Friday, June 2, 2017


Somerville, MA
(Sunday, 05/28/2017)

Place: Instanbul'lu

Location: 237 Holland Street, Somerville, MA

Hours: open Saturday and Sunday at 9:00am for "Brunch" (their web-site states 8:00am, but that is incorrect; we arrived a little before 9:00am and they were just setting up for the morning)

Meal(s): (me) Menemem... very popular Turkish style omelet with tomatoes, onions, red bell peppers, green peppers, cooked with Beyaz Peynir[1] and spices; (Kerry) Laz Pancakes... very old traditional Black Sea region style... milk and flour based pancakes, topped with Turkish honey, recel[2], and Beyaz Paynir [ sic ], with scrambled eggs; and to drink (both me and Kerry) Turkish tea

(Now it's Istanbul'lu, not Constantinople'lu... that's nobody's business but the Turks.)

A nice tradition when heading home from Back-East is to stop for breakfast before being dropped off at General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport. Because Somerville[3] is just down the road from Hahvahd University, my brother Kerry was aware of a good Turkish breakfast/"Brunch" joint in Teele Square[4]. He had never eaten there before and I became his Gine domuz for the morning. Teele Square turned out to be a very cool area for a variety of restaurants; however, not too many breakfast spots.

Just to be fair, we decided to pay for each other's meal that morning. As luck would have it, Kerry's meal was $1.25 more than mine... so, I made him leave the tip.

There were several other interesting-sounding dishes that we could have ordered, too:
Ispanakli ("Spinach") cilbir ("poached eggs")... cilbir served with sautéed onions and fresh spinach, topped with garlic, pull biber (as best as I can figure ~ some kinda peppers);
Pelita...this dish is very popular in chef's village which in in Rize, Kalkandere region, tomato sauce mixed with eggs and Beyaz Peynir (I wonder if this is similar in any way to the Arabic/Mediterranean dish Shakshuka);
Firinda ("In the oven") kahvaltilik ("breakfast")... tomatoes, red bell peppers, green peppers, cooked with Turkish bread and Kasar Peynir (probably a cheese similar to Kasseri?), baked in the oven (I have no idea exactly what this might come out to be, but it sounded good to me).

I have had Menemen a few times before for breakfast. Menemem, like tiramisù or a good mole sauce, can be different from restaurant to restaurant. I liked this version a lot. I think the "green peppers" in it were a mild Hungarian pepper or something like that. I also like that there was a good amount of dried sumac on top, too.

The Laz Pancakes were similar to fried dough (Kerry thought them to be a little on the Greece-y side, but I told him this was a Turkish place and that would have been anathema to Turks). The recel turned out to be a nice chunky black cherry compote on top of the pancakes. I liked the combination of the Beyaz Peynir and cherry compote; it was sort of a salty-sweet topping for the pancakes.

I didn't even bother to ask what they might have had to offer in the way of any condimentary supplementation. The food was plenty tasty without any added hot sauces.

Breakfastary Dessert at General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport

Not that I was really that hungry still, but I had been shut-out all week from having any Dunkin' Donuts® products while on vacation in Wareham (there are only four shops in town). So I made sure to get me one Boston Kreme (without sprinkles, thank you) and a medium cuppa their Original Blend ~ black, no sugar. (I learned the hard way to never ask for a "Regular Coffee" in Massachusetts. That does not mean it comes in a regular or medium-sized cup; it means that it already has added cream and two sugars.)

Up next:

(World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) at 
the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Menemem ~ 7.0;
Laz Pancakes ~ 6.5;
Dunkin' Donuts® Boston Kreme ~ 6.1;
Dunkin' Donuts® Original Blend ~ 6.3


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, bir numara:

"Beyaz Peynir" is Turkish for Feta cheese. The two words separately translate directly as "white" and "cheese".

(Note: They mispelded this as "Paynir" in the Laz Pancakes description.)

Subset stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

The word for "cheese" in Hindi is also "पनीर" ("paneer"). So there may be a linguistic correlation there somewhere.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, iki numaralı:

"Recel" in Turkish means "jam/preserves".



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