February 15, 2011 Slideshows

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Central Caf� and Bakery 

The restaurant is a family endeavor. Owner Michael Jaber alternates between the front and back of house, while his daughters work out front; other family members are among the kitchen staff. The vibe is very friendly. Jaber walks the floor often, checking up on diners, answering questions, pointing out details about dishes. Click here to continue reading Ian Froeb's review of Central Caf� and Bakery. Photos by Jennifer Silverberg.
Central Cafe and Bakery
331 North Euclid Ave. St. Louis, MO 63108
Central West End
314-875-0657
Central Cafe and Bakery owner Michael Jaber makes the breads, fresh, daily.
Central Cafe and Bakery owner Michael Jaber makes the breads, fresh, daily.
Central Cafe and Bakery owner Michael Jaber makes the breads, fresh, daily.
Owner of Central Cafe and Bakery owner Michael Jaber makes his own blends of spices in house. This is the special falafel spice.
The balls of dough must rest for a bit before they are shaped into pitas.
The balls of dough must rest for a bit before they are shaped into pitas. Here, owner/chef Michael Jaber sprinkles a little bit of flour over them.
Pitas ready to rise a bit before being baked.
The balls of dough must rest for a bit before they are shaped into pitas. The plastic helps them retain their moisture.
Owner Michael Jaber taking the fresh pitas out of the oven. They cook at a high temperature for a little over 2 minutes.
Making the mana-ish, which are small open-faced fresh breads with various toppings.
The cooked mana-ish.
Fresh Mana-ish and pita. The mana-ish shown here are, top, Epinard/Fromage (spinach and cheese) and on the bottom, Z'atar (thyme and sesame seed).
Chef and Owner Michael Jaber greeting customers at Central Cafe and Bakery in the Central West End.
Shwarma Beef in the making.
Making fresh falafel at Central Cafe and Bakery.
A Shwarma combo plate with both chicken and beef shwarma, served with their accompanying garlic sauce (for the chicken) and tahini (for the beef). Shown here with the house salad and spicy potatoes.
A closer look at the Shwarma combo plate with both chicken and beef shwarma, served with their accompanying garlic sauce (for the chicken) and tahini (for the beef). Shown here with the house salad and spicy potatoes.
The falafel, ground chick peas mixed with spices and fried, is shown with the house salad and rice. Garnished with pickles, pickled turnips and tomatoes.
These three dishes are from the appetizer menu. From left going clockwise are Grape Leaves which are stuffed with rice, vegetables and spices; hummus, a blend of chick peas, tahini, garlic, lemon and olive oil; and last is the tabouli. The tabouli is prepared with parsley, tomato, green onion, wheat, lemon juice and olive oil. All of which are served with fresh pita bread.
A closer look at the grape leaves (stuffed with rice, vegetables and spices).
The ball of dough becomes a pita!
A tray of mana-ish prior to cooking.
This pastry is simply called the Central Cafe Special. It is best described as a cross between Gnafa (sweet cheese pastry) and Baklawa.
While the delicious carrot smoothie is not usually served in the petite espresso cup (you'll be served a full, large glass of it) I couldn't resist the sweetness of this cup.
Owner and chef of Central Cafe and Bakery, Michael Jaber, takes a well deserved late afternoon hookah and coffee break.
Owner and chef of Central Cafe and Bakery, Michael Jaber, takes a well deserved late afternoon hookah and coffee break.
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Central Cafe and Bakery owner Michael Jaber makes the breads, fresh, daily.
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