Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sofra we meet again & Summer Reading

I first visited the traditional Mediterranean bakery and cafe located in West Cambridge just a short distance from Harvard Square for lunch last summer. I raved about Sofra's Turkish and Lebanese inspired Sharbat drinks, Meze bar offerings and food in general. What I didn't rave about was the dessert because I was too "full" to sample some. What a shame that was. This time around, when my sister and I stopped in to grab some meze spreads to take home on Friday evening, I made sure not to omit the sweet course. But first, the appetizer spreads, which we paired with sesame crackers and a fresh loaf of bread. The Muhammarra is a fantastic combination of red pepper, walnut and molasses. The bright pink spread would be a heavenly Beat Tztatzki. Both alone are worth a visit to Sofra. They cost $4.25 each.For dessert, a crispy, flaky, buttery baklava. But not just any baklava, one loaded with rich dark chocolate and crunchy toasted hazelnuts. I was on the train ride home from my sisters apartment and couldn't resist digging in.I highly recommend the Chocolate Hazelnut Baklava if you ever find yourself faced with the tough choice of which confection to order at Sofra's bakery counter. And I'll say it again same as I did in my last review: I wish this place was located down the street from me, even in all my Italian pastry shop and cannoli filled glory!


On a completely unrelated note, the other day while running errands Downtown, I popped into Borders remembering I had a gift certificate! Given to me as a birthday present back in February, I happily put it towards the purchase of summer reading.The only questions remains - which one to read first?The book that is all the buzz because it was recently made in to a major motion picture starting Reese Witherspoon and Edward Pattinson? Water for Elephants is a movie I really want to see, but I think I'd rather read the book first. Or the book everyone already read last summer or the summer before that? I figure I might as well see what all the fuss over The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is about. Or the one that caught my eye at the last second, a memoir by Piper Kerman who spent a year in prison after she was busted delivering a suitcase full of drug money? Orange Is the New Black should prove an eye opening read.
Have you read any of these books? Which one should I read first?

25 comments:

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I'm glad you finally used the gift certificate! I have tried to read the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo so many times but cannot get into it!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

I need to start a summer reading list! And I love buying Sofra stuff at the farmer's market. I am getting excited for summer Friday lunches!

Christina said...

Beet tzatziki? are you kidding me right now?! jeaaaaaalous.

In and Around Town said...

The colors alone look amazing! For books, I LOVED Water for Elephants - Have not seen the movie and not sure I will. Basically I was sad it was over and could totally read it again.

I have also read the dragon tattoo trilogy. You need to push through the first 100 pages and then you are set. They are really good books, but def mark the page with the family tree - I had trouble keeping track of everyone.

Maggy said...

ugh, don't worry - your blog doesn't make me miss Boston or anything.
I love beets, anything with that much color HAS to be good for you.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I am a big bookworm! I try to read one book a month but lately have been breezing through things and going through 2-3 books a month! I read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (love it, highly recommend) but I have to warn you that you might get hooked, then you'll stay up till 2:30 am reading the first book, then the second, then the third, then you end up with eyebags for staying up so late (or maybe that's just me). I also read Water for Elephants a few years ago and loved it, but still haven't seen the movie. And I want to read Orange is the New Black too!

Elizabeth said...

LOVE Sofra and Oleana. Everything Ana Sortun does is fabulous. I love the beet tzatziki but I haven't tried the muhammara yet. Looks delicious!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

orange is the new black sounds so intriging! water for elephants is amazing- i suggest that one first. the girl with the dragon tattoo is a trilogy, so you may get sucked in to read all 3!

Anonymous said...

Paper Books??? Get a Kindle or a Nook.

Ameena said...

I really wanted to like "Water for Elephants." I picked it up about a year ago and I'm still not finished with the third chapter. It is just...confusing! I don't know, I don't have this problem often so maybe it's just me?

As far as the Anon comment above me, there is nothing like a real book. I will never get a Kindle or Nook! No matter how much my husband waxes on about it... :)

Jennifurla said...

the baklava looks divine, scrumptious

Michelle Collins said...

I haven't read any of those books, but I've heard from many people that "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is incredible, despite a slow start.

Megan said...

Love Sofra! The chocolate-hazelnut baklava is my favorite. This reminds me we need to plan dinner at Oleana.

Read the other 2 books before you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo... once you get into it, you won't be able to put it down, and you'll immediately be sucked into reading the next 2 in the series.

Also, I'm thinking of picking up Water for Elephants too! Heard it was really good.

Oh, and to that anonymous person above: I love paper books. I really can't see myself ever using a Nook or Kindle as long as there are paper books out there!

Gretchen said...

Heather and I went to a dessert cooking class at Sofra this winter. We made and sampled sesame cashew bars and Syrian shortbread, along with lots of other tasty treats. Highly recommend it when their classes come back next year!

http://www.oleanarestaurant.com/whats-happening.asp

Cat said...

Yum! All that food looks delish! As for the books...I have heard that the "girl with the dragon tattoo" series is amazing!!!! {like can't-put-it-down, stay-up-till-3am-just-to- finish-it amazing!}

xx Cat brideblu

Shannon said...

LOVE The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the following book, The Girl Who Played With Fire. I have the final book in the series but haven't had time to pick it up yet.

My roommate just finished Water for Elephants and said it was great... so it looks like you are going to have a tough choice!

I'm currently reading the third book in The Hunger Games series and LOVING it.

Belly B said...

I loved the girl with the dragon tattoo!!! It was very exciting throughout and the main character was such a bad ass! I have been looking forward to water for elephants for ages now. Heard it's amazing. Happy reading! :)

<3 Belly B

Bonnie said...

I would eat this stuff just for the amazing colors.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Amber Blue Bird said...

that bright pink spread sounds yum and I love the color. Oh and the deserts are making me so hungry. As for the books, I just finished Water for Elephants (because I wanted to see the film but needed to read the book first) and loved it. It was a quick read for me as I could not put it down. Ive also read the Girl with the Dragon tattoo awhile ago and thats another one that was hard to put down. Once I finished it I had to go out and get the rest if the series and then watch all of the Swedish films.

Jenna said...

Water for Elephants! One of my ALL TIME favorites. Have yet to hear of someone who didn't become enchanted by it.

Simply Life said...

I actually didn't love the girl with the dragon tatoo although I'm definitely the minority there - I haven't seen "orange is the new black" but now I'm intrigued!

Corinne said...

JUST finished The Girl with The Dragon Tatoo. It takes a while to get into but once it gets going, watch out! Such a page turner, you will be done in a day. Especially if you are raeding on a plane :)

Alicia said...

I loved the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - I agree that it takes about 50-75 pages to get into it, but then you can't put it down. I'd save this one for last -- since you're going to want to read the other two in the series when you're done with this one -- and I wouldn't want you to miss those other books!

Jen said...

I haven't read any of those books, but I'm dying to!

Is it weird that the top few pics reminded me of Gak?

Kerstin said...

Fun post! I think I'm the only one that didn't love Water for Elephants - I just thought it was ok. The Dragon series is awesome though, although slow to start. I'm adding Orange is the new Black to my list :)