Social Sloth Café & Catering’s new location in Okemos, once the site of Akagi Sushi, is a breath of fresh air for husband-and-wife team Burçay and Aybars Gunguler.
“This location gives us a bigger kitchen where we can focus on serving more food that we haven’t been able to serve before,” Burçay Gunguler said. “We’re also in a spot that gives us more people and foot traffic than our last place, which is really exciting.”
The family-owned restaurant, formerly located in downtown Lansing for two-and-a-half years under the name Social Sloth Café & Bakery, has discontinued its rotating menu, but it now offers a variety of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly dishes. Aybars Gunguler, the lead chef, is focusing on creating more dishes that are native to Turkey, including more savory mezzes, the Turkish word for “small plates.”
One new menu item that Burçay Gunguler is especially excited about is the doner kebab.
“Doner means ‘to turn or rotate’ and is kind of like the Turkish version of a Greek gyro,” she said. To create the protein, meat — typically beef or lamb — is seasoned, stacked in the shape of an inverted cone and turned slowly on a rotisserie next to a vertical cooking element. The restaurant’s popular doner-kebab wrap contains homemade tomato sauce, sumac onions, pickles and a fresh-cut salad on top of lavas bread.
In addition to these new savory menu items, Social Sloth continues to offer plenty of homemade desserts like limoncello cake, crème brûlée and baklava as well as customized cakes for all occasions.
If you’re looking to take your cooking to the next level or want to spice up your next date night, consider enrolling in one of Social Sloth’s new cooking classes. The next class on Sunday (June 4) will focus on creating an authentic Turkish breakfast, featuring traditional dishes like menemen, which includes eggs, tomato, green peppers and spices such as ground black and red pepper cooked in olive oil. Participants will also learn how to make pisi, a fluffy ball of fried bread that’s served with breakfast in Turkey.
After the class, participants and instructors will sit down and enjoy the meal they prepared together. The table will also include a spread of olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, jam and Turkish tea and coffee.
“We want everyone who takes one of our cooking classes to be able to explore the cuisine but also be able to sit and enjoy the food they made with each other,” Burçay Gunguler said.
The two-hour-long class is $90 per participant, and interested parties can sign up on the restaurant’s website. To stay in the loop about other events, follow Social Sloth on Facebook, facebook.com/socialslothcafe, and Instagram, @socialslothcafe.
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