Although our restaurant carries the name Manakish, a manakish is much more than just that.  We choose the name to represent the Middle Eastern comfort food – which is also known as a manakish.  Manakish are savory pastries popular in the Levant or Eastern Mediterranean region. They are perfect as a snack or appetizer or served as a traditional breakfast or lunch meal. 

 

Cauliflower Eggplant Cheese Manakish
Cauliflower Eggplant Manakish

Zaatar Whipped Labne Manakish
Zaatar & Whipped Labne Manakish

What Exactly Are Manakish?

Manakish are a Middle Eastern equivalent of a homemade pizza or flatbread. The word itself is rooted in the Arabic phrase naqash, which translates to mean sculpt or to carve.  The dough of a manakish is rolled flat; it is sculpted gently into a curve where the toppings sit.  The variety of what you can top your manakish is as diverse as pizza or flatbread toppings. Although there are more popular variations, what you put on your manakish can be as creative as your imagination can take you.

The History of the Manakish

Manakish are popular throughout the entire Levant region, which consists of modern-day Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Isreal, Jordan, Palestine, and Turkey.  Interestingly, very little has been written about the history or the origins of them. This also explains why so many different cultures have adopted the delicacy as “their own.”

Although origin cannot be agreed upon, what can be is the narrative. Traditionally, women throughout the Eastern Mediterranean would bake the dough in a communal oven each morning.  This bread would provide their families with their daily bread needs and create a place of sharing and community for the women. Smaller portions of the dough at the oven were shared to create manakish for all the families, and allow everyone to enjoy warm bread with a variety of toppings for breakfast each morning.  

 

What To Order On Your Manakish

There are several variations of traditional manakish that should be tried.  One of the most popular forms of manakish is za’atar. This is a traditional spice topping that is mixed with olive oil on the dough before it is baked. 

A classic manakish is one made with olives, tomato, labneh (a tangy, thick and creamy cheese), cucumber and mint.  Another favorite manakish is topped with marinated chicken, minced marinated lamb, and cheese. In fact, the ways you can order manakish are only limited by your imagination. 

Visit Us in Walnut Creek

Manakish Oven & Grill - Walnut Creek

We are excited to bring the traditional flavors of manakish to our establishment, Manakish Oven & Grill in Walnut Creek, CA.  Stop by for some great tasting Eastern Mediterranean cuisine that is fast, healthy, and delicious.  We are located at 2905 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA and are open

Monday – Thursday 10:30 AM – 9 PM

Friday – Saturday 10:30AM -10PM

Sunday 10:30 AM – 8 PM

 

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