REVIEW: Afran Lebnan Bakery

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Pizza for breakfast. When you live out west, every day could potentially begin with those three glorious words. My place in Granville is within walking distance of five Lebanese pizza spots – and another ten are a short drive away in Merrylands or Guildford. Lebanese pizzas (aka manoush) are thin, crispy and typically eaten early in the morning. Most of the spots that sell them open at 6am and close before 2pm.

I’ve eaten at every single manoush joint I’ve come across and while the differences between each spot are subtle, they all have their signature touches – or their signature fuck-ups – and after carefully adding and deducting points for each delicious signature or unfortunate fuck-up, I have come to the conclusion that the best manoush spot is Afran Lebnan Bakery in Granville.

Names aren’t really that important to spots like these, making them near impossible to google. The sign outside says ‘Lebanon Bakery’, one of the chefs tells me this place is called ‘Brothers Pizzeria’ and a sign on the outside of the huge pizza oven reads ‘Afran Lebnan Bakery’.

Nobody who eats here cares about the name. They come here for the consistency. They come for the perfectly crispy base on the lahm bajeen manoush, slightly blackened and covered in a thin layer of minced lamb, onions and spices. The plain manoush, a staple of every good manoush joint, goes through the oven with a thick smear of za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice mix with sesame seeds and olive oil. When it comes out you can cut it up like a pizza, or roll it up with tomatoes, mint and olives.

The spinach triangles are great too, the dough both soft and crunchy depending on where you take your bite, but greatest of all, and this is consistent across all manoush joints, is the price. A plain manoush will set you back two bucks and a spinach triangle is three-fifty. The most expensive thing I order is the lahm bajeen, which is five bucks. Chase it with a fruit juice from a bottle with a loud Arabic label.

Manoush is as delicious as it is mind-blowingly cheap. In this tough post-recession world where a one bedroom apartment costs twice the total of what you and your partner earn over the course of your entire lives, it’s good to know that important childhood dreams like ‘pizza for breakfast’ is a very achievable reality.

Where 29 Good Street, Granville
When Mon-Sun 6am-4pm
How much $2-$5 per manoush
Contact 02 9760 2099

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