My friend Beth gave me a gift, and now I must be angry at her. “Why?” you ask. Because she brought me nuts from Al Baraka, a Middle Eastern grocery store on Hillsborough Street, just inside the Beltline. The nuts at Al Baraka are roasted daily, and whether they’re the lightly salted almonds, the candied hazlenuts and pecans, or the fantastic pistachios, they’re all incredible. My favorite, however, might be the chili-coated kri kri, which are round peanuts that you eat shell and all. Just containing a bit of heat, these things are addictive, particularly as a bar snack.
And that’s the problem with Beth’s gift. I’m hooked on this place. Sure, they have lots of other great groceries, including some of the best dried apricots around, but it’s the nuts that bring me back. Again and again! You can talk all day about how healthy almonds are, but something tells me that’s not the case with the kri kri or the candied nuts (which my kids ADORE!).
Don’t let the place scare you away. Just because it’s next to a tattoo parlor should never be a reason not to buy some great nuts. And the people there are fantastic, letting you sample every nut they have.
Apparently, the words “al baraka” mean something like “blessings,” and frankly, you’ll see that’s completely appropriate after you stop at Al Baraka.
Al Baraka Market
4001 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27607