It’s no secret that we, the ladies of Just Add Cheese, LOVE Ana Sortun. I mean did you read about our experience at Oleana a few months ago? (I’ve been back twice since!) That place is like a continuous food-gasm in your mouth. Dish after dish, it never ends. And that’s kind of what her West Cambridge bakery is like.
Sofra, an Arabic word which translates to picnic table, and conveniently doubles as a synonym for generosity and hospitality, is a cozy Middle Eastern eatery located on Belmont St. Casual and comfortable, the small dining room is covered in wood and brightly colored quilts and pillows. The menu, filled with a selection of mezze, flat breads and pastries, inspired by the flavors of Turkey and Lebanon. While waiting in line to order, you’ll find yourself surrounded by shelves housing cook books, prepared foods and unique spices.
As many an amazing food encounter can be, I was immediately overwhelmed. My food envy had never reached such dissaray as it did when I first walked through the front door at Sofra. Thoughts like “Oh my God… sweet cheese brioche… Moroccan donuts….I want it all!… What’s that pink stuff?…Egyptian-style bread pudding? YUP… Let’s start with a Shwarma…What’s Spanakopita?… breakfast sandwiches?!…… I can’t…..Can I come back tomorrow too?” started running through my head.
I took a deep breath, regrouped, analyzed the menu, and made my order. To say I wish I’d been eating for 8 would be an understatement. It’ll take me at least another three or four trips to try everything on my “to eat” list there, and if she ever decides to open a location in the Kendall Square area, I promise I’ll never eat lunch anywhere else again.*
*Does not take responsibility for empty promises made in the heat of passion – I will obviously continue to eat lunch anywhere that sounds amazing so long as my bank account permits it. But I would still be totally gratuitous if Ana Sortun decided to set up her next venture in my ‘hood. justsayin.
But now, on to the really good stuff…
flatbread stuffed with sausage, cumin, feta, orange and olives. Verdict? Bomb.
Then there was the shredded lamb shawarma with pickled cabbage, tahini and yogurt, which was also pretty legit but happened to be missing one major component – the pickled cabbage! Where was it? I have no idea. I still enjoyed this dish, and the lamb was savory and super tender, but where’s my cabbage?MmmMmm dessert. Raspberry crumb cake for the win! Loved the texture, loved the flavor, would love it if it came in blueberry too.I will be totally honest in saying that things didn’t fare quite as well for the slice of almond bread we also sampled for dessert. Although it’s pretty easy on the eyes, the almonds were moist and soggy when I wanted them to crunch, the bread was dense and not as flavorful as I’d hoped. A slight dissapointment, but now I know what NOT to order next time. Instead, I’ll be going straight for the Moroccan Donut.
1 Belmont St.