Rockville restaurant makes magazine’s national top 50 list

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding a small restaurant in a Montgomery County, Maryland, strip mall.

It’s the result of Z&Z Manoushe Bakery in Rockville being named one of Bon Appétit’s 50 Best New Restaurants.

“We were shocked,” said co-owner Danny Dubbaneh.

Since Bon Appétit’s list came out Sept. 8, he said, “it’s been crazy … last weekend, I don’t think I slept, I was just making more and more dough the whole time.”

Issa Dubbaneh, Danny’s father, chops parsley before the restaurant welcomes customers on Friday. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The dough is part of the manoushe, or traditional Middle Eastern flatbread, that the restaurant serves.

“Traditionally, it comes with an herb and olive oil spread called za’atar,” he said. “It’s savory, a little tangy.”

“It’s not that hard to understand — it’s bread with toppings on top,” he joked.

Making this even sweeter for him and the family members who work alongside him: The bakery is located in the same spot off Rockville’s Nelson Street where his grandfather opened a chicken and sub shop after coming to the U.S. from Jordan in the 1980s.

“Receiving that (Bon Appétit) recognition kind of made it all click,” Dubbaneh said. “We were going to make something special in this neighborhood, because we love this area. We spent so much time in it growing up.”

Northeast D.C.’s Daru also made Bon Appétit’s list of best new restaurants.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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