BEST MIDDLE EASTERN GROCERY - 2004
Holy Land Bakery and Deli
The recently expanded Holy Land Bakery and Deli proves that super-sizing is not always a bad idea. It was, after all, impossible to contain the depth and breadth of Middle Eastern fare within just one normal-sized Northeast storefront. Case in point: the oils. At Holy Land you can spend hours pondering the merits of olive, palm, sesame, and grapeseed varieties from Turkey to Tunisia. Olives will require a similar effort--the selection features the best of Lebanon, Jordan, and Greece. Have a hankering for Turkish delight? The sweets aisle offers more kinds than you can imagine. Holy Land also sells halal meat (beef, goat, and chicken), stuffed dates, pistachios in a host of flavors, and a spice selection where all of the containers are extra-large (no Minnesota fear of fire here). The bakery items, including pita, Afghan breads, and a newer addition, East African injera, are always fresh and eager to be accompanied by any of the feta cheeses on display at the center of the store. Whether it's Pakistani kheer you're after, or ginger paste, Moroccan sardines, or teff flour from Ethiopia, chances are Holy Land will have it amongst the already full-to-bursting inventory. And if you just can't wait until you get home to eat, there's always the sit-down deli, where during a recent Saturday visit, a steady line circled the buffet laden with crisp salads and savory entrées. It's the perfect place to spend an afternoon taking a world tour with your taste buds.