ger and stuffed grape leaf, the best I've ever had, with seasoned rice, pine nuts and currants,. There was also “mujver,” a zucchini, green onion and parmesan fritter served with cucumber sauce, crispy sesame sticks and “provencal,” a baked vegetable square of red chard, beet leaves and spinach.
It all whetted our appetite for more of the wholesome, fresh fare. About 90 percent of it comes from organic vegetables.
On Saturdays one can select the brunch buffet, which offers a varied selection of pastries and Turkish delights including meat and vegetarian choices, coffee and juice for $7.99. On weekdays one can select vegetarian specialties, with an occasional meat item, from numerous offerings for $4.99. Spinach, mushroom and chicken noodle soup was hot and flavorful (cup $1.99, bowl $2.99). It appeared to have the power to cure whatever ailed you. Our server delivered a sample taste of the vegetarian variety of the day, red lentil puree, bursting with goodness. I look forward to having many more spoonfuls of the velvety soup.
Sandwiches listed on the non-vegetarian menu are grouped by cold, hot and Anatolian headings. All of them – 16 including those from the vegetarian menu – sounded appealing. Chicken curry salad ($5.45) delivered white meat chicken with bits of potatoes and carrots blended with mayonnaise and rolled in lavash (Turkish wrap) with lettuce and tomato. The Anatolian sandwich, kebab ($5.45) was made with ground beef meatball, tomato and yogurt-mayo sauces and lettuce, and was served warm. Both filled the bill for hot sandwiches. The seasonings and sauces created a slightly spiced, savory sandwich. Individually packaged Ruffles potato chips accompany sandwiches, but I recommend the 99 cent surcharge for a salad side, surely a more suitable and satiating complement.
A tent card on the table had us expecting grilled vegetables and rice as accompaniments with our rosemary and onion marinated chicken dish. We were surprised when we received mashed potatoes instead. Specks of brown potato skin were unable to mask the distinctive flavor of processed potatoes, a shock based on the appealing freshness of the other quality ingredients.
When we expressed our displeasure with the spud buds – or flakes – our server returned with roasted potatoes, a better match for the twin thin chicken breasts and seasoned al dente broccoli and carrots. I was told that instant potatoes were a trial, but would no longer be used.
Pasha is an alcohol-free venue. But you'll likely be happy with the fresh squeezed lemonade ($1.99) with refills and Turkish coffee ($2.19). Baklava (3 for $3.49), sprinkled with finely chopped pistachios, was not as crispy as I prefer. We thought the walnut filled pastry, saturated with honey, would have been better the day before. A brownie, topped with chocolate shavings and closely resembling cocoa cake, hit the spot with the robust coffee.
As is usual when I come across quality food finds, I'm preoccupied, thinking of reasons to return to that part of town. Going out of your way to get to Parkview in Chesapeake for Pasha will be well worth the effort. Fresh, wholesome food with vegetarian preparations as a specialty, served by pleasant Turks in a casual, comfortable cafe is what Pasha provides.