30 Restaurants in 30 Days: Cafe Agora

IMG_7547Behold, friends, the best lunch in Buckhead. It is yours for about $7, tax and the generous tip you’ll want to leave for the good people at Cafe Agora.

Called the “mixed maza platter,” it is intended as a shareable appetizer, but I’m telling you to skip the (great looking) kebabs and gyros and eat up this plate of vegetarian Turkish yumboliciousness. It contains (clockwise from 12 o’clock):

  • Eggplant salad, bright and tomatoey, with peppers and lemon juice
  • Baba Ghanouj, prepared with an ideal balance of tahini smoothness and lemon-garlic tang
  • Potato salad, with a  tart sprinkling of purple sumac adding a tart foil to the waxy blandness of the red-skinned spuds
  • A stuffed grape leaf, bursting with and sweet, with mint, pine nuts and raisins
  • Piyaz, a bean salad that tastes like a far superior version of those pickled three-bean salads that used to be a salad bar staple
  • Ezme, char-broiled eggplant supplying the meaty flavor that makes all these veggies seem so substantial
  • Haydari, the Turkish answer to tzatziki, with walnut and dill
  • Tabouli, leaking its parsley-sweetened olive oil-lemon dressing onto the plate for all to share
  • Hummus, smooth and lemony, which starts to become almost like a plate sauce as you scoop up the goodies with piece after piece of soft, warm, pillowy pita bread.
  • Havuc Ezme (in the center), a roasted carrot spread with yogurt, dill and lemon. I always kick myself for not bringing a tub of this salad home.

With the bill comes a tiny bird’s nest pastry and a three-bite portion of rice pudding. With this gesture, you will experience a strong desire to hug everyone who works at the restaurant.

Cafe Agora will soon move to a larger space nearby. For now, it’s cramped and a little disorganized, and parking nearby isn’t the easiest proposition. Don’t let that stop you. You deserve $7 worth of pure food love.

- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog

Source Article from http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2013/07/24/30-restaurants-in-30-days-cafe-agora/?cxntfid=blogs_food_and_more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>