Turkish Delight: Simit
Grand Central's irresistible Simit, now available toasted with cream cheese.
Seattle, it’s time you met the Simit.
Portland, it’s time you got to know it better.
Our version of this popular Turkish snack bread debuted last spring in Portland, and it’s a winner: spirals of naturally leavened Peasant dough dipped in raisin juice and coated in sesame seeds, then baked to perfection. Chewy and nutty-flavored with a hint of sweet and sour, a Simit can be a grab-and-go snack, a breakfast or sandwich bread, the delicious partner to soup or a chewy, crunchy roll you dip in mustard or hummus.
Now we're pleased to offer Simit at all our bakeries in Seattle and Portland.
What’s more, Simit is on the breakfast menu at every Grand Central Cafe, toasted and served with Philly cream cheese. Makes a great afternoon snack, too.
A little more background: In Turkey, Simit is made with white flour (ours contains about 1/3 whole wheat), shaped into large rings and sold by street vendors, much as you see pretzels sold on the streets of New York. In fact, they’ve recently popped up on New York’s Upper West Side, dubbed ‘the Turkish bagel’ by a chainlet called Simit + Smith. (Are we not trendsetters?!)
We suggest taking home a half dozen (we'll throw in an extra one for free), then slicing and stashing them in the freezer, where they'll stay fresh if wrapped tightly in a sealed plastic bag. You can toast them straight out of the freezer and enjoy with butter or something fancier.
What to serve on a Simit? We asked the fine folks who work at our bakeries and got all kinds of ideas.
- I dip my Simit in a bit of browned butter. It heightens the nuttiness and aroma of the bread and the luscious creaminess of the tangy starter in the Simit stands out in contrast. That’s what I call bread! – Robert B., Hawthorne
- Toasted with PB and honey is the BEST!!!!! - Jenna R., Beaumont
- I love the Simit! Ham, Dijon, and lettuce. Simple lil’ slider-type sandwich. - Jed A. , Sellwood
Simit as ham slider - Jed, our Sellwood cafe manager, swears by it!
- The Simit begs for cheese! Cream cheese, chevre, a couple slices of Swiss—it’s all good! Chewy, nutty, creamy, sweet and sour. - Laura O., Portland Commissary Kitchen
- Toasted, with peanut butter and honey. For breakfast. Or, with lots of cream cheese and fresh scallions. - Piper D., Sawtooth
- Toasted, with some cheese and greens on it. Just typing that makes me hungry. : )- Rachel L., Sellwood
- I like to eat it with cream cheese - it satisfies my east coast bagel cravings! - Robb H., Commissary Kitchen
- Slice and eat half with avocado and the other half with butter and jam. It’s so delicious. - Jess T., Fremont
Jess's breakfast of champions: half savory, half sweet, all good.
- Toast that baby up, with a hard egg and a dash of our spicy mayo and a small smear of avocado - this is a great way to start my day at gcb! - Chelsea D., Irvington
- Toasted with cream cheese or chevre, cucumber, sea salt and cracked pepper. - Stephen D., Fremont
- Tear, insert, and chomp! - Ben D., Sawtooth
- I make a nice little sandwich with some hummus, fennel, black olives and a squeeze of tangerine. - Sean C., Sawtooth
- Toasted with butter and jam (tahini and jam for the vegans!); warmed and served with hummus and roasted peppers; I make a grilled cheese on it; sliced thin, toasted and used as croutons in a salad with goat cheese. - Anna C., Hawthorne
- Hummus, olives and feta, or yummy GCB tuna. - Mur S., Hawthorne
- I love mine with a large amount of spicy Dijon on the side for dipping! - Sid P., Beaumont
- We love to eat our simits with a shmear of avocado and tomato. Sometimes I get fancy and throw an egg on it and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes! - Katie S. and Jacob M.; Hawthorne
- Switch out for Bolo roll for an egg or egg/bacon sandwich. Really, really toasted with hummus and olives on the side, or spread with hummus and thinly sliced cucumbers. Or Simit crostini: slice it from top to bottom, toast and spread with sesame butter or tapenade. - Donna D., Hawthorne