Thanks to Anna Mindess, we get to meet the wonderful Ayyad family from Palestine. Along with staying true to who they are, they seem to make mouth watering food from Palestine.

East Bay Ethnic Eats

Zaki-Ayyad family
Photo courtesy Zaki Kabob House

Middle Eastern restaurants dot the Bay Area dining scene, like parsley sprinkled over a plate of hummus. A recent discovery, Albany’s Zaki Kabob House, intrigued me for two reasons: the menu, featuring Palestinian dishes not commonly found at other shawarma-falafel spots, and the compelling story of Zaki’s determined owners, the Ayyad family.

Sitting on the patio of their modest green building on San Pablo Avenue, I spoke with Fayza, Kameem, Ramzy and Layla about their journey to opening Zaki (which means ‘delicious’ in Arabic) and some of their Palestinian specialties. (Palestinian cuisine includes foods prepared and eaten by Palestinians, whether living in the Palestinian Diaspora, West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Jordan, or refugee camps. It traces Persian, Turkish and Greek influences and shares features of other Levantine cuisines, such as Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian.)

Fayza, the matriarch and recipe developer, recently returned from…

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