There’s no question that I eat a lot of exciting food. Still, it’s not often that I have a meal so good that it propels me toward a lifestyle change. But after breakfast at Sterling’s Oxus7, named for the Central Asian river also known as the Amu Darya, I’m rethinking my first meal of the day.
You see, I’m not a breakfast person. I usually don’t eat anything until around noon and haven’t since I was a small child. The only time I ever start my day off with a meal is when I’m traveling (you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a breakfast buffet in China). And a meal at Oxus7 couldn’t help but make me feel like I was on vacation. As soon as I entered, I felt more like I was in a cozy cafe in Istanbul’s Old City than a tucked-away Sterling industrial park.
A large Turkish family was celebrating a birthday with a hearty breakfast and I wanted to do the same. Oxus7 serves the meal from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. The centerpiece is the breakfast platter pictured above. It’s a smorgasbord of cheeses, preserves, and fruits and veggies. Warm sigara borek, filled with feta and parsley, are even more compelling dipped in smooth honey with an island of butter rising from its sticky depths.
But it’s a mistake not to order a few of the available sides, too. Menemen, a scrambled cousin to shakshuka, is a spicy delight that I struggled to stop eating, even after I was past capacity. Tangy, beefy sucuk sausage is bathed in a cumin-redolent tomato sauce that’s just as irresistible. But perhaps most importantly, Turkish breakfast requires a simit or two, the skinny, sesame-topped circle of bread that both looks and tastes an awful lot like an oversize Montreal-style bagel. There’s no better way to enjoy a bit of zippy goat cheese and tart cherry preserves than spread on the warm, crisp bread.
My conclusion? On weekends, a languorous breakfast filled with lots of fun bites is the way to go. And Oxus7 is the place to relish the morning.// 21586 Atlantic Blvd.#134, Sterling
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