Two weeks ago I visited Seta's Cafe for the first time. This hidden gem sits right on the Watertown / Belmont line, offering a fresh take on Armenian and Mediterranean classics.
During that inaugural trip, we sampled the za'atar flatbread, the falafel sandwich, the falafel bowl (topped with French fries!), a coconut macaroon and a piece of baklava. Even though we were thrilled with our selections, I knew I hadn't yet experienced the full range of Seta's kitchen, because I still hadn't had brunch.
On Saturday morning I climbed up the hill (they don't call it Hillside Road for nothing!) to meet a friend at Seta's at 9:00am. A few tables had already been claimed, clearly we weren't the only people who'd heard about the legendary brunch.
We stepped toward the menu, hanging from two clips on the wall like a beach towel on a clothes line in the summer. We read the description of each item, word for word.
After careful consideration, we placed our order and took a seat at one of the dining room tables in the sun. Though Seta's doesn't have outdoor seating (besides a bench out front) it feels like you're outdoors because the natural light pours in from every window.
Our name was called and we shot up like rockets, anxious to claim our dishes. How beautiful does this look?
In the end, we ordered the same savory dish, the mezze bowl, and opted to share the lemon ricotta pancakes on the side.
Let's rewind a second, because I need to spend way more time talking about this mezze bowl.
In the three o'clock position you have one expertly poached egg. This egg is what poached egg dreams are made of - when you cut into it, the yoke slowly spills out on the plate, creating a sauce that binds together all the other components of the dish.
Just below the egg are the patatas bravas, which is my favorite Spanish tapas dish. These blistered potatoes were topped with smoky tomato sauce and a decadent aioli (that I would happily add to any dish).
The potatoes are hugged by three slices of grilled halloumi cheese. If you've been reading Pop.Bop.Shop. for a while, you know I will order just about anything if it has halloumi. Halloumi is salty and squeaks a bit as you bite into it.
The top of the bowl has a trifecta of freshness - halved cherry tomatoes, labne cheese and thinly sliced cucumbers. Labne is a rich, spreadable cheese, that is a bit tart, almost like a Greek yogurt. It tasted wonderful with the tomatoes and cukes. I also used it to coat a few slices of pita.
I could have ended the meal right there and been euphoric. Lucky for me, it was about to get even better.
The lemon ricotta pancakes with fruit compote are actually a side dish on the menu. You can order a small or large portion. The large order comes with three pancakes, more than enough to share.
Each pancake was like a dinner plate-shaped cloud. They were so fluffy! I could not get over it. The tangy citrus flavor from the lemon was balanced by the ricotta, and the berry compote was a beautiful compliment, both visually and flavor-wise.
As we were wrapping up our meal and clearing our plates, I said, "It is extremely dangerous that I know about this brunch menu and it's a five minute walk from my front door." This was so fantastic that I didn't even feel guilty cheating on Sofra. Now that's saying something!