■SUNNYSIDE SHINES Souk El Shater Ahmad Osman serves up some of the best falafel, gyro and baklava in Sunnyside. Along with his family, Ahmad has operated Souk El Shater on Queens Boulevard since 2011, and prior to that, he was in business on 43rd Avenue. Originally from Lebanon, he has lived in Sunnyside for the past 30 years and firmly believes this is the best neighborhood in New York City. The name Souk El Shater translates roughly to “market of the clever” and Ahmad is proud to welcome everyone to come inside and try his delicious food. All the food served at Souk El Shater is made in house, and Ahmad feels strongly about serving food of the highest quality. “I only feed people food that I eat myself,” he told us, and he invites Sunnysiders to stop in and try something new. Got a sweet tooth? He makes at least seven different kinds of baklava, some stuffed with pistachio, others with cashews, walnuts and some with cheese. In addition to the prepared food, Souk El Shater stocks a variety of Middle Eastern grocery items, such as grains, beans, spices, fresh meats and cheeses. He uses these items in his cooking, and wanted to make them available to the community for a low price as well. Ahmad loves being in business on Queens Boulevard, where he has strong visibility to pedestrians, drivers, and even passengers on the 7 train. “I believe in this area,” he said, “There are all kinds of people here, and it is one of the most quiet, clean and friendly places. It is home.” While he has seen the neighborhood change over the past several years, he believes the change to be for the best, and enjoys welcoming new residents into the store. Stop into Souk El Shater to try their spinach or meat pies, a piece of halvah, some baklava or one of their daily specials, and be sure to peruse through the grocery to find something truly unique to bring home.
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