I’ve been eating fatayers, an Arab meat pie, from Sunbake Pita Bakery since I was a teenager. I most definitely took it for granted, not knowing where exactly it came from since my mom always picked up a bag whenever our freezer ran out. As a recent graduate, working without a solid break in the pharmacy gets tough, and heating these little pies up and eating it within two to three bites is always a win for me, and it quickly became one of my favorite quick meals. Last week my mom wasn’t feeling well, so I was absolutely delighted to go pick some up in her stead.
Located on 134 Ave and 107 St, it was only a five-minute drive from my house. Ridiculously close to most north Edmontonians. You know how cops are outside of Tim Hortons, grabbing a coffee or donut to go? Well, taxi drivers are here grabbing donairs and pies to go!
The inside has a simple order counter, with larger pita packages on the side, and smaller to-go orders in the front. There’s even a side counter of various nuts, available in bulk. I’ve never been to the Middle East, but I would imagine markets would be lined with these beautifully roasted nuts!
After ordering a bag of mixed fatayers (sold by the dozen) and a bag of sfeha meat fatayers (our usual), each bag for $10, I asked the owner if they were related to the Pita Bake on 153 Ave and 127 St, to which he replied, “No, completely different. Completely different. We are incomparable.” Oh, well then. But they have similar fatayers? Which I had never tried. I was actually going to do a comparison post but the next few minutes with the owner changed my mind. And here’s why:
He quickly took me to the side of the shop to show me their operation! I didn’t ask to be shown, nor did he know I was a blogger, which to me shows that this was his pride and joy. Not comparable, indeed! The other place does not make their pitas like Sunbake Pita does!
They run 22 hours a week in the back, making fresh pitas to be distributed all over Edmonton and even as far away as B.C and Manitoba. Think of all the donair places you eat at. Any Middle Eastern wrap. Shwarma! Most likely the pita came from Sunbake Pita!
Stacks of flour lined the right side and ready to be mixed in the mixer at the end of the room (in previous photograph).
Dough gets put into the a motion-sensor divider, which he turned on to show me. The sliced dough gets rolled and pulled up through two stages of proofing for a total of 20 minutes.
Eventually the dough passes through a long oven, almost half the length of the room. 10 seconds through this bad boy and the pitas are ready! Check out that flame!
Up and around the room, the pitas cool, and end up in the packaging station where they are packed six to a bag. The whole operation is able to run 6000 pita pieces per hour at maximum capacity, assuming that a steady stream of dough is being placed into the divider. Bonkers! I didn’t realize they had this whole scale operation going on the side. Mom was fairly impressed when I came home with more than just a couple bag of fatayers!
By the time I got home, I was too excited to save my pastries for that work day’s meal. Had to have it for lunch! The mixed bag had four of each: herb, spinach fatayer, and cheese pie; plus I had my dozen sfeha meat fatayer to boot.
The herb fatayer is on a thicker piece of pita, and uses a lot of oregano. Definitely a different flavor profile from the others, yet simple. Not as savory either.
The spinach fatayer has a nice heaping filling of steamed spinach, with a slightly sour seasoning to it.
My new favorite: the cheese pie. Little puff pitas with a three cheese filling of mozzarella, cheddar, and feta. Yum!
And of course, my family favorite: the sfeha meat fatayer, ground beef mixed in with spices, onions, and crushed fresh tomatoes. It might not look much, but trust me, delicious! Even my coworkers have started eating them and they showed absolutely no interest in my lunch before! Probably have to start bringing in extra for them… keep your hands off the fatayers!
Definitely get your money’s worth here, and I still have yet to try their flat meat pies (think pizza style) and wraps! Absolutely love the fact that the fatayers can easily be frozen and reheated within seconds. Their pita breads are sold almost everywhere, including Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Planet Organic, H&W Produce, and all locations of the Italian Centre Shops. They have been my margherita pizza base for many years now – laziest, yet best way to make a pizza if you don’t want to make your own dough but want a thin crust. Thanks so much to the owner for showing me around, absolutely the highlight of my week. He’s such a kind gentleman and proud of his business of over ten years. Check them out when you get a chance!Sunbake Pita Bakery
10728 – 134 Ave