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Though not a member of the faith, I’ve come to look forward to the month of Ramadan for the special Syrian pastry: atayef. Learning about these long ago from “dml”, https://www.chowhound.com/post/atayaf... , I search them out most years.
Thursday I ordered atayef online from Reem’s California in the Mission. Available with walnut or cheese filling, they’re $3.50 apiece. HUGE and bulging with filling, the thick pancake wrapper’s fluffy and spongy in texture, and the honey-orange water syrup was aromatic and barely sweet. So good! Being so moist and soft, they reheated well the next day with 30 seconds of low power in the microwave. And I do recommend eating them warm with a favorite beverage.
Maarouk, a Syrian sweetbread, was new to me. I picked up the sesame braid, $8, and the date-filled bun, $3. Unlike the descriptions I’ve read of “cloud-like”, “similar to brioche”, these were heavy, dense and doughy with wet and raw-ish centers. For the braid, I found that slicing very thin, which was easy to do because it was so damp in the middle, toasting and slathering with French butter released more fragrance of the exotic spices becoming more palatable. I had a slight preference for the date one, maybe because the interspersed dried fruit broke up the heavy, clunky mass. I’d be interested in hearing about other examples of maarouk to try that might leave a better impression.
Reem's collaborating with fellow La Cocina businesses Kayma and Terranga for a special Iftar meal kit to end Ramadan. Pick-up is Tuesday, May 11, and the deadline to pre-order is Sunday, May 9, at 5pm.
Reem’s reopened recently and has a parklet for outdoor dining. Ordering my treats was easy via the Toast app that’s integrated with Apple Pay or one can call. Then pick-up was from the walk-up window. Delivery is available via the local Candlestick Courier Collective.
Reem’s California Mission
2901 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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