Baklawa Queen is a delightful family-run restaurant and bakery specializing in authentic Turkish breakfasts and cafe fare, and of course, fresh homemade baklawa.
The baklawa queen herself is Hatice Arslan, who runs the place with her daughter Diana. The majority of what you can get here is made from scratch by their hands.
The cramped space is totally tolerable for how enjoyable the offerings here are, and though it’s tight a group of four could certainly stake out their own private space, and a nice table for two abuts the window.
A Turkish breakfast ($14.99) comes with an over easy egg and a lovely little smorgasbord of healthy-feeling, Mediterranean accompaniments, little slices of tomato and cucumber with delicious black and green olives and chunks of feta and cheddar.
There’s also sucuk, a zesty Turkish sausage, usually beef, sliced thinly so that it’s warm and crispy.
A signature spread of pepper paste, feta, and pecan is strong tasting, roasty and nutty. It’s nice spread on the provided Turkish bagel, similar to combined honey and clotted cream or dynamite homemade strawberry jam.
The bagels, called simit, aren’t baked here, rather gotten from a supplier, but are toasted fresh.
Every Turkish breakfast always comes with aromatic Turkish black tea ($2 otherwise).
Stuffed bulgur kofte ($13.99) is a shell of breaded and fried cracked wheat with ground beef or a vegan chickpea option, served with soup or salad.
Both versions are good, saucy and molten, the ground beef one also stuffed with minced onions, parsley, and hot peppers to make it perhaps the less mild of the two.
Borek ($4.99) come filled with feta, spinach and feta, or ground beef. The oily, flaky pastry of our choosing sandwiched rich, creamy cheese for a crunchy, authentic-feeling snack.
Manti ($12.99) consists of small ravioli-like dumplings filled with a spicy ground beef mixture, dressed with sour yogurt and sweet tomato paste and sprinkled with paprika. The result is comforting, creamy and meaty.
Turkish coffee ($2.75) is lovingly presented using a shining tea set that ensconces piping hot cups full of strong, bitter black coffee.
It’s typically served with Turkish Delight, the sweet, spongy, coconutty candy, which they’re also working on making here themselves.
A range of baklawa are available here, rolls ($1.75) in pistachio, coconut, walnut, and almond flavours, squares ($1.50) in pistachio or walnut, and a very pistachio-y double pistachio baklawa ($2).
They even have vegan baklawa! They also make lesser known kadayif ($4) and sekerpare ($1.25).
Though it could perhaps benefit from some more streamlined furniture or a little bit more space, the traditional recipes recreated here feel as cozy as this small Turkish breakfast nook.