A fantastic Turkish cafe in the middle of midtown Manhattan. They have over 12 types of baklava ranging from the traditional to the unusual (sour cherry, anybody?), savory and sweet baked goods and some damn authentic tea. Though small, the restaurant is welcoming and there seems to always be a lot of Turkish folk here, both staff and customers.
Gulluoglu's tea is the closest thing to what I've had all my life in various Persian homes. They even serve the tea in a traditional Middle Eastern tea glass - with no handles. It's some sort of test of will to be able to grasp the near-boiling tea with your bare fingers and not yelp in pain. But your reward is that delicious amber liquid.
|Scalded fingers? Who cares, it's good!|
They have many baked items that are perfect for lunch - all of them are comprised of some sort of dough filled with veggies, potatoes or meat, then baked or fried. All delicious. But the star of the savory side of the menu has to be the Sigar Boregi (borek as we Persians call it) - feta cheese rolled up into cigars of flaky dough and fried.
|Come to mama!|
All that said, people (including myself) keep coming back to Gulluoglu for their baklava. They seem to rotate through the specialty baklava flavors, but the classics are ever present. I'd recommend trying a few and sharing, as the baklava may look small but are very rich. Believe you me, you'll need some of that Turkish tea to go with it.
|Sour cherry and classic pistachio baklava|
Perfect for dessert and afternoon tea or a light lunch (or both!).
Gulluoglu Baklava Cafe
982 2nd Avenue (at the corner of 52nd)
New York, NY 10022