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A Satisfying Sandwich Where the Surprising Main Ingredient Is Yogurt

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Critic Robert Sietsema finds that sometimes the simplest sandwiches are the best at Sakib in Williamsburg

A storefront glows at twilight.

Offering Middle Eastern food with roots more specifically in Syria and Jordan, Sakib recently appeared on Bedford Avenue near the Williamsburg Bridge, and was the subject of a glowing New York Times review. There, one can get Arabic pies something like individual pizzas, topped with ground meat, spinach, cheese, or the spice and sesame-seed mixture called zattar; flaky hand pies called bureks with a variety of fillings; kebabs and falafel; and all of the appetizing bread dips expected on such a menu.

But there are surprises among the sandwiches, which are rolled into imperially thin pitas and not the cardboard pocket-pita variety. Labneh is a Middle Eastern yogurt that’s been concentrated by being strained through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. This results in a creamy and thick texture that’s a fit sandwich filling.

At Sakib — the name of co-owner Mohammad Ayasrah’s hometown in Jordan — a pita is slathered with labneh and then heaped with lettuce, cucumbers, and fresh mint before being rolled up into a tubular sandwich ($6.50). I ordered with curiosity and some skepticism as to how good it would be. But when the tangy yogurt, amplified with cooling mint, flooded my mouth, I realized what a triumph of the sandwich maker’s art it was. Sometimes, a simple sandwich uncontaminated with mayo, mustard, or ketchup is best. 349 Bedford Ave, at South 4th Street, Williamsburg

Yogurt and greenery rolled into a pita and cut in two showing the sandwich in cross section.
The yogurt sandwich
A counter at the right, and couple of tables of the left in front of a wall of fake stone with a wooden door.
The interior of Sakib looks positively medieval.


349 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (917) 909-0677