Exploring the Bounty of Middle Eastern Goods in West Philly
The Muslim-owned Makkah Market, sharing Walnut Street with a mosque in West Philadelphia, supplies the neighborhood with all manner of Middle Eastern breads, spices, sauces, pastries, and hot meals. What first drew me to Makkah was the $1 baklava, and the price (when most places charge at least $2) is even outstripped by the quality: it is homemade by an old Lebanese woman who often sits, along with the burly, mustachioed owner and his helpers, at the front counter, where they maintain the buffet of hot meat and rice and vegetables. Upstairs, Makkah is a maze of Middle-Eastern canned goods, rice, cheeses, fresh lamb and chicken, all of which beat the prices and quality of the standard supermarket next door. On a third floor, there is a shop selling Muslim garb, and, the owner informs me, in another room, he's even got a barber shop.