Zaatar Bread, at the Bagel Shop?

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You won't find Middle Eastern specialties like zaatar bread or Armenian flatbread at your average bagel bakery. But Arnold's Bagels, a new business located in the same Westheimer shopping center as Phoenicia, is not your average bagel store. That's because Arnold, the half-Armenian and half-Jewish baker, is from Iran.

He bakes plain, wheat, sesame, everything, cinnamon raisin and blueberry bagels. A dozen are $8.95. One toasted with cream cheese is $2. A breakfast bagel sandwich with egg, bacon and cheddar is $3; with smoked salmon, it's $4.29. A large coffee is $1.65, but Arnold recommends an Armenian coffee for $2. It's like Turkish coffee, only better.

Arnold apologized that he didn't bake fresh bagels every hour, but he does bake fresh Armenian flatbread coated with sesame seeds every hour. He supplies Phoenicia with the stuff. He makes zaatar bread for himself and his wife, but there is often some around if you crave the stuff.

Unfortunately, there are no zaatar-coated bagels -- yet.

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