version of tahini bread, a truly underrated confection, looks like a big flat cinnamon bun...But the dough is rich and heavy with the tahini paste mixed INTO it, a hint of crispness that the fat content of the sesame seeds, and densely sweet with sugar and a little cinnamon. Imagine halvah baked into a pastry! I do not like cinnamon buns. It is NOT about cinnamon at all. Many people haven't heard of this treat, but we live in the hot bed!
Sevan also sells lots of nuts and snacks by the pound, spices in bulk, and the gamut of Middle Eastern deli items (baba, hummos, etc...) I bought a flat bread with cheese and tomato on top, but I wasn't as impressed. More impressive are their lamejun, flat breads with Za'atar, cheese, red pepper and/or meat..Lots of cheeses, lots of other baked goods.
While you're there, visit Arax Bakery..Not as neat and orderly, but the miasma of spices that hits you when you walk in the door will engender vaguely orgasmic feelings in your nether regions..It's a pretty jumbled mix of coffepots, pastries, canned goods, less than perky looking pickled things...
Don't be fooled by those less than perky looks! I bought what I thought was a pickled eggplant, a little wary of the rime of salt on the end...But I bit down, and into a stuffing of walnuts, onions, red peppers, all cooked in olive oil and marinated with a vinegary bite..What the hell??? I only bought ONE???? There were trays of cooked zucchini, felafel balls, and a cone-shaped felafel-ish looking thing that had ground beef..More baba, more chopped salads, more nuts....Both places had the widest variety of pita brands I had ever seen, in answer to a thread from a few months ago.
And pastry..Trays ranging from cookies and baklava, quite similar to Sevan next door...But the brownie-sized squares of semolina cake weren't just drenched with the honey syrup that I expected, they were infused with rose-water...Swoon, swoon..And the other square I ate(sorry, will go back and get names!) had a center layer of chopped pistachios soaked in a clove and honey syrup,(maybe some kind of black walnuts?).
I had just bought one of everything for a little taste test....Which was lucky, because the flavors were so intriquing and intense, that I would have totally lost control and not stopped eatting til every crumb was gone.