|Ali Aziz in his bakery. Custom order of Spanakopita for a regular Greek customer fresh out of the oven in foreground.|
Middle East Best Food (1711 Coral Way) is an ethnic food shop, a bakery, and tribute to owner Ali Aziz's iron clad work ethic. He has run three stores in Miami over almost 40 years and quips "I could be a millionaire, but I don't want to. I love my work. If I was a millionaire I wouldn't have to do it."
Aziz, a Palestinian, says "I open 1972. I used to be Oriental Bakery on 3rd ave and 17th road. I sold in 1974 (to my aunt) and I open across the street and call it Mediterranean Bakery. I was 16 years over there, but the landlord start asking too much money, so I move here. I move here in 96' and I been here since."
Middle East Best food sells a variety of products from henna hair dye, to yogurt drinks, to dates, to olives, to nuts, to homemade hummus, tabbouleh, babaganoush, and pastries. The place seems to have it all.
Here are some pictures from our recent trip to the place...
|View from Coral Way, (a quarter block west of 17th ave on SW 22 St)|
|Inside the store, facing the street.|
|Ali working the register.|
|A variety of breads at the counter.|
|Regular customer Berta says "It's great. I've been coming here for about a year. The spinach pies are the best, the yogurt is the best, and Ali is the best." She pays for her order and gives him a kiss on the cheek. Ali says "You see, my customers they treat me like family."|