On the weekends, it's best to line up early at Vrej Pastry, a Lebanese bakery in Pasadena. Otherwise, you risk leaving the smallish storefront shop without a taste of the knefe, an airy sesame seed bun that's been split and stuffed with a slightly sweet slice of white cheese. It's a typical Lebanese breakfast, yes, but there is no better knefe to be had than Vrej's. The weekend lines back up the claim. Should you find yourself being turned away at the counter, feel free to console yourself inside a tray of osmalieh or a mound of specially prepared baklava.
Take a soft, warm bun rolled in sesame seeds, split it open, fill with melty sweet mozzarella-style cheese with a golden brown farina crust, douse with rosewater syrup, wrap it in paper, and you have breakfast-treat heaven with countless variations on its name: knefe, kanefeh, kunafah, künefe, kanafeh, kunfah, kataifi, kadaifi, kadayf, kadaif, knafeh bjebn. At Vrej, a Lebanese bakery in an Armenian neighborhood in Pasadena, the treat, also popular in the Palestinian territories, Syria... More »
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