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Short Orders

A sweet and savory Turkish breakfast

Cafe Mangal’s specialty features egg, tomato wedges, cucumber slices, olives, and more. Cafe Mangal’s specialty features egg, tomato wedges, cucumber slices, olives, and more. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
By Clara Silverstein
Globe Correspondent / April 6, 2011

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The center of the Turkish breakfast plate ($14.50) at Cafe Mangal in Wellesley features a hard-cooked egg, tomato wedges, cucumber slices, and black olives, each sectioned off with a bell pepper strip. The rest is less familiar. Chef Mehmet Ozargun also offers cubes of feta and kasseri, a mild, semi-hard Greek cheese. Filling out the breakfast are round slices of soujouk, a pepperoni-like beef sausage, and poached dried figs and sour cherry jam, the fruits in small, white bowls. On the side is circular simit bread, sprinkled with sesame seeds, served warm.

Treat it like a little meal and eat the savory items first, then finish with the sweeter figs and jam (along with sour cherry, choices might include fig, rose petal, or quince). Or cut the bread open and fill it with cheese and olives for the equivalent of Turkish fast food. Turkish-born Ozargun, who came to Boston to attend Babson College, then studied hospitality management at Johnson & Wales, now runs the cafe with his mother, Berna Ozargun, and dad, Omer. General manager Gul Bahceci has been on board for the 11 years the cafe has been open.

One surprise: Tea, served in small glasses, accompanies the food. That’s because the Turkish word for breakfast translates as “before coffee.’’ Thick, dark Turkish coffee traditionally comes afterward, making it a digestive instead of a wake-up drink. Cafe Mangal, 555 Washington St., Wellesley, 781-235-5322, www.cafemangal.com.

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