Brunch at Pasha Mezze
Falling in love with Mediterranean cuisine is second nature to me. In celebration of a friend's birthday, myself and a dozen other gals rounded up for brunch at Norfolk's Pasha Mezze. I'd visited once a few years ago, and I remembered it being a cozy experience. Everything from the service to my last bite was so lovely and fresh that I'm kicking myself now for not returning sooner!
The decor was earthy and European. Art and vases hung on the carrot-esque walls leaving me feeling I was smack dab in the middle of a pimento cheese sandwich.
I first ordered the Turkish coffee, which is the final product of a coffee brewing method that produces a delectable concentrated shot of coffee. I liken it to a mini French press. (If you are thinking about trying this, you might want to drink down to about 3/4 down the dainty cup since the sludge produced from the grounds will sink to the bottom.) Turkish coffee isn't for everyone, but I, for one, was in heaven. The overall consistency was creamy yet it was balanced with the ultra-bitter taste. Luckily, the sweetest cubed confection sat nicely next to my thimble-shaped cup to complement the coffee. What I thought was a sugar cube turned out to be Turkish delight, a powdered sugared sidekick to Turkish coffee. It reminded me of mochi (a sticky, chewy rice cake usually enveloping ice cream). It was truly a delight.
After ordering, we were brought fresh bread served in delicate copper bowls. Our attention was then directed to the trio of spreads on the table: apricot jam, blueberry jam and sesame paste. Each were perfect in their own way, but the sesame paste laid down and topped with either jam brought a whole new meaning to PB&J.
I ordered the Istanbul Lentil Cake which was accompanied by an eggplant steak, sliced cucumbers and yogurt sauce atop their homemade bread, as well as a side salad. Each component of the meal was well-seasoned, creating a harmony between the flavors with each bite. A refreshing, zesty yogurt sauce bound the lentil cake and eggplant to the toast. The eggplant had the yummy grilled flavor that only a grill can produce, while the lentil cake had a balanced spiciness. I love that Mediterranean foods can taste so rich individually yet still find a way to mesh onto one plate.
Though Pasha Mezze has been on the grid for some time now, there are always more flavors to be revealed. It’s safe to say I’ll be back sooner than later.