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Dining Tidbits

Hub 51, Café Orchid, Steve’s Deli, Mexique

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BUDGET BEAT
Café Orchid

Those who prefer their Turkish food straight, no belly dancer, will like the casual digs of Café Orchid. Strings of lights bedeck a small patio with tables overlooking the strip-mall parking lot; inside, there’s a takeout area and a small dining room. We found a lot to like on recent visits, starting with the impressive tomato-and-cucumber shepherd’s salad, fresh and sparkling with oil and lemon juice. Cig boerek was another fine appetizer—crunchy fried pockets of homemade dough stuffed with peppery ground lamb and onion and served with yogurt sauce. Among entrées, we were pleased with our iskender, a wild pile of doner (gyros meat—ground lamb and sliced veal) atop cubes of pan-fried bread, liberally doused with yogurt and a tomatoey sauce, and also with our Imam firin, baby eggplants stuffed with vegetables and pine nuts and paired with mozzarella and tomato sauce. But the star of the show was manti, tiny, tender handmade ravioli filled with spiced ground lamb and served with butter and yogurt sauce (tomato sauce is another option). We can easily imagine becoming addicted to these. Finish with small glasses of Turkish tea and a slab of silky custard. 1746 W. Addison St.; 773-327-3808. –Joanne Trestrail

 

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