I'm often bitching about Dallas' bread culture: bad hoagies, worse cheese steaks, zippy bagels and a dearth of crusty baguettes. Some places work at it, though. At Carbone's, which I reviewed a few weeks ago, Julian Barsotti makes a likeable focaccia. It reminded me of the puffy breads that come out of his wood fired oven at Nonna. The football shaped poofs of freshly baked bread explode with steam when you rip them open. They're a bit like pita bread.
It's pide, not pita, that's offered with your meals at Pera Turkish Kitchen, the subject of this week's review. The thick discs of bread disappointed me on my first visit. They were tough and dry and bland. On my second and third visit the bread was soft and pliable, so I assumed the first experience was a fluke.
When I talked to owner Sam Sensel he told me the thermostat on his oven was acting up a few weeks earlier. We guessed a faulty oven was the cause of the lackluster loaves. Either way any restaurant that decides to bake their own bread, or at least source it from a reputable baker, usually is mindful of the rest of their menu. This holds true at Pera.
The sad part of the story for you is that across my three visits, Pera was BYOB. I wish there had been a fun wine shop to explore in the same plaza, it would have made for a compelling combination. Just this week though, Sensel's license arrived. He now offers wines and a Turkish beer called Efes. The bread, though, remains the same. Drag those sesame crusted loaves through any of the dishes you encounter at Pera and sip on a Turkish pilsner. Hand-crafted food at this price point is hard to come by.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.