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Middle Eastern corner of Oakland

jenniferfishwilson | Jan 28, 200204:22 PM

Driving down Telegraph today trying to remember which Korean restaurant Chowhounders recommended (where was my copy of Chownews!?) when I spied some interesting awnings across from Summit @ 31st and Telegraph:

Oakland Halal Meat and Produce Market: 3101 Telegraph; 510-652-7171: awning claimed they had kosher meat. I walked through and couldn't find any certification. In fact I couldn't find any Hebrew at all--everything was written in Arabic. But I asked the butcher (who has amazingly bright orange hair and beard) and he assured me all was Kosher. I was dubious but found his selection intriguing--he did have chickens that sounded organic and full lambs and sacrifical (?) lambs were available by order.

_______ Grocery Store: next door; didn't see name; had normal 31 and Telegraph junk food but also an amazing selection of Middle Eastern goodies: everything from traditional clothing to books to bulk spices and dried fruits and shelves of intriguing cans and bottles and packages; I could only guess at contents.

Five Star Pizza: 3109 Telegraph; 510-428-2211: I only walked in bec awning promised swarma. Almost turned around and walked out--unappetizing atmosphere; all I could see was awful looking pizza slices and no swarma on menu. But continued on for the Chowhound Cause--feeling guilty about chidings from fellow Chowhounders that we've lost the spirit and aren't coming up with new places to try. Asked re swarma--turns out it's listed as chicken and lamb sandwiches bec as owner explained "no one in the neighborhood knows what swarma is". They were out of lamb so I ordered chicken. And no pita--served on French bread--better than expected but still... Chicken was tasty.

Would I go back? I'd go to the grocery if I needed Middle Eastern ingredients for a recipe.

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