Food & Drink

Eats Beat: In Fort Worth, new Flying Carpet menu is a Turkish delight

The Flying Carpet Turkish Cafe is also a rug shop.
The Flying Carpet Turkish Cafe is also a rug shop. DFW.com

The Flying Carpet Turkish Cafe is back, and better than ever.

Chef Cebriel Demirtas came from New Jersey after family members landed at the highly regarded Pera Turkish Kitchen in north Dallas.

Now, the charming south-side cafe-rug shop serves a wide variety of Turkish and Mediterranean dishes, all in a wood-paneled 1950 home off West Magnolia Avenue.

The Flying Carpet launched two years ago to great hopes and quickly became a lunch-and-brunch favorite. It had good food but a limited menu, and diners found other Mediterranean cafes.

Demirtas’ menu is the complete opposite, with soups, salads, $9.95 lunch combos and more than 20 entrees, including four kebabs and the popular Turkish dishes with names such as “The Imam Fainted” or “The Sultan Was Pleased.”

A simple shredded salad with the restaurant’s lemon-olive oil house dressing showed unusually meticulous attention to detail, and a chicken kebab ($14.95) compared favorably with the more familiar version at restaurants like Terra Mediterranean Grill.

This was just a casual dinner, so there wasn’t time to try the Hünkar begendi (lamb stew on eggplant puree, the “sultan” dish) or the adana or döner kebabs.

But the mücver zucchini-carrot fritters (“pancakes”) made a good appetizer. (The menu also includes the more familiar falafel, tabbouleh, hummus and baba ghannouj.)

There’s baklava for dessert, but also künefe, a shredded-phyllo cheese dessert vaguely similar to Greeks’ ekmek custard.

The Flying Carpet is open for lunch and dinner; 1223 Washington Ave., near Magnolia Avenue, 817-877-1223, flyingcarpetturkishcafe.com.

Not just for holidays

The Omni Hotel’s Cast Iron buffet has become the busiest every holiday.

But Cast Iron also serves a weekday lunch and Sunday brunch buffet.

One day this week, Cast Iron’s $17 lunch included (1)grilled chicken or pork chops, (2) green or Caesar salad, (3)chips, hot sauce and guacamole and (4) a dessert bar with a choice of five desserts, including a chocolate bread pudding, apple tarts and red velvet cupcakes.

Compared to other $15-$17 lunches downtown with an added $5-$7 dessert, Cast Iron looks like a bargain. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, and a $28 brunch buffet is served Sundays.

The Mother’s Day brunch ($57) is booking up quickly. It features carved prime rib and rack of lamb, plus redfish, Rahr beer-roasted chicken and desserts.

The hotel’s Whiskey & Rye bar also serves an even less expensive burgers-and-sandwiches pub menu weekdays starting at $10. The Omni is at 1300 Houston St., 817-350-4106, omnihotels.com.

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com.

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Twitter: @EatsBeat

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