I’ve been meaning to visit this small bakery for quite some time but I never got the chance to do so. However on Sunday, Brian woke up early and everyone was still asleep, so I took him for a ride all the way to Amchit and decided to drop by Furn el Sabaya to pick up breakfast.
Brian waiting for his man2oushe
Furn el Sabaya (The Ladies’ Oven) opens every day from 7:30 AM till 2 PM and is run by a group of women who live right next to the shop. They’ve been managing this bakery for the past 20 years and take pride in preparing everything at home. They make their own Keshek, their own Zaatar (thyme), prepare their own bread (whole-wheat dough), harvest their own pumpkins etc. Also, the place is very clean and the “Sabaya” are very welcoming and friendly.
Their menu is divided into two sections:
– Commonly sold items: (Manakish Zaatar, Jebneh, Lahm Baajin, Keshek, Awarma, Bayd bi Awarma etc ..)
– Vegan/Healthy section: The ladies are all vegetarian and they offer cold-pressed thyme mankouche done with no oil, Vegan pizza with broccoli, sweet corn, bell pepper and tofu, Vegan pumpkin, pies made with spinach, purslane and wild greens etc. PatyM covered this vegan section quite extensively, you can read more about it [here].
I wasn’t really interested in that vegan section, so I ordered a couple of Zaatar, Jebneh & Keshek Manakish, two Bayd bi Awarma (preserved meat) pies and their famous sweet pastry, the “Mwar2a”.
They started by preparing the Bayd (Eggs) bi Awarma (preserved meat) Manakish. They basically crack an egg over the dough, mix it with herbs and then add Awarma (preserved meat) on top.
And here’s the end result:
As for the Mwar2a (or Mouwaraqa), it is the Sabaya’s signature dessert and consists of a thin dough filled with a mix of almonds, walnuts and orange blossom. It’s not that easy to prepare and they have a special way to roll the dough before putting it in the oven but the end result is one awesome dessert!
I found a video uploaded by my friend Bethany Kehdy on how the Mwar2a is prepared. Check it out:
All in all, I love everything about Furn el Sabaya and I am glad we still have such places in Lebanon. Next time you are headed North, pass by these ladies for a unique experience and a great breakfast! I’m already planning my second visit to try their vegan section, especially the spinach and the pumpkin pies because they come highly recommended.