Sahadi’s Middle Eastern Food Store Honored

(Photo courtesy of Sahadi’s, via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Sahadi’s, the famed Middle East food emporium which has operated at the same location on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn since 1948, has received the coveted James Beard Foundation Award.

Christine Whelan, Bay Ridge resident and co-owner, whose father Charlie Sahadi ran the story for 50 years before retiring last year, spoke with Ruth Brown of Brooklyn Paper:

“We’ve gotten plenty of very good press over the year, but the James Beard Foundation is definitely the most prestigious food-related organizati­on,” said co-owner Christine Whelan, a Bay Ridgite whose dad Charlie Sahadi ran the store for 50 years before retiring last year. “It’s in its own class.”

The foundation feted the market as the “heart” of the cluster of Middle Eastern stores along the stretch that make up “Brooklyn’s fertile crescent.”

The Foundation, named for the gourmet, cookbook writer and columnist, called Sahadi’s a “bulk bin wonderland.” John Alexander writes in Brooklyn Daily Eagle about Sahadi’s:

It is a popular must-stop destination for the finest in high quality Middle Eastern food.  In fact, Sahadi’s has it all: dried figs and fruits, pistachios, a wide-variety of cheeses, meat pies, creamy hummus, nuts, olives, breads, delicious Lebanese sweets, baked goods, baklava and barrels of coffee beans ready for roasting.

The store originally opened on Washington Street in lower Manhattan, in an area once known as Little Syria. With the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it was displaced and set up at 187 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.

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