https://www.youtube.com/view?v=-eaiaxz4tkI Just about a decade immediately after dropping his family’s previous pizza restaurant to a bombing in Syria, refugee and culinary entrepreneur Mazen Saloumi has opened a new Center Jap pizza cafe in Westville.
That new restaurant is referred to as Westville Emesa Pizza. It is located at the former site of Westville Pizza & Mediterranean Cuisine at 883 Whalley Ave.
The restaurant’s grand opening on Friday marked the culmination of six decades of Saloumi’s challenging operate in kitchens across the Elm Town, from Est Est Est to Sanctuary Kitchen. It also represented his return to running a Center Eastern pizza put after his household missing their company and fled their dwelling place in 2012, eventually producing their way through Jordan to New Haven in 2015.
At their new Westville digs, the Saloumi’s are discovering a way to fuse Italian and Syrian food items — preserving their have cultural heritage as very well as the traditions of the effectively-known restaurant house they lately obtained.
“When [my dad] came right here, he started off functioning to the [restaurant] aspiration since working day one,” mentioned Ayman Al-Saloumi, Mazen’s 21-calendar year-previous son. “After anything they shed again in Syria, they did not give up. They’re continue to working hard to rebuild what they dropped.”
Westville Emesa Pizza is packed with the Saloumi’s reminders of household. Photographs of Damascus and Homs hang on the partitions. Mazen’s cabinets are crammed with Middle Eastern spices. The term “Emesa” arrives from the pre-Islamic title for Homs.
Often, Mazen combines black pepper, cumin, paprika, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom to make a well-liked Middle Jap blend recognized as the Seven Spices. He also drove all the way to Michigan to get a Shawarma and Kebab grill.
Ayman mentioned that currently being absent from Syria will get especially tricky for the duration of the holiday seasons when his spouse and children would usually gather with all of their family. He was only 12 when he remaining Syria. His sisters were even younger.
“Here, we’re attempting to come across the identical peace that we had back in Syria,” mentioned Ayman. “The only lacking matter is our relatives.”
Mazen has been carrying out what he can to rebuild those relatives values in the cafe. All six workforce doing the job in the restaurant are refugees from Syria. Some even come from the exact same town.
The previous proprietor of the storefront on 883 Whalley was also a Syrian refugee. Ziad Hamoudeh was perfectly recognized for his Mediterranean food items and pizza. Mazen did not want to alter that tradition for individuals residing in Westville. He just needed to insert his own Syrian twist.
Mazen mentioned that when he was working for other pizza dining establishments in New Haven, he found out that Individuals like to try new issues. That is what drives his motivation to incorporate Syrian and Italian cuisines.
“The dough tends to make the change,” translated Ayman. “He provides milk and eggs with some other spices — it is similar to the dough we utilized to make in Syria.”
Employing that same dough, the Saloumi’s applied to make cheese pies, meat pies, Za’atar Manaquish, and a lot more in Albdour, their cafe in Syria.
They will carry on to make Manaquish in Westville Emesa Pizza. Manaquish is composed of the exact dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat. Ayman mentioned that Tabbouleh, Falafel, Muhammara, and Italian Shawarma are some other staples of their new menu.
On Thursday night, the Saloumi’s celebrated their opening by handing out 50 totally free pizzas to the neighborhood.
I’m glad we have a new eatery in Westville. With that getting mentioned, I see a great deal of unmasked persons in near proximity in that restaurant, as properly as the cooks, touching the pizza with bare hands in the oven. Provided the present predicament with the Covid virus and the new variants, and essential harmless meals managing, I’d anticipate that they’d have on masks and gloves when prepping food. But I’d hope that essential meals protection protocol to be adhered to even when we are not in a pandemic. The pizza and various breads did glimpse delicious while!
Welcome to Westville! Just cannot hold out to style some of this incredible seeking foods!
Congratulations on the new cafe opening! I can’t wait to check out the Shawarma, Kebab, Tabbouleh, Falafel, Muhammara, and Italian Shawarma. Tabbouleh is my favourite sizzling muggy weather foods, and I appreciate kebabs. Getting a new Syrian and Center Japanese region and Mediterranean area affected pizza and classic foodstuff and road meals extra to our restaurant choices is something I have lengthy wished for.
Italian Shawarma? Syrian pizza? I never know……. I’ll be there!! Fireplace up the ovens!!
In reply to DJKsMom:
I article this response with all kindness, practically nothing combative 🙂
I would not want my Chef or food items preparers to don gloves, until they adjusted them just about every several minutes. It is cleaner and additional sanitary to prep meals in a kitchen without the need of gloves. Gloves are not cleaner than hands, and in truth are dirtier because the wearer will touch other surfaces and not comprehend they may perhaps be contaminated. For occasion, if your bare hand touches some uncooked chicken juice on the slicing board, you will recognize right absent and wash your palms. If you touch it with gloves on, you might not comprehend your gloves are now contaminated. Kitchen workers and Chef’s continually wash their arms. I was at a area quickly meals cafe in Monroe last week and was disgusted for the reason that the persons functioning behind the counter were putting on gloves that obviously experienced not been changed in a though. They seemed dirty and 1 off the worker’s basically had a hole in her glove and her finger was poking out! Gross. They were being placing my food in the to-go bag. I would fairly have workers be in a position to explain to if their palms are soiled, and wash their hands usually, fairly than dress in filthy gloves to prep or provide my food items. Gloves do not make cleanse arms. Also, I realize you are concerned with the near quarters with no masks, but have you been into a grocery shop or any other restaurant these days? They are next CT COVID assistance, and their restaurant is no distinctive than any other retailer. If you are vaccinated, you will most likely be great, and you can opt for to have on a mask if you like. With regards to Chef’s carrying masks in the kitchen area, COVID has not been shown to spread by way of foodstuff prep or intake. Best regards! – BW-CT