I’ve adored Cafe Izmir — especially for the Tuesday Night Tapas specials and the music-infused ambiance — since it opened waaay back in the 90s. But over the years, I’ve become even more fond of Nazary brothers’ down-the-street project, the Izmir Market and Deli. I can always count on a few of things here: a warm greeting, cozy seating and first-rate Mediterranean fare. By cozy, I mean not much personal space — a tight squeeze. You could sit on the patio, though if someone is already occupying its one table, you’re out of luck. Thankfully, take-out or delivery of their tapas, sandwiches, salads and such is a sometimes merciful alternative to dining in.
Beau and Ali, and their uncle, Mehdi Nazari, infuse as much passion and flavor into their deli dishes as items at the more-formal Café Izmir. You can often catch them running from one place to another — that obsessive attention to detail is what makes their hummus and pita bread so addictive, salads so satisfying, and their sandwiches so savory.
Take the hot chicken arugula sandwich — its toasted marble rye roll filled with thinly-sliced white chicken, arugula greens and fresh avocado packs a flavorful punch without leaving you stuffed. That way you have room for the to-die-for Chocolate Espresso cake (made by Aunt Faye Nazari), and the deliciously intense Turkish coffee, to which I have become hopelessly hooked. The market, 3607 Greenville, offers free delivery, $10 minimum, within a two-mile radius, and a $5 charge for delivery outside that area. 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily.