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May 22, 2010 07:34 PM

Cafe Istanbul'lu

Turkish Food in Somerville
It is opening week for Cafe Istanbul'lu, Somerville.
237 Holland.

Istanbul'lu is great for those who previously had to go to the crowded Sofra (in my opinion a little too celebrity chef-y place) for their fill of Turkish food.

The food is authentic. The Chef Hussian very down to earth. His wife who waits tables makes dining there a pleasant experience. They used to be on Beacon Hill, Brighton.. before. A former governor was a huge fan of Hussian's rice pudding when they were on Beacon HIill.

I hope they stay here for a long, long time...

Food is great. Lots of tapas. the dinner menu and website should be coming up soon. Watch out for updates. Short walk from Davis T-stop.

1 Belmont St, Cambridge, MA 02138

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  1. That's Teele Square. 237 Holland Street, Somerville, MA, 02144. (617) 440-7387.

    I've long missed Cafe Istanbul (formerly in the space now occupied by Grotto), and Brighton is very inconvenient to me. Teele Square less so.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. I stopped here recently when doing an errand in Teele Square. I noticed the "Grand Opening" banner.

        I was in a rush, so ordered a cheese borek {peynirli borek) to go. Maximum yum. At that time they were only open for breakfast and lunch, but I'm hoping they are open for dinner soon.

        Teele Square Cafe
        Somerville, MA, Somerville, MA

        1. I've been twice in the past 2 weeks for lunch and the place has been *very* quiet - and fabulous. Go! Go for lunch! Go for dinner and brunch too! I plan to. =)

          First time - lentil kofta on fabulous house baked bread, a cross between focaccia and pita, heated in a panini press, with tomato, some kind of sauce similar to what one might get with falafel, and greens. (nice greens, too.) Today, half a sandwich with the mixed Turkish smoked meats (one pepperoni-like, one pastrami-like, amazing seasonings) and sharp cheese and tomato, half of two kinds of borek (cheese and spinach), and half of a mucver (zucchini fritter), all fabulous. And some more bread with red pepper dip came out on the house.

          2 Replies
          1. re: pekmez

            Ah jeez,

            I was afraid of that, this location really does seem to be cursed. The owners are really lovely people and the food is very good.

            We will be there for breakfast this weekend. Please give it a try (it's diagonally across the street from Rudy's).

            1. re: sablemerle

              I tried to bring some friends there for breakfast today, but we were thwarted by their "summer hours" (apparently new since the last time we walked by 2 weekends ago). They don't open until 11 AM on Sundays, so we wound up at Sound Bites instead.

          2. Went last night for dinner with a friend and we both loved it. It's a small space, very nicely decorated except for an unnecessary and distracting TV. We got a very warm greeting and some nice Turkish bread with delicious and addictive red pepper spread. We ordered five items from the "Turkish Tapas" section of the menu: mucver (zucchini fritters with yogurt sauce, excellent but I've never met a mucver I didn't like), haydari (thick yogurt spread, by a mile the best rendition of this I have ever had), a cold green bean and tomato thing that was our very favorite, red lentil fritters what were unlike anything I'd ever had and delicious with a bit of a kick to them, and an epplant dish that had a ring of eggplant topped by a slice of tomato, cheese, and both red and green peppers, baked and topped with a tomato-pepper sauce. This last was the only thing that was not outstanding and I think it might have been had it been left in the oven longer. The flavors were there but it was not meltingly soft the way we thought it should have been. Still very tasty and everything else was truly fabulous. For us, the 5 shared tapas were the perfect amount to eat (we wanted another order of the green beans but couldn't do it) and came to an exceedingly reasonable $26. I can hardly wait to go back!

            Cafe Istabul'lu
            237 Holland Street, Somerville, MA