While pita bread is prototypically filled with meat and falafel, enterprising Middle Easterners also use the fresh-out-of-the-oven bread as makeshift gloves, designer purses, and as the main character in gritty crime dramas. Play good cop, bad cop while feasting upon Mediterranean cuisine with today's Groupon: for $7, you get $15 worth of fresh Turkish eats and drinks at The Sultan Cafe in Northwest Portland.
The menu offers a variety of modestly priced dishes and hot Middle Eastern refreshments in a cushy environment where coffee sippers can recline on an armchair and read the newspaper, Internet, or the faces of opponents during pita poker. Head to the counter and politely demand some warm, toasty pitas that can be hungrily dipped into one of Sultan Cafe's hummus platters ($5), which can be served in the roasted red pepper, pesto, and spinach varieties. Veggie-fanciers can pump their fist in appreciation of the fresh peppers and feta cheese on the ziti pasta salad ($3.50), or move straight to the grilled four-cheese panini ($5), where mozzarella, Monterey Jack, cheddar, and provolone deliciously mingle. Other entrees include chicken, lamb, and beef gyros ($6 each), a tuna fish sandwich ($6), or the Greek salad ($6.50). To drink, spiced, smooth Turkish coffee stimulates taste buds with its earthy undertones, while tea-preferring imbibers can wash down pita bread with chai or Turkish black tea, both well-suited to soothe before bedtime or the delivery of a first child.
Depending on the weather or weeklong solar eclipses, one can relax around a clean, wood table inside or dart underneath an umbrella-shaded spot outside. Internet-less souls searching for a signal can log on to the café's free WiFi or use the complimentary computer to compose a hummus haiku. After feasting, head over to Sultan's sister company, the Sultan Hookah Lounge, to indulge in a relaxing round of hookah, which can be picked up on the cheap with today's side deal.
The Sultan Cafe is closed on Sundays.
Yelpers give The Sultan Cafe a near-perfect 4.5 stars out of five:
- The pannini was to grilled perfectly and had all the right ingredients that I love ...artichoke heart, garlic goodness, and olives, etc. It makes my mouth water now just to think of it. – JT T.
- If you don't find yourself in this part of NW, I would still recommend going out of your way to visit this little spot. – Christina P.
- This place has just revived my faith in eating lunch. It's the kinda place that makes me think things like, "hmmm, if I leave these leftovers in the fridge, I can go to the Sultan for lunch..." – Erin O.
Drawing from the Mediterranean’s world-renowned cuisine, Sultan Cafe's menu gives diners several options for lunch and dinner, including a zesty greek salad, creamy baked ziti, and delicately spiced chicken shawarma. And many visitors finish their meal with the restaurant's celebrated Turkish coffee. Guests lounge in plush armchairs and munch on falafel, hummus, or burgers while they take advantage of the cafe's complimentary Wi-Fi or play games of backgammon. Regulars chat with barista Michael Makboul over cups of cardamom-spiced coffee—feel free to discuss the building’s history as an office for novelist Chuck Palahniuk. On the patio, diners can cap off their evening with a hookah, cleansing the palate with a combination of intense-flavored smoke, such as mint, banana, strawberry, and mango.
1500 NW 18th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97209Get Directions