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Restaurants & Bars Greater Boston Area

Sofra, mixed review

StriperGuy | | Sep 16, 2008 09:55 AM

Does the Watertown/Belmont/Cambridge three corners really need a precious, pricey Middle Eastern "Market" themed lunch place. Judging by the Cambridge "ladies who lunch" crowd filling the joint I suppose so.

The vibe is a cross between Hi-Rise and Plum in the South End with just a hint of a Middle Eastern for good measure.

The $4/lb onions and summer squash for sale were looking a bit peeked. Don't think they are selling a whole lot of produce ;-).

Prices range from reasonable to ridiculous. The little tubs of Ana Sortun dipping apps in the cold case were laughably tiny portions, literally 3-4 tablespooons per tub for $4 each. You would need 2-3 tubs and some bread to give an even moderately-hungry person lunch. I imagine they are the usual sortun tasty goodies but the portions...

The baked goods look very good, some pricier then others. I had the sesame cashew bar which was delicious, and at $2.50 the bargain of the day. The other baked goods do look very good, but they have some of the usual $1.50 for a smallish cookie pricing. The chocolate chip and spice cookies (free samples) were not exceptionally yummy. Some of the other stuff does look delish. The $4 blueberry tart will be on the list next time I go.

For lunch I had the lamb shawarma with tomato confit. For $8.70 or so including tax I was underwhelmed. The lamb was soggy with none of the char that shawarma should have. The flavors of yogurt and the confit were nice and they toasted the sandwich on a curved morrocan ceramic oven that is really meant for baking pita. For an $8 sandwich it was a tad small. Fordees or demos would win this battle of the sandwich for sure.

Bottom line everything was intimidatingly precious. I am sure the Cambridge crowd will have tea and crossaints, but if you really want to eat, the place isn't really about that.

Afterwards I hit Arax just in order to ground myself. In my book, I'd rather hit Arax or Sevan any day over Sofra. But for those who like their Middle Eastern grocery store sanitized, and pricey, Sofra might hit the spot.