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Bosphorous Winter Park

Written By Scott Joseph On September 17, 2020

I wasn’t at all sure how it would travel, but I knew I had to have the lavas when I got takeout from Bosphorous, the Turkish restaurant on Park Avenue (and other locations).

Lavas, as anyone who has dined at Bosphorous knows, is the signature “hollow bread,” also sometimes called balloon bread because it poofs up with steam when it’s baked. The first time I saw it I called it Jiffy Pop bread because that’s what it reminded me of.

The reason I had to have the bread was because instead of two entrees, my companion and I decided to get just one main dish and then order the mixed appetizer platter. And because the meze includes such things as hummus, babaganoush and other dippy things, the bread was a must-have-too.

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And it traveled just fine, packaged carefully in its own brown paper bag and still warm when I got it home. (Pro tip: Keep an insulated cooler in your trunk and ask to have the food placed in it when it’s brought to your car.)

And it was indeed perfect with the meze platter, the various appetizers packaged in one container and cleverly separated by cucumber slices. The hummus was creamy and the babaganoush had a pleasant smoky note. Also included were haydari, a thick dill-tinged yogurt with crunchy walnuts mixed in; ezme, a pulpy mix of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and other accouterments; tabouli; a cold cucumber dip called cacik; and grape leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts and currants. Quite filling especially with hunks of the torn bread.

I also ordered the stuffed cabbage, four plump packages of spiced ground lamb and rice seasoned with mint, onions and tomatoes and a bit of garlic. The cabbage rolls were topped with a tomato sauce and drizzled with yogurt. The sweet sauce was a nice counterpoint to the pungent cabbage leaves.

Bosphorous has an online ordering form with good descriptions and photos. (Be sure you’re ordering from the correct location.) At checkout, the form showed an option to select a specific time for pickup, but it was grayed out and “pickup now” was the only choice. But I was able to specify curbside pickup, and when I arrived at the restaurant I was able to pull into a space designated for that purpose (kudos, Winter Park) and after a quick call to the restaurant my food was swiftly brought to the car by a masked young woman.

Bosphorous is at 108 S. Park Ave., Winter Park (other locations on the website). It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The Winter Park restaurant’s phone number is 407-644-8609.

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