It's Ramadan and we miss the atayaf (aka atayif, katayif, and many other variations) that our Syrian landlords used to make in Brooklyn for the holidays.
Atayaf are half-moon shaped pastries (for lack of a better word) consisting of a pancake-like wrapper that is filled with either a honey-walnut mixture or ishta (a 'cheese' of sweetened and thickened milk and/or cream), fried, and then, sometimes, doused in syrup.
Does anyone know where they're made around here? SF would be ideal, but anywhere in the bay area would be useful to know.
Ah, okay, now I know what I got at Sunrise Deli on Irving last week. I asked what they were and the man just said "They're sweet. With walnuts or with cheese." I got the one with cheese and it was awful. It was so bitter I took a tiny bite and threw the rest away. Thoughts on the bitterness?
But this makes me curious to go find a good one.
If you can't find them you could make them yourself :) They're simple. A few steps is all, but simple in general. You could even make the fillings and put them in the fridge until you're free.
The recipes that require yeast are better than baking powder for the pancakes.
If you decide to go this route and need any additional clarifications or translation let me know and I'd be happy to help.
I was in Aladdin market in San Mateo this afternoon and asked there. The cashier said that there's a new restaurant in San Mateo that's been making great qatayef. He gave me the owner's name and number. The restaurant is Tartousa Mediterranean Bistro. He said that the owner is Syrian though the restaurant is "Mediterranean" with the food of many countries, and he recommended it highly. If a special order is needed, pls let me know and I'll go in on it with you, I'd love to try them.
514 Peninsula Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401-1612
Owner: Safwan Daya
(The restaurant is in the same shopping complex as Celia's and Safeway.)