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Phx - Greek or Middle Eastern delis/markets

  • Rubee Jul 21, 2008 07:13 PM
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I'm not familiar with what is around the Phoenix area, but I'm looking for a great Greek grocery, or Middle Eastern market that has a lot of Greek products. Specifically, items like gigandes, pastourma, tarama, Florina roasted peppers, Greek pastas, and Greek cheeses - feta (tin and barrel-aged), manouri, kasseri, etc.

I did a search and found some Middle Eastern delis, but I can't tell what their Greek selection is like. NW Valley is more convenient, but willing to drive anywhere to stock up. Thanks!

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  1. We needed to pick up a bird cage a couple months ago and stopped at a ME market on Greenway. I think it was called Open Sesame but I'm not 100% sure about that. Ti's in the plaza shown on this map:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&...

    They had a good selection of dry items, lots of olives adn cheeses, and I seem to remember a lot of lamb in the freezers. the owners were very very nice.

    Personally I use Giado's on Dobson/Guadalupe for all my needs but that's a bit of a drive for you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ziggylu

      Hi Ziggylu,

      Just wanted to say thanks for the tip on this little spot. A year after you recommended it, but better late than never! Just got home from visiting Open Sesame. As you said, the owner was very nice and friendly. It turned out to be just a 10-minute drive for us, so very convenient today when I needed a few things for the weekend, but didn't have much time. Bought tamarind pulp (better quality than Lee Lee's), Aleppo pepper, yogurt, lavash, halloumi ($7.00 a pound vs AJ's ridiculous $20+ pound), and a couple of things at the owner's suggestion - just-made baba ghanoush (absolutely delicious, I'm hooked on theirs already), and Armenian green walnut jam. Will definitely be back. I was happy to see they had braided string cheese, and a nice selection of feta too including sheep's milk, French and Bulgarian. They also had manouri cheese, but not kasseri.

      Thanks again!

      1. re: Rubee

        Hi Rubee!
        Gosh, Id' totally forgotten about this place. We never get to this part of the valley and had happened in there that one time since we were in the plaza. I do remember how much we left with the shop with a good experience and great impression of the owners. I just mentioned to my husband who immediately remembered a long coversation he'd had with one of the owners while I was shopping.

        I'm glad to hear they're still there and it's a still a nice shop to visit. Will have to keep it in mind if we are in that part of the valley again soon!

    2. Baiz Market at 523 N 20th St is Lebanese, but it has a good selection of feta cheese, olives, and other items may cross the cultural lines. It also has a little cafe, which is a great place for lunch -- or take home a rotisserie chicken with garlic sauce.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kittyfood

        i completely agree. this is the best middle eastern spot in the valley.and i'll agree - the feta selection is mind boggling!!!

      2. Middle Eastern Bakery & Deli on 16th St has a wide selection of Greek items. In fact, the store supplies the items sold in the grocery area at the annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity church.

        -----
        Middle Eastern Bakery & Deli
        3052 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

        3 Replies
        1. re: silverbear

          Haji Baba is my favorite - they always seem to have whatever I'm looking for. I've been to the others that are mentioned, all of which are very good and quite different from one another, but still think that Haji Baba's ( though least convenient) is worth the trip for me. There's a restaurant in the market, always smells, sounds, tastes of the Middle East and Mediterranean.

          Hai Baba Market
          1513 E Apache Blvd
          Tempe, AZ 85281
          (480) 966-4672

          1. re: silverbear

            Rubee the Middle Eastern Bakery that Silverbear mentions is really worth the drive from our part of town. The olives and feta cheese are really good. They also sell good pita bread. I've been to Baiz which is also good. They have greek yogurt and figs. The feta is a little cheaper at Baiz but I think I still prefer MEB. We should go sometime

            1. re: arizonagirl

              wow - you really like meb better than baiz? that suprises me. baiz is bigger, has a huge halal butcher shop, is about 3 times larger, its more expensive.

              baiz and al-hana, the restaurant inside, i just love :) im curious about what you think meb does better than baiz

          2. This is great info. We are moving to Carefree in a mere 2 weeks and I'm Lebanese! I will have somewhere to buy all my ingredients!!!! EXCELLENT! I don't think I want to be baking bread during the summer anyway! And I don't think I'll be able to plant a garden...well...maybe...I don't know about the 'seasons' in AZ yet....maybe there is time for a garden!

            1 Reply
            1. re: CheesemongersWife

              Prime gardening season is just around the corner! I have a little raised bed/container in my back yard and the herbs have done great even in this heat! Lettuce does very well in fall/winter for me...

            2. Wow, what a wealth of information! Thanks so much everyone. I'm going to try to check out every place mentioned.

              Sure, ArizonaGirl, I'll take you up on the offer to to go sometime soon to Middle Eastern Bakery, that sounds great. Also, I love Lebanese and it's actually E's favorite Middle Eastern cuisine, so shopping and lunch at Baiz Market is on the immediate agenda also. Does anyone know if they have kibbe nayeh?

              Welcome to AZ CheesemongersWife!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Rubee

                Not sure, but they'll have a leg of lamb for you to make it yourself. :)

                I'm going to be in the neighborhood around Giado tonight and will take note to see if any of your items are available there.

                1. re: azhotdish

                  Thanks, much appreciated.

                  (adding links):

                  -----
                  Baiz Market
                  523 N 20th St, Phoenix, AZ

                  Haji-Baba Middle Eastern
                  1513 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

                  Open Sesame Market
                  3502 W Greenway Rd # 2, Phoenix, AZ

                  Giado
                  2909 S Dobson Rd # 1, Mesa, AZ

                  1. re: Rubee

                    Well they have French, Greek, and Bulgarian feta and kasseri, but no bacon, beans, etc. Probably not worth the extra drive...I'd start with Baiz. Good luck.

                    1. re: azhotdish

                      Thanks a lot - that was so nice of you!

                      1. re: Rubee

                        Of course - it gave me something to do while waiting for my dinner at Dooby's. :)

                2. re: Rubee

                  I would think kibbe nayeh would be a hard sell to some folks...and it's not like you can keep it in the deli case! My husband is not Lebanese but kibbe nayeh is his FAVORITE! We make it with beef back east...never had it with lamb...always used top round.

                  I've packed up my mint, cumin, pine nuts, bulgar wheat and my saj for the long drive out west! I make my own laban...so that won't be a problem. I can't bring my grape leaf plant with me...I've never used store bought leaves. Any recommendations?

                  1. re: CheesemongersWife

                    I've never had kibbe nayeh with beef. Interesting, I'll have to try it with top round sometime. We're from back east too (Boston - moved here in February) and had our local Italian butcher fresh grind the lamb for us.

                    I haven't made stuffed grape leaves in a while since my husband's not a fan, but used to use a brand called Orlando - large, pliable leaves and easy to roll.

                3. I'm not sure how the grocery part stacks up, but Yusef's on Cave Creek Rd. in North PHX has pretty good and cheap take out food.