Cheap Eats 2012: Cafe Divan

Cheap Eats 2012

Sleek and chic, this glass-wrapped Turkish spot supports the
notion that style and value can coexist. An expanded dining room—with
Brazilian-cherry floors and Turkish tile—makes it easier to get a table on
weekend nights. And newcomers on the menu of mezze and bigger plates widen
the culinary possibilities.

Among them is a lineup of vegetable starters cooked with plenty
of olive oil—okra flecked with tomato and onion is especially good.
Another addition, hunkar beyendi marries smoky eggplant purée
with tender lamb. Don’t overlook old favorites such as feta-filled
sigara borek, the eggplant-and-tomato dish called imam
bayaldi,
and Iskender kebab, a mash-up of pita, tomato,
yogurt, and doner kebab.

Also good: Pide, a pizza-like dish
with feta, parsley, and a fried egg in boat-shaped dough; whole lamb from
the wood-fired oven (Thursday only); the lamb-and-hot-pepper pie known as
lamejun; kazan dibi, a caramelized rice pudding.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.