Al-Pascha: Breakfast for Champions

by Sara · 26.08.2013 · Crew Life, Food, Places · 7 comments

I could under­stand if Al-Paschas break­fast menu wasn’t for every­one. It’s hearty and heavy, but delight­ful and so tasty. So if you’re ever up for a per­fect Msa­baha or Fat­teh like you’d get it in Beirut or Dam­as­cus, you should def­in­itely stop by someday. After all, the culin­ary exper­i­ence makes for a great entrance into new cultures.

Msa­baha, for instance, is the long-lost sis­ter of the global staple dish Hom­mus. What can I say? You’ve been miss­ing out. Nobody actu­ally knows who inven­ted Hom­mus and nations have been arguing about it for quite a while, so don’t even try to ask who came up with the divine Msa­baha. It’s guar­an­teed to be dif­fer­ent every time you eat it. There’s no stand­ard recipe. But what is Msa­baha? Well, it’s made from basic­ally the same ingredi­ents as Hom­mus — chick­peas, lemon, gar­lic, tahini. But the chick­peas are not mashed and the tex­ture of the dish is more like a rough guacamole with extra-olive oil than a creamy yogurt. It’s gentle and soft and you can eat it with the flat white Arabic bread or with a spoon or even with your hands. The messier it gets, the more authen­tic it is (I’m deriv­ing this inform­a­tion from my own exper­i­ence from my Syr­ian fam­ily). My second favor­ite is the Man­a­kish with Za’atar. It’s the clas­sic snack of my child­hood memor­ies: a sort of pizza with spe­cial herbs, mostly Oregano and Thyme. 

Msab­baha (no way to spell it right)

I can’t stress enough how good the food is in com­par­ison to other places (believe me, I’ve tried some. It’s hard to come by a place that serves this spe­cial sort of break­fast food any­way, as it’s not some­thing you’d usu­ally find in a res­taur­ant). But for the people who visit Al-Pascha reg­u­larly, it’s more than just the qual­ity of the meal and it’s evid­ent why they like this place. Here, the com­munity meets up as if it was its exten­ded liv­ing room. Aside from the fact that the dishes are won­der­ful (to me they are espe­cially so as this is the stuff my mother used to cook us in the morn­ings of spe­cial occa­sions), the people are, too: where Ger­mans tend to be a bit reserved, down­right dis­tanced, Arabs are warm and wel­com­ing all the time. No mat­ter where you’re from or what you do, they will treat you like a part of the fam­ily, provided that you treat every­one in return with the respect they deserve.

Man­a­kish with Za’atar — Arabic style pizza with tra­di­tional herb mix (Oregano, Thyme, Basil)

Deli­cious sides: pickled stuff and olives

Al-Pascha is just one of many options in Neuk­ölln and I bet there are plenty oth­ers all around Ber­lin. There might be noth­ing fancy or spe­cial about the little cook­house and yet, within our group of friends, we just love to hang out there and enjoy it. The own­ers of the premises never let us get away without an extra pizza on the house and they’re always charm­ing with their little jokes and the famili­ar­ity. The spot is super pop­u­lar with the mem­bers of the Lebanese com­munity and it is always filled to the brim with young Arab kids, fam­il­ies and guys who crave their favor­ite meals from “back home”, so if you end up there at rush hour, there’s a fat chance there’s noth­ing left to eat any­more. So here’s some straight advice for you: if you ever pass by a tra­di­tional break­fast place like Al-Pascha, don’t miss out on your chance and jump right into the Foul, the Hom­mus, the Fat­teh and the very spe­cial fla­vors of Arabic pizza.

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6 comments
  1. um, where is it?

  2. You actu­ally took this cheesy photo of me…

  3. Sounds good, could you tell us the address please!

  4. Co-sign on everything. I love this place. AKKO on Pank­strasse, Wed­ding is almost as good as Pasha!

  5. I came to have lunch and besides the staff not being patient with me as I don’t under­stand Ger­man explain­ing their menu , lunch was awe­some!!! I had fatte and loved it!!! Thanks for your art­icle as it brought me here!

    Alesia Rodriguez

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