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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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Photograph courtesy of Mem Tea

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The stein-laden mahogany back bar, and original 1935 booths at the landmark restaurant The Student Prince

The stein-laden mahogany back bar, and original 1935 booths featuring animal antler sconces

Photograph courtesy of The Student Prince

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Click on arrow at right to view additional images 

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Hands pouring steeped golden-colored tea from a ceramic pot

Enjoying the art of making and drinking tea, here featuring Ceylon and “Black & Green” leaves from Mem Tea

Photograph courtesy of Mem Tea

Steeped

The stein-laden mahogany back bar, and original 1935 booths at the landmark restaurant The Student Prince

The stein-laden mahogany back bar, and original 1935 booths featuring animal antler sconces

Photograph courtesy of The Student Prince

The Student Prince

Click on arrow at right to view additional images 

(1 of 4)

Square bustling, again, with visitors

Photograph by Jim Harrsion

Harvard Square, Redux