Since it’s the beginning of a new month, and this is my first post of the new month, it seems only fitting that I cast some attention toward the wonderful diversity within an hour’s drive of my door-to-the-world.
In roughly the same time it takes to teach a class session of Cultural Anthropology, I can be in Dearborn, Michigan eating some of the best food in the nation and experiencing culture. Dearborn is home to the Ford Motor Co. The Henry Ford, and Greenfield Village. It is also considered to be the Arab American capitol and Warren Avenue is the heart of the community. I was first introduced to the New Yasmeen Bakery and Shatila—both within a block of each other on Warren Ave.--by my good friend, Matt Stiffler, who is in the Arab American Studies program at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Since then, I have become a New Yasmeen and Shatila junkie.
Now, if you consider yourself a foodie and want to start out with the savory and progress to the sweet, I suggest stopping at New Yasmeen for any of their daily specials over majadara with cracked wheat, a fried kibbee, a meat, cheese or spinach fatayer, some stuffed grape leaves, hommus, and pita—be sure to buy extra pita, and extra everything, to go.
My unelaborated assessment of Shatila is that ranks among the best pastry shops in the nation. Inside their palace of pastries, one will find an assortment of fine French and Lebanese pastries displayed like fine jewels. Here, food tickles both the palate and the eye, without asking much in return. I suggest buying a French pastry to eat there, and if you’re only one, a dozen to go.
If you can’t make it to Dearborn, I suggest watching the following video and dream of the day you too can eat hommus with Thomas Jefferson:
Next time I'm in Dearborn, I'll take photos and post them here.