Mark Bittman’s Grilled Lebanese Flatbread

Makes 8


2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon instant yeast

3 cups all-purpose flour

Extra virgin olive oil as needed

2 tablespoons za’atar, optional


1. Whisk together the salt, sugar, yeast and 1 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit until it begins to froth, about 5 minutes, then add the flour and mix until well combined. (If the dough is very dry, add more warm water a tablespoon at a time to moisten it.) Cover and let rise somewhere warm for about an hour.

2. Meanwhile, prepare a grill; the heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the fire. When the dough has puffed up, transfer it to a well-floured surface and knead until soft and silky, 5 to 8 minutes.

3. Cut the dough into 8 equally sized pieces and roll each one out until it’s about 6 inches in diameter; don’t worry about making these perfectly round, but try to keep them relatively even in thickness. Brush one side of the breads with olive oil and put as many on the grill, oiled side down, as will comfortably fit at one time. While the first side cooks, brush the side facing you with more oil; when the breads begin to brown and puff up, flip them. When the second side is nicely browned, remove from the grill and sprinkle with the za’atar, if you’d like. Serve immediately.

— Mark Bittman, New York Times

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Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle


Elmwood Cafe abruptly closes after 2015 racism issues re-emerge

Elmwood Cafe, a Berkeley establishment with roots dating back 98 years, closed abruptly on Thursday, with a two-sentence note posted on the door: “Our sincere gratitude to all in the community,” it said. “Thank you for your support through the years.”

The restaurant at 2900 College Avenue was thrust back into the spotlight this week after the recent controversial Starbucks arrest of two black men in Philadelphia, which re-ignited online conversation about a similar incident that occurred at Elmwood Cafe in 2015 and involved Bay Area comedian W. Kamau Bell.

On Monday, Bell, who is black and a national figure on race and progressive politics, posted a blog on CNN titled “I know what it’s like to get kicked out for being black” about the 2015 incident, in which an Elmwood Cafe staffer asked him to “scram” when he was trying to speak to his wife, who is white.

The couple was having breakfast with their friends and celebrating Bell’s birthday. He had left the cafe to go to work at another cafe, and had just returned with a book for their baby daughter and was sharing it with their group, when the staffer gestured at him. Bell shared the story widely after it happened, including on NPR’s “This American Life” and in his book, “The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell” (Dutton, 2017).

Stories this week in the San Francisco Chronicle and on ABC 7 about Bell’s story fueled a barrage of negative reviews on Elmwood Cafe’s Yelp page, which until now, featured a 4-star rating and positive reviews of the cafe’s brunch offerings. Currently, the Yelp page has an Active Cleanup Alert which pops up when a business receives attention in media reports.

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Elmwood Cafe owner Michael Pearce could not be reached for comment nor to confirm that this is the …read more

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle


Landscaper caught having sex with family’s dog, police say


Cruz Barrera-Lugo.

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — An Atlanta-area man has turned himself in after he was accused of engaging in a sex act with a dog while working as a landscaper.

Jail records show that 61-year-old Cruz Barrera-Lugo turned himself in to authorities Monday.

A Lawrenceville man called police Saturday to report that he was playing in his yard with his nephew when they saw the landscaper participating in “a lewd sexual act” with their dog. The man said Barrera-Lugo fled when he realized he’d been seen.

Police say surveillance video captured the incident.

Barrera-Lugo has been charged with bestiality and cruelty to children.

The suspect had worked on the man’s lawn every two weeks for nearly a year. Police said it wasn’t immediately known whether something like this had happened before.

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Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle