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Tastes and Tables

Turkish-inspired Delights

July-August 2020

Fresh-baked jam turnovers at Sofra

Sofra's fresh-baked raspberry-rose jam turnovers

Photograph courtesy of Sofra


Sofra's fresh-baked raspberry-rose jam turnovers

Photograph courtesy of Sofra

Delectable side dishes and salads at Sofra

Side dishes include: cucumber and dill salad; baked gigante beans; zucchini pancakes; and lamb chunks with spiced hummus and falafel

Photograph courtesy of Sofra


Side dishes include: cucumber and dill salad; baked gigante beans; zucchini pancakes; and lamb chunks with spiced hummus and falafel

Photograph courtesy of Sofra

At Sofra Bakery & Café in Cambridge, the phone starts ringing for take-out orders at 2 p.m. By 2:45, when we’re contemplating dinner and craving the rye-flour galette with a mélange of zucchini, goat cheese, and black garlic ($14)—it’s already sold out. The dark-toffee flavor of that aged garlic (common in Asian cuisines) is irresistible. We take one of the last sausage pitas ($11) instead. Back home, eating on the patio, that spicy ground pork—mixed with pickled peppers, feta cheese, and a hint of orange flavor in a crunchy pastry wrap—becomes a new favorite. Other must-haves: the meze platter ($12): dollops of creamy beet tzatziki, hummus, whipped feta dip, and a romanesco salad; and the cauliflower fatteh ($14), a slow-cooked dish with caramelized onions, pine nuts, and yogurt, sprinkled with sumac. The corner café’s been feeding sheltering crowds via brown-bagged goodies handed across a plexiglass-protected doorway, and this summer could resume limited service at its outdoor tables. Wherever you enjoy this nuanced, Turkish cuisine-inspired fare, don’t forget dessert ($4-$8): soft, double-chocolate “Earthquakes,” oatmeal cream pies, and sesame-caramel cashew bites. And on weekends definitely call way ahead for the hot and tender raspberry-rose-flavored turnovers and tahini-tinged, brown-butter donuts.

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An appetizer of ground pork with onions and basil

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Photograph courtesy of Cha Yen Thai Cookery

Cha Yen Thai Cookery

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Photograph by Wayne E. Chinnock/Courtesy of Talulla

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An appetizer of ground pork with onions and basil

Click on arrow at right to view image gallery
(1 of 2) Cha Yen Thai Cookersy serves fresh fare like the tangy pork larb with red onions and basil.

Photograph courtesy of Cha Yen Thai Cookery

Cha Yen Thai Cookery

Craigie on Main was remade into Craigie Next Door

Photograph by Rachel Manzier/Metter Media/Courtesy of Craigie on Main

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Photograph by Wayne E. Chinnock/Courtesy of Talulla

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