Where to find some of Austin's best Turkish food
We're developing a grandiose, unified field theory of restaurants, which holds that appetizers generally beat out mains.
- After all, the chef has less leeway to screw up a dish — because there are no sides, there’s no place to hide.
- So shouldn't we aim for restaurants that effectively specialize in appetizers?
That led us recently to MezzeMe, a Turkish spot in The Triangle, the apartment and restaurant complex near 45th and Guadalupe streets.
- In parts of West Asia and the Balkans, mezze refers to a selection of small dishes served as appetizers.
Backstory: MezzeMe founder Mahmud "Moody" Ugur’s fascination with cooking began in his grandmother’s kitchen in Turkey.
- "We make most of our items with only four or five ingredients and don't overpower them with spices," Ugur recently told the Austin Chronicle.
The setting: The restaurant, with its open kitchen, is roomy and welcoming — and there’s plenty of outdoor seating on the patio, in what might be the most European-feeling nook in Austin.
- Two doors down from MezzeMe is Mandola's Italian Kitchen.
- In between is the European Wax Center.
- Amid all this is an antique-looking fountain for throwing pennies in.
We ordered the delicious Turkish red lentil soup; gorgeous red pepper hummus; velvety shakshuka of open fire-roasted zucchini, bell peppers and potatoes — all poached in a tomato sauce; the lovely shrimp skewers and some in-house köfte, or beef patties.
The verdict: Let's just say the theory holds up — all the food was fab.
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