City Paper is not for tourists
The Dish: sucuk pide (sausage flatbread)
The Location: Cafe Divan, 1834 Wisconsin Ave. NW, (202) 338-1747
The Price: $8.50
The Skinny: For reasons that say plenty about our maddening penchant to translate foreign foods into Eurocentric terms, people love to call sucuk pide, one of many wood-burning-oven dishes at Cafe Divan, “Turkish pizza.” Never mind that Italians can claim no stranglehold on the concept of loading fresh ingredients onto piping-hot flatbreads.
Head chef Yucel Atalay‘s finger food begins with a golden, canoe-shaped pide, the edges of which are folded in to resemble pant cuffs. In and around, you’ll find thin, reddish slices of Turkish sausage—rich, fragrant beef rounds from links imported directly from Kayseri, the city that made sucuk famous. The complex, spicy meat is balanced with smooth, melted Kashar, a fresh cow-and-sheep-milk cheese also imported from Turkey, as well as with chopped fresh tomatoes, salty black olives, and herbs. The assemblage may remind you of pizza, the sausage rounds may even look like pepperoni, but this pie is straight outta Central Anatolia.