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What Is Good at Cafe Kiraz in Cambridge?

I might head over to Cafe Kiraz between Inman and Kendall Squares over the next few days. Any items that stand out there? I'll eat just about anything, so give me a bunch of good options! Thanks!

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  1. Grilled sandwiches and frozen yogurt (if you can handle that today).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joanie

      Ice cream is great in cold weather, if just for the ultrahigh density of fat contained therein. I'd walk down to Tosci's, personally.

    2. The salads are pretty good. They are full of items like pine nuts, fresh avocado, and sundried tomatoes, and I like the vinaigrettes. I didn't really like the one sandwich I ordered there (wasn't grilled). The frozen yogurt is the best thing because of the huge selection of treats you can blend into it.

      1. I am a big carnivore and I tend to like their vegetarian sandwiches better. There is one with beets and goat cheese and caramelized onions plus some other ingredients - all on focaccia I think - which is fantastic, definitely one of my favorites. They do a lot of nice combos with portobello mushrooms - one that I really like with grilled chicken, portobello and maybe brie? Proscuitto, mozzarella and basil on grilled focaccia is solid. Grilled veggies with hummus. The mediterannean tuna wrap with mixed greens. They have a lot of ingredients and it gets confusing (and messy), plus be forewarned, the sandwiches are huge and can easily feed two people (or you, twice).

        Salads are good, but sometimes I want something that is a bit more put together. I think the dressings are lacking sometimes, but FWIW, I'm probably a high maintenance salad girl, whatever that means.

        I order from them a lot for work events and Kiraz is very popular with my crowd at work. Plus, they are just are wonderful people - great service - and as far as I can tell, most everything is from scratch (I've seen them bringing in big bags of beets in the a.m. which they cook in-house, for example).

        1 Reply
        1. re: MB fka MB

          Another vote for the beets & goat cheese.
          The curried chicken salad w/ apples is also very good, as are the mediterranean tuna and greek rollups.

        2. It's the frozen yogurt. I don't know who their supplier is, but it's different from other frozen yogurt. Some used to call it "NFYFY" - not-frozen-yogurt-frozen-yogurt - because it was so different.

          Plus, the machine is great to watch with kids. When I'm feeling healthier, I do blueberries and grape nuts; when I'm not, I go for twix. The twix doesn't quite fulfill my fantasies, because the cookie flavor gets lost in pulverization.

          Otherwise, I'll agree with MB's post; particularly the part about their willingness to add lots of healthy veggies to a sandwich. The pizzas are the only thing I wasn't pleasantly surprised by - it was not my style, doughy and puffy (I'm an Urban Gourmet man).

          4 Replies
          1. re: enhF94

            It has a different flavor from the other screw-style frogurt you can get in a Greek/Turkish pizza/cafe place? (e.g. Angora Cafe)?

            1. re: Luther

              I dunno - this was the first screw-style I'd seen. It comes in sausage-lookin' cylinders, and they chop a chunk off to put in The Machine.

              1. re: enhF94

                Some day, I will be fabulously wealthy, and I will own one of those things (or a Pacojet).

                1. re: Luther

                  And an anti-griddle. And maybe we can trade appliances every six months.

          2. The last few times I was there (yesterday,too) I had the 1/2 sandwich + soup combo. The portions are large and it is plenty of food. The minestrone soup is the best one I've had there.
            The chicken salad is great with lots of dill. There is something sweet in the wheat bread, honey maybe, and it is sliced very thick.

            1. They make great grilled sandwiches and a melt that has artichoke and olive paste that is really yummy. The personal pizzas are the thick and cheesy type and half of one is extremely filling.

              1. I second the beet sandwich. It is unique and amazing. If you like beets at all you will find it hard to ever order anything else.

                1. Yes, we get lunch delivered from them quite often and their froyo with mix-in's is a summer time afternoon snack staple for us. If you are watching calories go for the vanilla fro-yo with a fruit mix-in.

                  I think their sandwiches are pretty good, and I've heard their soups are tasty. I had some special sandwich with turkey, avocado and sprouts on foccacia that was delicious.

                  1. These are valuable suggestions, and I am definitely going to have to try some. I go past the place every day, but have only gone in once. I was craving buffalo chicken and got the wrap version of it since they do not offer a sub. I should have taken this as a sign, but figured Kiraz is a pizza/sandwich joint after all so they should know how to do this. Big mistake - huge chunks of shredded cooked chicken (not fried) with a bit of hot sauce and blue cheese dressing. Really not a very good sandwich, and did not suit my craving at all.

                    What I should have realized is that Cafe Kiraz is a new species entirely of pizza/sandwich joint that is starting to take over Boston: the Turkish-run quasi-healthy food joint, with a wide almost universal scope of sandwiches, usually also serving frozen yoghurt or ice cream. This includes places like Kiraz (Cherry), Podima (small town in Turkey), obviously Anatolia, and so forth. Y'know, I think this warrants a thread of its own...

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: elbev

                      Kiraz used to be called Podima, it changed about two years ago. I'm sure there is (or was) some common ownership.

                      1. re: Ruprecht

                        Wasn't it called Miraz at one point?

                        1. re: Ruprecht

                          The owner of Kiraz owned both Podima outlets, but sold the name along with the Cambridge St location.

                          For those keeping track of restaurants of a similar track, Arlington Cafe on Summer St (I think near the skating rink) is another one. Funny thing is that what I am most attracted to on their fairly universal menu is essentially a ruben. I am not a huge fan of Kiraz, but having a bit more selection on 2A is a good thing and I plan to give them a shot.

                      2. After reading all the posts about the frozen yogurt I had to go get some yesterday. It didn't disappoint! I had oreo and cheesecake, delicious even in the cold weather. And I was very surprised at the size...I didn't realize how big it would be!

                        1. I like their Ham and Brie w/dijon mustard sandwich. Good value for the money.

                          1. I have to agree with the recs for the beet and goat cheese sandwich on focaccia.
                            though the tomato seems out of place. It's one fine sandwich.

                            but the chicken sandwiches and salads have been kind of dissapointing.
                            also the grilled prosciutto sandwich had moister more ham-like meat than I was expecting.

                            and why are there so many people behind the counter!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: black bean can

                              I also don't like the chicken that I've had on salads. It's strangely soggy for some reason.

                            2. I think of their fro yo base as more of a cream cheese base, which is a good thing. It reminds me of mix in yogurt that I've only had in Taiwan, and they have huge portions that you can take home and save for later. I like their grilled chicken with pesto mozz and sundried tomato.

                              My first mix in combo was raspberry pineapple with vanilla base, and it is delish! Then I tried a ginger coconut which didn't work as well and strangely tasted like almond. So I will just stick w/ raspberry pineapple.

                              Another place w/ mix in yogurt that might be Turkish is Luz Cafe (Washington St and Mass Ave) near Boston Med Center but the quality of their yogurt is not as good.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: windycity

                                i really like the chocolate yogurt mixed with ginger. it has a great zing to it. then i mix in nuts and, if i'm feeling like splurging, some kind of candy. i don't like the vanilla with ginger as much.

                              2. I should also add that I make my own ice cream and I still crave Kiraz's mix in yogurt. If it were more accessible via the subway, I would go every weekend because the fresh tangy creaminess of the fro yo is something I can't get out of my head.

                                1. LASAGNA and GARLIC BREAD.... 6 bucks?!?! MMMMM