Out of Home Range: Sofra Cafe and Bakery in Cambridge
Once in a while, a restaurant or eatery is so good and so unexpected, it deserves a little Owl attention. Sofra Bakery and Cafe, just over the Watertown line in Cambridge, is one of those. The Owl is not the first to discover it, and after waiting in a 10-minute line last week, we (the Owl’s older and less wise brother was with me) we can see why no one is talking–because you want it allllll to yourself.
If you read the Owl at least sporadically, you know that the Owl’s brother lives in Boston. Recently we have started meeting monthly for lunch in Watertown, while trying different cuisines and less-known restaurants. The first was Persian, the second Nepalese, and now we are on to Turkish/Middle Eastern. The weather was great for the first two meetings and we got to picnic on the Charles River, but last week was less conducive to outdoor eating. Note that Sofra has a small outdoor eating area, and a small stand-up counter and bench inside. At this point in the weather scheme, I would take it to go. You are pretty much right across the street from Mt. Auburn Cemetery where picnicking is prohibited, but you can take a nice walk if it’s not too cold.
But back to the food. If you love Middle Eastern delights like hummus and spreads, flatbreads and lamb schwarma, you are in the right place. You will spend your entire time gazing at the hand-written menu above the counter, so you might actually consider looking at the menu before you go to help move things along. We were having a late lunch so my choice, the chicken couscous salad, was sold out but in its stead, I got the best arugula salad of my life. I kid you not, Weston, wow.
The service is friendly and you wait for your order with a little numbered stand while you breathe in the yumminess, or choose other items from the self-serve areas. You can also pre-order–holiday cookies are still available with a 48-hour advance order.
From their website: “Sofra is a Turkish word that means a picnic, a special table preparation of food or a small square kilim rug for eating.” Don’t miss it. Explore and eat local!
Sofra Bakery and Cafe, 1 Belmont Street, Cambridge. Please check holiday hours online. https://www.sofrabakery.com/