For as long as I’ve been living in Queens Laziza of New York has been one of my favorite spots for Middle Eastern sweets. For almost as long they’ve been under new management and have been trying to get a sandwich counter going in the back of the space. The other night I stopped by to see if there were any kebabs to be had. Sadly there were no kebabs or falafel. There was, however, a sandwich, the baklava sandwich! That’s right I said baklava sandwich.
A seemingly infinite variety of baklava is on display in the case that runs the length of the shop. So why shouldn’t Laziza’s permutations of walnuts, phyllo, and honey include a sandwich. The $3 baklava sandwich isn’t so much a sandwich as it is a baklava on steroids. The sticky baton-shaped megabaklava is about four times as big as the typical specimen. It’s also partially wrapped in paper, much the same way a pita sandwich from nearby Cedars Meat House would be. That paper will not keep your hands from getting sticky though. It’s everything you’d expect in a baklava sandwich, flaky, crunchy, nutty, and sticky sweet. Add a cup of espresso and it’ll blow your head clean off, in a good way of course.
When I was leaving I asked the gent at the counter how to say the name of the sweet treat in Arabic. “Baklava,” he replied, “baklava sandwich.” Until I hear otherwise that’s what I’m calling it, too.
Laziza of New York, 2578 Steinway St., Astoria, 718-777-7676