Middle eastern staples in St. Louis?
While I haven't looked too hard lately, I have not, alas, seen olives in a barrel or fresh pita in St. Louis in many years. For a variety of Middle Eastern foods (Israel, Lebanon, Iran, etc.) (and other countries too) you should try Global Foods in Kirkwood and Jay's International on South Grand.
Please let us know if you find some good stuff!
re: Richard 16
I am Lebanese and we get a good amount of food from Jay's on South Grand. But recently...a new shop opened called the Vine...it's directly across the street from Jay's...they have GREAT bread (house made) and good meat/spinach pies. Lots of cheese and olives as well. Most olives are in jars...if you want olives out of a barrel...you'll need to go to Whole Foods, etc.
I second Al Tarboush...best falafel in the city....
I haven't been there in a while, but Al-Tarboush Deli in the University City "Loop" has carried some middle eastern staples in the past.
There is also a list here of places that might have some of your items:
The Italian grocery stores on the Hill also carry some specialty items. I've purchased grape leaves, pine nuts, cracked wheat, etc. at Viviano's quite often. They also have several kinds of olives in barrels. And, I think I've seen za'atar there.
You should go some Wednesday for lunch at St. Raymond's Maronite Church. They have a great middle eastern lunch there every Wednesday from 11 until 2. I'm sure the folks in the serving line would be glad to tell you where they buy some of their staples.