With its open sacks and barrels of grains and spices, bulk containers of olives, nuts, and dried fruits, its mixed fragrance of cumin and coffee beans, and the beat-up dispenser from which customers must take a number during crowded times, this looks like an old place – and it is. Sahadis has been doing business in Brooklyn for fifty years. (The original Sahadi was established in Manhattan in 1898.)
Today the store anchors the Middle Eastern commercial enclave that flourishes along Atlantic Avenue between Court and Hicks Streets and includes restaurants, food and music stores, and the Damascus Bakery (on the avenue since 1936). Weirdly, this shopping district flourishes where there are no Middle Eastern residents to speak of. There used to be of course: The merchants and workmen who moved to Brooklyn early in the century from the original “Little Lebanon” in lower Manhattan.
On any given day, Sahadis has on hand about a hundred and fifty varieties of cheese (including some Lebanese and Syrian varieties youre not likely to find anywhere else in town), and several dozen types of olives and olive oils. Theres every imaginable dried fruit, including bananas and strawberries; nuts both roasted and raw, salted and un-salted. Theres crecre, Chinese peanuts with a flavored coating; exotic herbs like sumac and maheb (made from the inside of cherry pits, used to flavor the Syrian string cheese), and dried mloukhiyeh, a forbidding spinachlike vegetable used in soups and gravies. Theres Afgan bread as big as a pillow case, Turkish delight studded with pistachios, and Jordan almonds. In the back, the prepared foods section offers superb hummus, baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, and also what experts- (us, actually) -believe to be the best kibbeh (ground lamb with pine nuts and spices) in New York.
Sahadis, unlike other gourmet shops, sells bulk foods as well. As Charlie Sahadi says, “I can sell you five ounces of peanuts or a twenty pound bag.” Because the store is a wholesaler and a distributor as well as a retailer, the prices are moderate to eye-poppingly low. Bear in mind, however,that Sahadis range and quality is not exactly a state secret, so youll have to wait your turn during the weeks before Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other big food holidays. The consistently helpful and cheerful staff will answer your questions and let you taste an olive or a piece of cheese; they make it easy to remain patient.
Feast On This Add Flavor to your holidays at Sahadis -
-New York Daily News- November 28, 1999-
With its unique combination of Middle Eastern and other hard-to-find specialty foods, Sahadi Importing continues to be one of the citys gourmet food meccas.
Originally from Lebanon, the family opened Sahadis on Atlantic Avenue in 1948. Business continues to burgeon, with customers filtering in from all boroughs. “Here youll find ethnic items that you would not find in the average grocery store,” says Charlie Sahadi. His children work with him at the store, now three generations strong. For those seeking a takeout gourmet meal, over thirty dishes are prepared daily on the premises. More adventurous types who thrive in the kitchen will find the perfect ingredients on Sahadis brimming shelves. Grains, beans, spices, 24 varieties of olive oil, and over 120 varieties of cheese abound. Just want to get a smidgen of allspice for a recipe? No problem. “Whether someone wants two ounces of allspice or two pounds of black pepper, customers can come in and get as much or as little as their heart desires,” says Sahadi.
We Feature a full line of specialty cheeses from around the world including farmhouse cheddar, a multitude of blues, Swiss and soft ripened, as well as five types of Feta and many other fresh cheeses. We have many holiday favorites, and regional specialties with a service case of our ethnic line. This department also encompasses smoked fish products, frozen and refrigerated pastas, a full line of pates and sausages. Also included here is our freezer loaded with ethnic vegetables as well as stocks, sauces and fillo products.
Prepared Foods and Catering
We prepare a full line of specialty dishes from around the world. These items include grilled chicken, pasta dishes, homous and baba ghanoug, filled savory pastries and a full line of healthy grain and vegetable salads. We have approximately 30 dishes daily with a menu changing seasonally. We do party platters and catering for anything from cocktails to full holiday dinners for pick up. Also included in this department is our ever expanding selection of fresh breads.
We carry a full line of coffee including regular, decaffinated and flavored ground to order or whole bean, as well as filters to complete the selection. Varieties include French and American roasts, Hazelnut and French Vanilla, exotic types such as Kenya AA, Jamaican Blue Mountain Style etc.
Over 200 Bulk bins are filled with many different varieties of rice, beans, grains, spices both whole and ground, nuts of every type, dried fruits from around the world, a wide variety of candies, dried vegetables, and over 30 different olives in our olive bar. Bulk products insure quick turnover with great prices.
- Grains &
- Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Peanuts, etc.
- Raisins, Apricots, Dates, Figs, Cranberries, etc.
- Calamata, Naphlion, Alfonso, French Provencal, Moroccan
- Lentils, Chick Peas and Black Beans, Cracked Wheat, Basmati Rice, Brown Rice, White Rice, etc.
Hero (Swiss), Grants (Scottish), Bonne Maman (French), etc.
Twinings teabags and loose tea. Celestial Seasonings and Pompadour Teabags
Black pepper, Garlic, Cinnamon, Cardamon, Black caraway, Sumac, etc.
Packaged Specialty Foods
A tremendous selection or great quality from around the world. Pickles, mustards and spreads, pasta and sauces, biscuits and candies, as well as specialty lines from around the world including Thai, Indian, Italian and Spanish among others.
We have a tremendous selection of Olive Oils from around the world. A sample of the brands available are Colavita from Italy, Zoe from Spain, Saifan from Lebanon as well as many other brands and types.
We have a full line of Middle Eastern products featuring Al Wadi products as well as many other ethnic items. These include pickles, jams, sauces, breads, beans, syrups, sweets and many other ingredients to make your meals authentic.