From time immemorial, the flatbread called manaeesh bi zaatar (often, simply zaatar; $3) has been lovingly prepared (and consumed) along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, in what's now Lebanon, Syria (home of the baker above), and their neighbors. Though the word "zaatar" also refers to several closely related herbs, here it was translated simply as "thyme" and blended, in typical fashion, with olive oil and sesame seeds. I've tried other examples of this flatbread that were doubled over against their will or that insisted on lying flat, but today's zaatar — prepared from fresh dough and then pressed, by hand, a dome-shaped griddle — could be folded in two with a flick of the wrist and torn to pieces just as easily.
Also shown below: a shish kabab platter ($6), accompanied by a triangular pie filled with moist, lemony spinach ($2); warak-enab (six for $4), unusually fresh-tasting grape leaves snugly wrapped around lamb and rice; a kafta kabab platter ($6 each) garnished with scallion; a square of baked kibbe ($4) made from beef, bulgur, onion, and pine nuts; and a bird's nest pastry ($3), made by a bird that loves pistachios and walnuts.
Lebanese Food Festival
Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, 113 Remsen St. (at Henry St.), Brooklyn Heights