If you live in High Point, chances are you bypass Sumela Turkish & Mediterranean Restaurant frequently. Located on a top piece of North Main’s actual property, Sumela has been a fixture on the High Point restaurant scene for 22 years. Old-timers may additionally don’t forget when the area opened as Main Street Grill in 1997. “Back then, we served fundamental grill items like burgers and sandwiches,” stated owner Mehmet Cake. “But as soon as human beings located out, I become Turkish; they began asking for extra genuine dishes. So, over the years, we added greater Turkish items and Mediterranean food.”
Eventually, the name now not fit the eating place’s new consciousness, so in 2008, Cakal rebranded the commercial enterprise as Sumela Turkish & Mediterranean Restaurant. The commercial enterprise is known as after Sumela Monastery, a 1,000-12 months-old Greek Orthodox monastic complicated that dramatically clings to a near-sheer cliffside in Cajal’s place of birth of Trabzon, Turkey. Guests can see a photo of the monastery on a poster located in the eating room. Its stunning region, perched precariously over the Black Sea, is dazzling indeed.
When guests input Sumela, they are greeted warmly, often via a Cakal member of the family. Booths line the perimeter of the eating room, and roomy tables fill the indoor area—a small but lovely mosaic-patterned lamp lighting fixtures on every desk. There’s also an outside patio wherein visitors can watch the movement on Main Street. (Bonus: the patio is dog-pleasant, as the Cakes are avid puppy enthusiasts.) In addition to the aforementioned monastery posters, different paintings offering scenes from Turkey, a handful of framed newspaper articles, and a stunning hand-knotted carpet grace the partitions. Though now not quite an open-kitchen idea, guests can trap a glimpse of the chef (usually Mehmet himself) working the grill within the back.
The restaurant boasts a laid-lower back vibe and a menu of sparkling, healthy meals made in small batches. “We do everything sparkling and quite a lot day by day,” Cake said. For those unexpected with Mediterranean delicacies, it’s far normally heavy on vegetarian fare, sparkling veggies, and lean proteins, as evidenced by using Sumela’s diverse menu. “In Turkey, we consume a ramification of meals, plenty of vegetables and all styles of meats—however, prepared distinct approaches,” Cakal stated. “We don’t devour quite a few fried foods,” Cake stated he enjoys providing healthy meals to the community—and he additionally sees it as an investment. “Our motto is, ‘The patron’s health is our business—we want to see our guests coming back for a long time.”
Sumela is one of those rare eating places wherein each vegetarian and meat-enthusiasts will discover their nirvana, and I frequently take visitors right here for this reason. My recommendation: begin with the blended appetizers to get a sampling of numerous ordinary Mediterranean dishes. The colorful platter functions hummus, a protein and fiber-wealthy dip crafted from mashed chickpeas; baba ganoush, an eggplant purée with lemon juice and garlic; grape leaves filled with rice, onions, raisins, and nuts; and piyaz, a white bean salad with sparkling herbs and onion.
Another standout appetizer is the lahmacun, a Turkish road meal this is similar to flatbread or pizza. At Sumela, the dish includes floor beef blended with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, parsley, inexperienced pepper, and spices atop a clean-baked crust. Red lentil soup is a menu staple, and also you’ll additionally find approachable favorites together with Greek-style spanakopita and mozzarella sticks. Entrées range from familiar pasta like chook and eggplant parmigiana to sandwiches and kebabs.
Health-aware diners will respect alternatives just like the Mediterranean Wrap (hummus, grilled chook, feta cheese, and clean veggies), the Vegetarian Delight (hummus, falafel, and veggies served on pita with homemade yogurt-cucumber sauce), and gyros (thinly-sliced red meat and lamb on a pita) in the sandwich menu. Another Greek favored is the hen souvlaki, which can be served as a sandwich or an entrée.
The star of the show for carnivores is the kebab menu. Guests can order entrées consisting of one protein or blend it up with a decadent sampler platter. The Sumela Sampler functions beef skewers, hen skewers, and köfte (pork meatballs with spices) simultaneously as the Sultan Platter boasts lamb skewers, red meat, and lamb kebabs, and gyro. Both dishes are served with rice, piyaz, and blended greens.
The menu also offers numerous salad options, and there may usually be a day sandwich and pasta special. Kids and households are continually welcome, and an à Los Angeles carte menu makes it smooth to create a customized child’s meal. For dessert, assume high-quality, now not amount—Sumela serves a handful of cakes achieved right. My favorite is the rice pudding; that is exactly what it seems like. The creamy concoction of rice, milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon is ideal for those averse to cloyingly candy very last guides. Other alternatives include baklava, cheesecake, tiramisu, and a decadent chocolate cake. Paired with a robust Turkish espresso, this is the right manner to end your meal.