Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sofra and Savan Save the Day

In case you were unaware-the weather was awful the past couple of weeks. Downpours, clouds and no sunshine in sight. When I'm working I don't mind at all-it makes it a little cooler, so I'm not as much of a hot mess. But on my days off, like this past Friday, I would really love some sun to brighten my mood, get my Vitamin D and remove the pallor from my skin. When I woke up Friday morn, the sun was shining and my run was hot and humid. But of course, after my shower and breakfast, ominous clouds started to roll in. Well I decided not to let that deter me from my plan of action for the day and headed to Cambridge, where the grass is always greener. Well just as soon as I crossed that muddy water onto the other side, the sky opened up. Bright pink umbrella went up and I trudged on, listening to my podcasts, and interesting courses from iTUNES U. I really wanted to see Mt. Auburn cemetery, a must-see which I had never visited. So now I felt like a total goth, going to the cometary on a rainy day, but I made it and it was beautiful.
Its America's first landscaped cemetery and very peaceful, especially when it was empty. [Maybe I'm a huge creep, but i think cemeteries are peaceful and nice]. The rain didn't let up at all and was starting to get worse so I had to come up with a Plan B to my leisurely day of strolling along Mt. Auburn. Luckily I realized that Sofra Bakery was right there.
I hurried into escape the torrential downpour and snagged a seat in the tiny dining area. A cozy busy spot, that was bustling on a Friday at 1. It is owned by the same people who run Oleana, a great, veg-friendly restaurant here in Boston, and specializes in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
With lots of time to kill I first drank a pot of Cocoa Rose Black Tea which was delightful.
Then I headed back up to the counter and ordered the Mezze Platter.
A selection of 5 Mezze with a slice of flatbread for $9. I selected Chickpea Romesco, Moroccan Carrot Salad, Green Tomato & Nectarine Salad, Vegetable Pickles, and Sweet red pepper puree with walnuts and molasses.
There is a heavy emphasis on the use of spices rather than fat to add flavor, in the tradition of Middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Two ladies sat down next to me and proceeded to tell me about how much they love Sofra and explaining all the best things on the menu. At their suggestion, 45 min later I approached the counter again and ordered a Flatbread covered in Za'atar spice (basically baked Thyme) for a dollar.
So flavorful!! All in all a delicious lunch and very reasonably priced! Their pastries are apparently superb, but nothing vegan (as far as i'm aware!) The lady told me that the chefs shop at Savan Spice store down Mt. Auburn Street, so once the rain let up a bit, I trekked on up the road.
There I bought Alappo red pepper (SO DELICIOUS AND FRAGRANT!!),
ground mustard, Ceci, pickling spice, and 100% concentrated pomegranate molasses!

Since the rain had stopped I actually did make it to Mt. Auburn which was beautiful!! If only it had been sunny.
view from the top of the "Tower"
Of course, once I was almost home the sky opened up again. WHAT IS THIS WEATHER???

oh and I made a salad later, and (luckily) found this little dude in my beet greens
I was really grossed out, but then thought it was kinda cute.... (fyi i didn't kill it)

~Thankfully, the sun has returned and I've been basking in its glory lately. But come rain or shine, Sofra and Savan are a must see!

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